THIS JOURNAL DOCUMENTS MY INTAKE OF ONE BOOK, ZINE, CD OR DVD A DAY. RATINGS ARE: ***** = Godhead, **** = Great, *** = Good, ** = Fair, * = Why Bother?

Sunday, June 1, 2008

loudQUIETloud (***)

loudQUIETloud: A Film About the Pixies
Directed by Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin, 2006, 82 minutes

I watched this for free Sunday night on Comcast On Demand. I never knew much about the Pixies, but people whose tastes I respected (Dave Cawley, Ray Cruitt) always raved about them. Plus Kurt Cobain famously said Nirvana was his attempt to rip off The Pixies. But the best description of this documentary, which covers their 2004 reunion tour (after having been together 1986-1992), may well be New York Times critic Nathan Lee: "Boring people who made extraordinary music, the Pixies are inexplicable. In attempting to demystify them, the directors Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin achieve the opposite."

I liked that the film wasn't overly ambotious, documenting one aspect of the band's career: the post fall-out, post-Kim Deal-rehab, reunion tour. And I loved the mundane, non-musical parts that answered the question, "What do rock stars do when they're not being idolized onstage?" They drink lots of coffee, smoke ciggies, listen to music, pursue their hobbies, have relationships and have kids, that's what!

Head Pixie Charles "Black Francis" Thompson reminded me a lot of Baltimore's dearly departed songwriting genius Mark "Harpo" Linthicum, though a lot more dour than Harpo. Kim Deal struck me as an obvious addictive personality. Though now "clean and sober," she constantly has societally-approved drugs at her side - she's always sipping a Starbucks latte, non-alcoholic brew or chain-smoking one butt after the other. Drummer David Lovering seemed nice but weak and directionless. He starts abusing substances like wine and Valium midway through the tour (perhaps understandably - he lost his father to cancer near the end of the tour) and gets lectured by the band. When Kim Deal tells him how hard it is to kick Valium dependency, David cracks wise at her, "Maybe I should just do heroin in that case." Touche!

But I think my fave Pixie is now lead guitarist Joey Santiago, not just because he's a gifted guitar player or comes across as the most even-keeled of the band's disparate personalities. But because I noticed he digs soccer. He wears the national team jersey of Italy's Azzuri in one scene, and a Brazil knit cap in another. (I subsequently read that he scored a soccer documentary for Nike called Blood, Sweat and Tears: Football in the Rough.) Plus he's a dead ringer for my former co-worker and all-around-cool-guy, Carlton Jackson. My man!

1 comment:

School Daze said...

New Video has partnered with the filmmakers of "loudQUIETloud: A Film about the Pixies" to make this popular music documentary available on iTunes. The film has already been an enormous success.

To watch, just click the link below and you will be straight to itunes for viewing!