The Pixies
Sat Sept 4
Les Schwab Amphitheatre
344 SW Shevlin-Hixon Dr.

If their recent sold-out reunion tour has proven anything, it's that almost everyone has something to say about the Pixies. Since their upcoming appearance has many of us squirming like schoolgirls, we figured we'd let lots of people weigh in with their love for this pivotal band. We also let a couple of haters in, too--because what are the Pixies if not suffused with hatred? I could tell you about the first time I heard "I Bleed" in a Virginia dorm room and felt baptized into a new, scary world of weird, exciting music, or how the first minute of Surfer Rosa changed my life forever. But everybody knows that story, because everybody has one just like it, as you'll soon discover. Gouge away. --Sean Nelson

I love the Pixies because of the soul of Black Francis' vocals. As a kid, I was petrified by/fascinated with/turned on by the singers on my dad's old folk-blues records. Those guys had such intense voices, and it was my idea of good singing. In the late '80s, punk voices were miserable, anonymous things, so I was mostly into rap, but I couldn't believe it when I heard Doolittle. It was clearly a white guy, but it was so free and athletic and colorful. It sounded like a scary, malfunctioning Wilson Pickett cyborg, which I'd kind of been waiting my whole life to hear. Imagine my surprise when I finally saw the dude. --Travis Morrison, solo musician

I've been lucky enough to kiss both Kim Deal and Frank Black. With Black, I was selling merch and I thanked him for changing the way I viewed things, and he responded by putting a $10 tip down the front of my shirt. Major respect goes to the Pixies for once playing an alphabetical setlist and having it be more cohesive than most other bands' regular sets. Unbeatable, essential, ultimate. The Pixies have the priceless power of being able to instantly change my mood once I hear their songs. I owe them my sanity. --Ben Blackwell, writer/musician (the Dirtbombs)

It's great that the Pixies have thawed out intact. --Robyn Hitchcock, solo musician

I'm too old for the Pixies, but the Breeders changed my life. --Steve Fisk, musician and record producer

In '93, the first one of us to have a car was Adam Seidel's older, pudgier, shorter brother, Brian. No fewer than six of us would tear around Katy, TX in Brian's olive-green Volvo, windows down, smoking KOOLs and screaming, "I am moonSHOT!! And I'll loose ya" at the tape deck, completely unaware that our lyrical interpretation of "Debaser" was light-years off. Then, as now, I assert that it didn't matter what kind of precarious phrases we were putting in the mouth of St. Black Francis: What mattered was that I was falling in love with the Pixies like a good li'l teenager should. 11 years later, "Debaser" still sounds like triumphant puberty to me when I'm in my own car, going fast, pretending to be Kim Deal in my head and pounding my fingers red on the steering wheel. --Joan Hiller, Mercury contributor/Sub Pop Records employee

The Pixies last toured, to my memory, in 1991. I was a college senior in Chicago, and they played, I believe, at the Aragon Ballroom. I wasn't a rock guy in those naíve days, unable to distinguish a Pixies song from a Cranberries song. However, I was involved in a short, doomed, emotionally abusive but somewhat lusty relationship with a freshwoman who had tickets to the show. I'd come down with a bad case of strep throat, and had planned to stay at home that night. But somewhere around 9 pm, the thought of this girl having fun without me, perhaps even meeting another guy, filled me with a grab bag of emotions familiar to those who have ever considered stalking someone. So I headed down to the Aragon on the El, bought a ticket at the door, and lurched toward the front of the crowd, where I knew she was. The look of loathing on her face when she saw me doesn't come to mind often, but it comes roaring back now. I spent the show trying to rock out and understand the fuss, but I was sick and my girlfriend was flinging hate, particularly when a series of racking coughs seized me and sent me to my knees. It wasn't a pleasant train ride home with her. And that is why I don't like the Pixies. --Neal Pollack, important American writer