Spin Doctor and album reviews
IT has been a bit of a Pixies period, what with the announcement that the Boston band is doing four shows at this year’s Vivid Live festival in Sydney in May. Now comes news of a new album, the first since the much-revered outfit released Trompe le Monde in 1991. The 12 tracks won’t come as too much of a surprise to seasoned Pixies aficionados, however, since they featured on the three EPs — EP1, EP2 and EP3 — released during the past six months. Indie Cindy, as it is called, was recorded in Wales in 2012 with producer Gil Norton, who worked with the band on previous albums Trompe le Monde, Doolittle and Bossanova. Keeping with tradition, the artwork for the album was created by graphic artist Vaughan Oliver, who designed all of their previous covers. The 2014 line-up consists of singer-guitarist Black Francis, drummer David Lovering, guitarist Joey Santiago and new touring bass player Paz Lenchantin. Original Pixies bassist Kim Deal left the band last year, just six days into the new recording project. Lovering said this week the decision to make more music after a long lay-off came four years ago, the last time the Pixies appeared in Australia. “New music seemed like something we just had to do,” said Lovering. “We just couldn’t continue to go out and tour without anything new. So the talk evolved into writing and recording, and we’re all very happy with the way everything worked out.” The album is released on April 25, with a two-disc vinyl edition available as a limited edition to coincide with International Record Store Day on April 19. WHILE we’re on a Vivid Live tangent, also added to the Sydney festival bill this week was American singer and former Fugee Lauryn Hill. It’s the Grammy award-winning performer’s first appearance in Australia. Hill, whose landmark 1998 album The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill has sold more than eight million copies, spent three months in a US prison last year for tax evasion. There were reports this week of a further rumble with the Internal Revenue Service, but this was quickly shot down by her publicist. The singer will also perform in Melbourne and Fremantle in May. MOVING to Victoria, SD has been thumbing through the new document Music Victoria: Position and Priorities, a 19-point recommendation to the Victorian government on how it might improve the state’s music scene. Among the ideas set forth by Music Victoria chief executive and former music scribe Patrick Donovan for the next four years is to rename streets after famous performers, as has already been put in place in Melbourne’s AC/DC Lane. Minogue Avenue perhaps? Tina Arena Alley? Ross Wilson Boulevard? Anything is possible. The report follows Sydney’s similar initiative last year, the 74-page Live Music Matters, Planning for Live Music and Performance in Sydney, which suggested, among other things, that noise complaints be assessed by people trained to assess and determine offensive noise. One wonders how that program is coming along. HAPPY birthday tomorrow to Eric Clapton (69), Tracy Chapman (50), Celine Dion (46) and Norah Jones (35).
The Pixies’ Black Francis, left, David Lovering and Joey Santiago