I had been dating Nate for a while, it was pretty serious, he was the mac' to my 'roni, and we were in love. With each other, with music, with food, life, and, with... well..., discovering. But this is not about my lustful teenage escapades this is about a band.
Seeking independance and the kind of privacy teenagers are rarely afforded, he moved from the tiny bachelour pad that was his fathers apartment, to the 'shed'. And a 'shed' it was. We actually hauled firewood from inside to the porch to fit his double bed. It was musty, filled with spiders, and leaked a in places we learned not to put stereo equipment. We burned Nag Champa to combat the smell of wet wood and kerosene and made love like wild monkeys. The shed listed at a 45 degree angle, so everything rolled to the far end of the room and throughout the night we'd hoist each other back up towards the pillows and listen to the rain pound the corrogated ceiling. This musty litle moss covered wood shed was where we discovered ech other and 'The Pixies'.
The first listen was Surfer Rosa. I think Nate and I were equally in love with the topless flamenco dancer. I could stare at her perfect breast forever, the confidence in her pose the sex in her being, the sepia tone of the crusefix in the background. She was beauty. And Kim Deal, the pearl in the oyster. Her voice cut through the crunching guitars, the desperate cadence of Frank Black's lyrics and commanded attention. A chanteuse that could devour you as easily as she could seduce you. A woman who rocked with the boys, played bass and made no apologies.
Surfer Rosa, was the beginning but Doolittle was the end. Hands down one of the five albums I would take to space with me, or a dessert island or wherever you drop me to spend eternity doing nothing but listeneing to the same five albums. The truly great albums, are the ones our subconscious holds onto and memorizes note for note, and without thinking about it we can listen to it in it's entirety without actually hearing it... super deep I know, but Doolittle is one of those albums. It's catchy, angry, sexy, whisical, and gritty.
I'm not alone, it's not a rare B-side or the most obscure of their works, I don't own a T-shirt and I never saw them before they were big. I am sure I took my cue from Kurt Cobain's adoration of them, but I am steadfast in my love.
That night we were teenage girls, post-punk alterna godesses, not thirty year old women on the verge of becoming mothers and professionals, who had grown out of nose rings and manic panic. We were at a fucking Pixies show!
Twenty years after Doolittle is released, after that wood shed had washed away or become mildewed feed for a miriade of rain forest mosses and ferns, I found myself in the mezzanine of the Paramount theater, now living in Seattle. Oddly I was accompanied by a friend named Nate, no relation, but the coincidence was the catalyst for the story. I am nearly thirtyfive now and I am looking down to a flawless view of the Pixies.
They played every song from Doolittle, the ep's, the b-sides, the downtempo version of "wave of mutilation UK", the only reason to hold onto that Pump up the Volume soundtrack, besides that sexy Arron Nevill track. Below us a new generation of angsty youth moshing and sweating, hanging onto every refrain, crying the lyrics without fail. I was seated high above the crowd in seats grown-ups get, seats where you can hear the acoustics and smell the doobage being exhaled amongst the crowd. A friend had hooked me up with the tickets hours before the show. The whole evening was a surreal fold in time where you skip out of work early, throw on something cute without appearing that you're clinging to your youth, throw back a couple of fifteen dollar Manhattans (I didn't know till I got the bill..Damn you Ruth Chris!!), and all of a sudden you're sitting in the good seats , watching a band that you have been intimate with and intimate with others with for the last twenty years. They aren't over the hill, they haven't dialed it in, watered it down. They haven't gone from KEXP to the Mountain. And unlike other bands that chastise their fans for wanting to hear the songs they love, they embraced it, they rocked it, they regaled in it and for a band who spent half of that twenty years not speaking to each other, they too loved it. And I, like every soul in that theater was enraptured, listening to Doolittle for the first time the thousandth time and nary the last time. This monkey had gone to heaven.