Saturday, February 13, 2010
as i seem to be on a rock film thing, i caught the pixies reunion tour doc loudQUIETloud on the hulu. it's streaming there for free right now.
this is a really bizarre band.
them pixies seem to exist in a vaccuum. other than the obligatory cobain quote at the top of the movie, there's nary a mention of other music anywhere. there are no testimonials-- no why we do this, why did we do this, no awkward or funny backstage visits from rock stars. not that standard rock doc stuff needs to be there, but it's oddly weird. understandably, it's a tour doc, and not a bio, but still.
charles thompson is cast as a sort of affable hitchcock character, and that's fine. he plays "the man". the guy that needed to say, "yeah, we're getting back together". nevermind that kim deal is arguably a bigger rock star, but the pixies do begin and end with him. their deference to him is deservably up front. the band's vaunted complete lack of communication is pretty well documented in the film, and makes the tweedy/bennett passive-aggressive salvo seem almost thoughtful in retrospect.
everyone seems slightly shell-shocked ... deal's emerging from rehab and takin baby steps ... loverling is soft kind of mess (but he's got nothing on dozens of casualties) ... santiago is just a working dad missing his kids ... but the lack of joy is palpable. on a level, i get it's about money (the WHY ARE WE DOING THIS is pretty up front), but the approach given alot of the time is a bunch of peeps who just happened to be successful at something that happened at the right time. i got the thought occasionally that one of em being nabbed from the masses and bein named "head car salesman for the northern quarter" woulda sufficed. i'm not tryin to be an idealist here, but juxtapose this against something like the townes van zandt "be here to love me" pic. this dude was a disaster on so many levels, but you knew his raison d'etre every fuckin frame.
i've always contended the pixies were a pretty mediocre live act, but this is a muted version of the late-80s/early-90s. balance that with audience members LITERALLY losing their freakin minds. deal seems to get that, and those are many of the flicks best moments. her meeting with fans. to me, deal in the real pixies years was the only thing that worked onstage.
thompson's admission that no one really gives a damn about his solo career, and his talking about playing his new songs for bandmates hoping a spark will be lit to initiate some new work, gives the flick some pulse towards the conclusion. i don't even knew if he meant it, and, in the end, nothing comes of it, and thus ...