Pixies Want YOU To Design A Poster

The PixiesWith the release of Indie City, their first studio album in over 20 years, Pixies (officially Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and David Lovering) are tapping their fan base for some creative contributions. Specifically, the revered alt rock pioneers are looking for a poster design, measuring 11×17 and including the Pixies logo and the album title. One design will be selected by the band to be used as “a limited-edition, commemorative lithograph print that will be offered as a bonus item with the purchase of the band’s new album at independent music stores.” The winner will get $500 and an autographed copy of the poster.

Get your design in by April 10th. Look here.

Indie City will be out in time for Record Store Day on April 19th (official release date is a week later) and compiles material from two recent EPs plus three new songs.

More like this:
The Pixies Release Another Surprise EP
The Pixies: New Bassist, New Video, New Tour Dates
Kim Shattuck Opens Up About Firing From The Pixies

Primavera Sound Festival Announces Arcade Fire, Nine Inch Nails, Pixies, And More

Primavera soundPrimavera Sound Festival has revealed its 2014 lineup, which boasts over 15 headliners including Arcade Fire, Neutral Milk Hotel, The Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, and Kendrick Lamar. Taking place May 29th to 31st in Barcelona, the lineup will also include Chvrches, Haim, and Nine Inch Nails, in what is sure to be one of the city’s loudest nights. Check out the full lineup below.


The Pixies Release Another Surprise EP

pixiesEveryone’s favorite reunited-for-the-money-but-who-cares-they’re-awesome rockers The Pixies have certainly learned something about staying in the news. In remarkably well-timed intervals, the OG college rockers lost their founding bassist, replaced the bassist, released a surprise EP, fired the replacement, hired a re-replacement, and have now released another surprise EP.

EP2 is another four-song set, featuring the titles Blue-Eyed Hexe, Magdalena, Greens and Blues, and Snakes. Like its predecessor, it’s available via download from the band’s website as well as a limited vinyl edition.

Frontman Frank Black suggests that the track Greens and Blues is a spiritual successor to the band’s classic Gigantic, a song sung by ex-bassist Kim Deal: It was my attempt to come up with another song that would “ musically, emotionally and psychologically “ sit in the same place that ˜Gigantic’ has sat, he says. Not that I could ever replace that song: you write songs and they come out the way they come out. So perhaps it can be said that this song fills the emotional niche that ˜Gigantic’ occupied, another show-closer. I think the lyric alludes to that, the fact that it’s the end of the night, the end of something. And a separation if you will, between the band and the audience. So I guess it’s kind of a goodbye song, or really more of a ˜good night’ song.

Check out “Blue-Eyed Hexe” below:

Kim Shattuck Opens Up About Firing From The Pixies

Everyone still in the Pixies, please take one step back.

Everyone still in the Pixies, please take one step back.

In a new interview with the NME, Kim Shattuck, who was hired and fired from the Pixies in the span of a few months, reveals more about getting axed by the band’s manager just a day after returning from a European tour.

“I was surprised. Everything had gone well, the reviews were all good and the fans were super-nice about everything. They were like, ‘We love you, New Kim!’,” she says. “We said goodbye at the airport and the following morning the manager called me and said: ‘The band has made the decision to go with another bass player.’ I was shocked.”
She goes on to speculate that her extroverted nature clashed too much with the notoriously reserved Pixies, known for their zero tolerance stage banter policy, aside from the occasional “thanks a lot.” Shattuck cited one show during which she got excited and jumped into the crowd, and was admonished afterward that “…the Pixies don’t do that.”
However, Shattuck does not bear a grudge toward Frank Black and his band mates: “I would have preferred it if they told me face to face as a group, but they’re nice people. I’m still a fan of the Pixies!”
As we told you recently, the band has hired a new bassist, Paz Lenchatin, and will be embarking on a pretty huge tour in 2014. Shattuck has said that she’s looking forward to working on a new Muffs album.

Riot Fest Chicago Adds The Pixies, Andrew WK, and More

Riot Fest Chicago, otherwise known as the most exciting fall festival in the midwest, has added a slew of new bands to their already exciting lineup.

Released along with a new, more complete poster, the latest additions to Riot Fest Chicago include Pixies, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Suicidal Tendencies, Andrew W.K., Hatebreed, T.S.O.L., Off With Their Heads, The Flatliners, Nativ, Hostage Calm, The Interrupters, New Beat Fund and Pet Symmetry.

Regrettably, due to unforeseen circumstances, Motí¶rhead, Bad Brains, and Attack Attack! had to cancel their performances. Motí¶rhead has postponed their 2013 touring till 2014, so look for them back and rocking Chicago then.

