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Pixies
Hollywood Holidays - The Classic 1991 Radio Broadcast
Chrome Dreams

Pixies are one of my all time favourite bands. From the very first time I heard them (back in 1987/88) they punched my chest, knocked my ears out, and kicked my head in. Their high octane, energetic and highly intense form of rock music, but not rock as we knew it (the brutal "Rock Music" was in fact a track on their Bossanova album). This was the alternative version. Tagged alternative rock. Despite their (often) aggressive sound, they had extremely catchy songs, and Black Francis was a creative and fascinating, and often quite bizarre wordsmith and storyteller. Hollywood Holidays is, as the sub title implies, a collection of their live recorded set broadcasted by KCRW FM. The live show took place at the Hollywood Palladium in Los Angeles in December 1991, just a few months after they'd released their 4th and final album, Trompe le Monde.

Pixies was (and still is) a breathtaking experience. They were a groundbreaking band, and a band that inspired (still inspires) a lot of bands and artists. Over the years since their break-up in 1993, they have gained popularity, and several of their albums - including the classic and fantastic debut mini-LP Come on Pilgrim - figure regularly on 'Best Album' lists. Their 2004 reunion resulted in sold-out world tours. A number of "best-of's" and "rest-of's" has appeared: Death to the Pixies (1997), which was their first best-of; the radio session compilation Pixies at the BBC (1998); the B-compilation Complete 'B' Sides (2001); Wave of Mutilation: Best of Pixies (2004). Not to forget the mastodontish (or mammothic) box-set Minotaur (2009) - a coffee table box sort of, being a coffee table itself, as it was a luxury and heavy-weight release. In addition to this they've put out quite a number of limited edition live recordings throughout their 2004/2005 tour programme. And now, here's Hollywood Holidays, another collection of Pixies caught live. Alive, and kicking.

A fine, and indeed impressive line of songs tumble out; here's 23 tracks collected. Classics, favourites, stellar stuff. "Alec Eiffel", "Gouge Away", "Velouria", "Wave Of Mutilation", "Planet Of Sound", "Distance Equals Rate Times Time", "Monkey Gone To Heaven", "Lovely Day". It's not surprising that the majority of the tracks come from Trompe le Monde (13 songs altogether), since this was the tour promoting that album. Only one track is picked from Come On Pilgrim namely "Ed Is Dead" (I miss "Vamos" and "The Holiday Song"). Here's 3 tracks off Bossanova, and here's 4 tracks lifted from Doolittle (even though they skipped key track "Debaser"...!!?). But, HEY, here's not a single track from Surfer Rosa!? You must be f*****g joking me! No "Bone Machine", no "Broken Face", no "Where Is My Mind?", no "Gigantic", no "Oh My Golly!", no "Vamos"!!! This is a BIG mystery to me. Anyway, strangely enough single b-sides "Manta Ray" and "Dancing The Manta Ray" have both been included. Well, despite the Surfer Rosa void, it's quite cool to get an idea of what Pixies sounded like at the height of their career. I didn't get the chance to see them live then, and I didn't see them when reuniting back in 2004 either. When the Pixies now, in 2013, takes on an European tour, it seems like I will miss the chance for the third time. Well, since Kim Deal left the band on June 14th this year, I'm quite ok with it. The real Pixies unit is no longer a whole.

PS!I noticed a small, but important detail when listening though Hollywood Holidays: Black Francis thanks Pere Ubu for lending them the very talented keyboard and synthetics specialist Eric Drew Feldman. Pere Ubu is quite clearly one of the bands that inspired the young Black Francis (a.k.a. Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV, or simply Franck Black) to enter the alternative music world of 'Modern Rock', along with Captain Beefheart, Hüsker Dü, to name but a few.

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You may also want to check out our Pixies articles/reviews: Death To The Pixies, Head Carrier, Indie Cindy, Pixies, The Complete B Sides.

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