For years, I considered the Pixies to be my favorite band. I remember the first time I heard them in the Baltimore area. I was at my friend’s house that was not as suburban, more of a row home area. We skated all day, and then we stopped by this girl’s house. My friend bought weed from her, and we went back to his house and he put in Doolittle. I declined and did not smoke, but somehow hearing the Doolittle album and seeing drugs for the first time did mark for me a change from my childhood years.
The Pixies as a group had four albums: Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova, and Trompe Le Monde. This was in a three-year period from 1989 to 1991. I was probably introduced to the Pixies in 1991, and the first album I got was Doolittle, because that’s the one my friend had. I listened to it over and over, and somehow connected to the songs. Some of them are at a fast tempo, and Frank Black’s voice sometimes scratches, but for me it seemed more elaborate and unique compared to music in the genre ‘hardcore’ that a lot of skate friends listened to at the time. Quickly I got the other three cassettes I believe, and had them in heavy rotation for several years. Even after hip hop exploded in 1992 I had the Pixies in rotation. Somehow listening to them set me at ease. The Pixies had a huge following, but were not a mainstream band, so a lot of people then and now are not aware of them. Now with the Internet it’s easy enough to look them up.
Going into high school, I became obsessed with music. 92, 93, and 94 I spent a good portion of my allowance or McDonalds work money on music. Looking back it’s known for Nirvana, Pearl Jam, and the other Seattle based grunge music. Grunge music was huge but there was also sort of a layer of music beneath the mainstream that was really good music and was nationwide. I’ve heard somewhere that 89 to 95 is considered the golden age of hip hop, and I think a lot of sounds were being created then too. I think the Pixies, and hearing that sound that I connected with, was one influence to make me a music fan.
Teenagers are the main targets of music advertisers. I do connect with music once in awhile as an adult, but not as frequently. When the Pixies had a reunited tour in 2005 or 2006, it was the only concert I’ve been to that I knew all the lyrics. Yesterday on Pandora, I bought a song, to have in my permanent Itunes collection. I’ve had Pandora for several years, and that’s my first purchase. I live in NYC and with the exception of live cover bands I hardly ever pay to go to a music show.
I think every adult on the planet has stories of what songs wowed him or her in their teenage years. I think part of the impression is hearing a new sound for the first time. As an adult you’ve heard so much maybe it’s harder to be impressed by music. I think parents should encourage their kids to expand musically because it helps as an adult to be able to put songs on a jukebox for one’s friends. Even though the teenage years are special for everyone I think I lucked out to be that age when it was a creative time in music. Music and growing up skateboarding at that time was special.
My favorite song on Doolittle!
4 thoughts on “Pixies made me a music fan, and the early 90’s was special”
Great article Matt… 89 to 95 was a magic time for music: Tribe Called Quest, Jeff Buckley, Stone Temple Pilots, Blur, Tricky, Bjork, Soundgarden, Beastie Boys, etc, etc,etc…
Thanks Simon. When were you a DJ, you’ve told us stories about that, must have been a blast.
the Pixies meant a lot to me growing up too. come to my blog and vote for your all time favorite pixies song.
Thanks pblazin. Feel free to put the link to your pixies blog post. I looked at your site, but couldn’t find it.