Sean and Duncan Discover The Pixies — And More

by Bill Brenner on March 25, 2011

I’m in the long car line in front of the kids’ school this morning. Stuck in park, I put in The Pixies Greatest Hits. The intro to “The Bone Machine” fills the car and I start drumming on the steering wheel.

Mood music:


“Dad, how did you get so good?” Sean asks. I’m not very good, but to an almost 10-year-old it doesn’t take much to impress.

“I dunno. I guess it comes with listening to so much music all the time,” I tell him.

“Were you ever in a band?” Duncan asks. Yes I was, I tell him.

Both want to know what I did in said band. “I was the singer,” I tell them.

“Wooooow,” they say in unison.

“Can I tell my friends you were in a band?” Duncan asks. I tell him to knock himself out.

Sean notes that The Pixies’ Black Francis (or Frank Black, depending on what year it is) sounds “Mad.” Black Francis’s vocal style involves mainly screaming, which I personally find soothing.

“Were you mad when you were a singer?” Duncan asks.

“A little,” I tell him.

If they only knew how angry I was.

But the music that came out of that period served a purpose. I opted against the musician’s lifestyle. But it took my writing to the next level.

I enjoy it more now, because I’m not “mad” anymore.

But like Black Frances, I still enjoy a good scream once in awhile.

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