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Pixies is a seminal and extremely influential alternative rock music group. They formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1986 and disbanded in 1993, then reunited in 2004. Pixies' music sold in modest figures in their home, the United States, but they were significantly more successful in Europe. Their impact is far larger than their sales would suggest.
Black Francis a.k.a. Frank Black (real name Charles Thompson) (vocals, guitar), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), Kim Deal (bass guitar, vocals), and David Lovering (drums) have been the group's continual members. Their melodic music is distinctive, but draws upon elements of punk, with occasional touches of surf music and other genres.
Francis was the group's primary songwriter and singer; with a distinctly desperate, yowling delivery, he typically wrote cryptic songs about offbeat subjects, such as unidentified flying objects and surrealism. Violent Biblical imagery and references to mental instability, physical injury, and incest also feature highly in much of his work. Deal contributed songs as well, and her often feathery voice acted as an oddly effective counterbalance to Francis (Incidentally, the then-married Deal was credited as "Mrs. John Murphy" on the first two Pixies records).
Musically, it has been argued that Pixies were ahead of their time. Right at the moment they were imploding, Nirvana was recording Nevermind, the album that would break alternative rock into the mainstream. There are substantial parallels between the two groups' sounds and Kurt Cobain was known to have been a fan—in fact, in a Rolling Stone interview he claimed "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was his failed attempt to write a Pixies song. The soft verse-loud chorus clement of several Pixies' songs became a regular feature in Grunge. This comment, allied with similar tributes by other Grunge bands, generated a retrospective interest in Pixies from the mainstream music buying public.
The band are currently working on their first album in over a decade and have tentative plans to release new material some time in 07/08
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