You can view the entire show flyer below. (more…)

Shake & Quake


MSF hails from Boston, so it’s not surprising one of their biggest influences is the seminal post-punk Beantown band, the Pixies. You can hear that influence best in their dark and cheeky track, Oven Head. Over piercing guitars that sound like they were recorded in a silo, David Michaels intones, That’s all I want, to die. Like the Pixies, the music is galvanizing, fitful and manic, but Michaels’ adenoidal croon brings an element of Elvis Costello to the mix. Oven Head is the sound of unraveling, but on the catchy Walking Jealousy frothy guitars and galloping, polyrhythmic drums lighten the mood. Who cares if you can’t decipher what the chorus is (We haven’t got our keys? We’ve all forgot our drinks?)? Your body will move regardless of what your brain understands.

Europa Vs. Foo Fighters

The Foo Fighters have been one of the most commercially successful and recognizable hard rock bands of the last decade and a half. However, despite all their success in the mainstream world, they are still well respected by critics and serious music fans alike. The band holds just as much clout in underground communities as they do among the casual music listener. Forming right after the untimely passing of Kurt Cobain and the dissolution of Nirvana, Dave Grohl and company are one of the few bands who have been able to evolve over the years and be able to continue their success after the grunge explosion in the ’90s. The key to their sound has always been their ability to seamlessly meld hard rock agression with big, arena-ready hooks. And here at OurStage we have a similar group that strives to continue this aesthetic, Europa.

OurStage's Europa

Foo Fighters







The Foo Fighters comparison is easily heard on Europa’s track “Same Old Song.” The first thing you will notice when listening to this song is that Europa’s lead singer Ryan Valiente’s voice shares an uncanny similarity to that of Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl. Take a listen to Foo Fighters’ song “No Way Back” and then listen to “Same Old Song” right after. If you didn’t know which song belonged to which band, it would honestly be difficult to differentiate between the two singers. Not only are both these songs really similar vocally, but they also share many similarities in more subtle areas; both songs share similar tempos, guitar tones, styles of riffs and drum patterns.


Neuman's Own: Music About Food Gains Some Weight

In the two weeks since it’s been posted, Vegan Black Metal Chef: Episode 1 Pad Thai has been viewed over one million times. Ostensibly a parody of cooking culture today, the viral video surprisingly doesn’t play out like much of a punch line. It’s unclear how many of the one million viewings have lasted the duration of the fourteen-minute long video, but for those who do make it past nine minutes of shtick, it’s easy to forget, for example, when Black Metal Chef slices a tomato with a dagger.  And that’s precisely the point”the vid isn’t intended to be received as just a comedy sketch, but as the first in an ongoing series. According to the Why Vegan? section of the Vegan Black Metal Chef Web site, Veganism is perhaps the most beneficial non spiritual (and sometimes spiritual) thing you can do. At the end of the Web site mission statement are three embedded PETA vids, one about KFC’s main ingredient (cruelty) narrated by a suitably somber-for-the-occasion Pamela Anderson.

If you allow me to digress for a moment: With so much lip flapping about organic, bio-tech, locally-grown, cholesterol-lowering, cancer-inducing foods, our popular culturehas (not surprisingly) become very serious about food. It’s a strange turn since just a generation ago food seemed like a funny thing. Think of the pie that Soupy Sales used to throw into the faces of the unsuspecting guest or John Belushi yelling food fight! in Animal House. Food, for one reason or another, was shorthand for the mundane, the lowbrow.  And yes, that extended to the culture’s popular music. Going back to the cover of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass Band’s Whipped Cream And Other Delights (A&M, 1965) with its cream-covered model to Iggy Pop’s 1977 track Dog Food (1977) to REO Speedwagon’s You Can Tune a Piano, But You Can’t Tuna Fish (Epic/Legacy, 1978), food signifiers functioned to make it clear when a musician wasn’t taking his work too seriously.  The everyday nature of food was a counter-weight to anyone attributing lofty (nay, artistic) intentions to a music-maker.

The trend continued through the ’80s, perhaps reaching its crescendo with Weird Al Yankovic’s The Food Album (Rock ˜n Roll, 1993), a compilation of ten previously released songs about sustenance. There was My Bologna (a parody of My Sharona), Addicted to Spuds (Addicted to Love) and, of course, the song that might have been the first to put him on the map, Eat It (Beat It), which began with the refrain: How come you’re always such a fussy young man?/Don’t want no Cap’n’ Crunch/ Don’t want no Raisin Bran/ Don’t you know that other kids are starving in Japan?/So eat it, just eat it

What all of this music had in common was the way it positioned food as part of larger cultural jokes, and in the case of Yankovic, as a tried and true punchline. But today, amidst the serious business of raising food consciousness, food’s role in popular music has changed. Reflecting what’s gone on in the larger society, its invocations feel much weightier.

