If you’ve listened to alternative rock during the 1990s, you should be familiar with The Pixies. Formed in 1986, this Boston based band played an influential role in forming the musical landscape of alternative rock. Nirvana, Radiohead, Bush, Blur, Weezer, and The Strokes all claim that their music was inspired by their unique sound. Members of the band included Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal, and David Lovering. While playing with fellow alternative rock band Throwing Muses, Fort Apache Studios Manager Gary Smith encouraged them to record a demo that fans now call “The Purple Tape”. Ken Goes, a local promoter, later became their manager after passing their demo onto Ivo Watts-Russell, a founder of independent label 4AD. If it hadn’t been for Ivo Watts-Russell’s girlfriend, The Pixies wouldn’t have been signed: She really liked their sound. In 1987, Come on Pilgrim was released as a mini-LP, which had songs inspired by Santiago’s trip to Puerto Rico. Surfer Rosa, The Pixies first LP was released in 1988 and although American acclaim was subdued (as it has been throughout their career), they were applauded in the UK where music magazines Sound and Melody Maker claimed Surfer Rosa as their album of the year. During this time, The Pixies signed with Elektra and started to build a relationship with Gil Norton, a British producer.
In 1989, Doolittle was released and one single "Monkey Gone to Heaven" was their first Top 10 hit in the United States. In 1990, after brief hiatus, the band returned to the studio to record Bossanova, which featured a mix between surf rock and space rock. The album reached number 70 on the US charts, but managed to climb up to number 3 on the UK charts. In 1991, The Pixies released Trompe le Monde, the final album before their breakup in 1993. Although each of the artists were focusing on different endeavors, it didn’t stop Elektra and 4AD from releasing more music. Albums such as greatest hits album Death to the Pixies (1997), Pixies at the BBC (1998), Complete 'B' Sides compilation (2001), and the EP Pixies, which contained the previously unreleased music on “The Purple Tape”, were all released during this time. In 2003, rumors started to circulate about a reunion, however it was in 2004, when they started to tour once again, with many venues selling out in a matter of minutes. It was also in 2004 when The Pixies received their first award: Act-of-the-Year during the 2004 Boston Music Awards. During that year the band also released “Bam Thwok” exclusively on iTunes, which reached number 1 on the UK Official Download Chart and 4AD also released Wave of Mutilation: The Best of Pixies and companion DVD titled Pixies. 2013 was a turbulent year for The Pixies: Kim Deal left the band and there were several bassists that rotated in and out of place until Paz Lenchantin became the most current bassist. In April of 2014, Indie Cindy (a collection of three EPs recorded the year prior) became the band’s first release in over 20 years.
The Pixies Corona Capital Festival 2015
The Pixies have one tour stop coming up at the Corona Capital Festival 2015 in Mexico City. With their vast history, this would be a great introduction to The Pixies’s music or a date that a diehard fan can’t miss. Other acts appearing include Muse, The Psychedelic Furs, and newcomers 21 Pilots.