Live Recordings: ‘Gouge Away’/’Is She Weird?’ Pixies (1990)

Comment below the video from Einzack : “The video is taken from a newly surfaced pro-shot from Vredenburg, Utrecht, The Netherlands (1990-09-25). The audio is taken from the Death To The Pixies live disc which was from the same concert. The audio on the video is not of a quality of the official release so I synched the two sources up.”

Three seconds before the two-minute mark, to live inside that guitar sound … Kim Deal’s “ooh-ooh" and "sha-la-la” and the final cheerful “thanks a lot” so out of synch with the preceding music, basically the whole thing. I love the green video with the numbers scrolling on the screen. Now, I haven’t listened to “guitar-based music” for such a long time as I try shake off those scales, so I’m far from an expert here, but few nasty-guitar bands since have been able to evoke the deep Romanticism of being tied to the rack/the raft and essential, pure emotion as the Pixies, let alone the sexiness of it all.

Something to be thankful for, especially now as white America eats itself; but then, if the US could spawn a band the calibre of the Pixies with their own indescribable sensibility, all is not lost surely?  

Gouge away
You can gouge away
Stay all day
If you want to

Chained to the pillars
A three day party
I break the walls
And kill us all
With holy fingers

Gouge away
You can gouge away
Stay all day
If you want to

Apparently, this song is about Samson/Delilah, I adore the way Black Francis adds the demure “if you want to” after all the blood and gore, and angst and all the rest. He is such a wonder.  

Arguably Pixies were better live than on record, this is true with “Is She Weird?” a song that sounds so denuded on the studio version. These two live versions are both great, starting with this one “live in the studio” (1990) where Black Francis stands so straight and earnest to sing, looking upward like an angel in a Rococo painting.  

And this song has some of the greatest lines, sung so seriously, the unusual paired compliment: “Your mind is fancy (and your car is bitchin')” and later when he sings, ever so earnest, “no more of this girl cryin'/I’m here, your big man/you're mine” it kills me every time.

This version recorded by the BBC is much cleaner and pretty special as well.