Just a small sample serving illustrates the point. Think of R. Kelly’s The Chocolate Factory (Jive, 2003), which invoked food to riff dangerously close to the singer’s alleged sexual propensities and, perhaps in a nod to Dahl’s masterpiece, to reference childhood fantasies (the singer was eventually acquitted in a child pornography case that lasted six years). Or Matthew Herbert’s Plat Du Jour (Accidental, 2005), a veritable sonic Fast Food Nation, which samples real-life nature snippets like chickens being prepared for slaughter and weaves them into songs.

Meanwhile, indie rockers are taking the food movement as seriously in the twenty-first century as their predecessors took the Civil Rights Movement in the twentieth. TakeKara Zuaro’s 2007 cookbook I Like Food, Food Tastes Good: In the Kitchen With Your Favorite Bands or Kay Bozich Owens and Lynn Owens’ 2008 Lost in the Supermarket: An Indie Rock Cookbook (Soft Skull). If that’s not enough Steve Albini, member of iconic acts Big Black and Rapeman and producer of such legendary acts as Nirvana, the Pixies and PJ Harvey, has just launched his own food blog.

Vegan Black Metal Chef could only come about in a culture that takes food as seriously as ours. Watch the video yourself and you will undoubtedly find yourself chuckling aloud when the demonically-clad chef inadvertently drops too much tamarind into his serving bowl and snarls, I hate it when that happens, but the context couldn’t be more serious.  In the words of VBMC, Most animals raised for food live in what I would consider a darker hell than one even I could ever imagine¦. I could go on and on with this, but I will just post some videos instead. The message couldn’t be clearer: even in the world of a dark, rubber-clad vegan offering up cooking tips, food is no laughing matter.

Fantastic Voyage

Ex Norwegian

Ex Norwegian is one of those wily bands that makes categorization impossible. In the one instant you’ve decided their ethereal melodies sound like The Beatles, they leap into frenzied post-punk that has Pixies written all over it. But that protean approach to songwriting is the root of the Ex Norwegian’s appeal. The Miami-based band unfurls a magic carpet ride for each song. Turn Left begins in a joyful jangle that sounds like Buddy Holly’s Not Fade Away meets Kenny Loggins’ Footloose. Bluesy rock is traded for whirls of keys in Sky Diving, arguably the band’s sweetest and most British melody. Then there’s the outcrop of distorted, jutting guitars in Fujeira In My Dreams that sounds like Black Francis fronting the Shins. Not confused enough? Put on the willfully inane Dance Trance Pants for wah-wah guitars and a cello. The mind melt is unavoidable, and totally fun. Roll with it, baby.

Discourse & Dischord

The Good

Christian Bale dances to Gaga

Don’t know about you, but all that oil spill footage had us in a deep, greasy funk this week. So it’s nice to get some levity, especially when it comes from an unexpected source such as the perpetually cranky Christian Bale. Watch this clever mash-up of Bale circa the 1992 Disney musical Newsies dancing to Lady Gaga’s Bad Romance. Yes, it’s another Gaga video. We promise we’ll stop. Right after we tell you about this one starring babies dancing to Telephone. There, done.

The Bad

Chris Brown denied visa to UK

Chris Brown

Days before his UK tour was set to begin, Chris Brown was notified this week that his application for a visa had been rejected due to his February assault conviction stemming from a fight with ex-girlfriend Rihanna. The UK Home Office reserves the right to deny entry to anyone guilty of a criminal offense. Brown indulged in a little pity party in the Twitterverse after hearing the news, writing, U ever feel like the storm clouds are too thick for any sunshine to get through? [sic]. We would feel sorry for him if not for, you know, that whole oil spill thing going on. And every other thing happening in the world.

Gorillaz and Pixies pull out of Tel Aviv music festival

First it was Elvis Costello, now Gorillaz and Pixies have canceled their appearances at a Tel Aviv music festival after Israeli forces attacked ships bringing aid to Gaza, resulting in nine deaths. Costello’s wife, chanteuse Diana Krall, is still scheduled to perform this summer.

The Ugly

Lady Gaga debuts Alejandro video, ruffles feathers across America

Remember that time we said were done with Lady Gaga videos? Kidding! This one is the latest from the woman herself, and it’s a doozey. The concept is sort of all over the place, but in a nutshell it’s about gay men in fishnets and bowl cuts simulating sex with Gaga. Oh, and she wears a nun’s habit and eats a rosary, too. If you listen closely, you can hear the message boards on Fox News screaming.

Kanye West’s car stolen, totaled

Kanye West

Looks like Kanye West’s black Porsche Panamera was stolen in Honolulu and crashed into a house shortly thereafter. We anticipate an explosion of caps on West’s blog in 3 ¦ 2 ¦ 1 ¦