Blue Plate Special: The Pixies

In the summer of 1988, I was listening to euro-techno and dance music (mostly Ultravox and Depeche Mode) and was in a musical funk, wanting something different. I wandered into Salamander Records on Center Street in Provo and was chatting with the co-owner, Sue, about needing a change. Sue and her husband were punk fans and occasionally had local bands play in their shop on summer evenings. She asked “Have you heard the new Pixies album? I think you’ll live it.” I had never heard of them, but on her recommendation, purchased the cassette for Surfer Rosa and instantly became a fan.

The PixiesThe Pixies, an iconic American alternative rock band, originated in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1986. Initially, the lineup comprised Black Francis (vocals, rhythm guitar, and songwriter), Joey Santiago (lead guitar), Kim Deal (bass, vocals), and David Lovering (drums). Their signature sound included elements of punk rock, surf rock, and the innovative “loud-quiet-loud” dynamic. The band’s primary songwriter, Francis (Frank Black), penned lyrics touching on unconventional themes such as aliens, biblical violence, and incest. Despite disbanding in 1993 amidst tensions, they reunited in 2004. Following Kim Deal’s exit in 2013, Kim Shattuck briefly joined, followed by Paz Lenchantin, who became a full member in 2016.

Notably, the Pixies’ influence is evident in the work of Nirvana, Radiohead, the Smashing Pumpkins, and Weezer. Their popularity surged post-breakup, leading to reunion tours and four additional albums. The band’s formation can be traced back to the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where Santiago and Francis met. After various auditions and lineup experiments, the band solidified with the addition of Deal and Lovering. Their debut release, “Come on Pilgrim,” was followed by critically acclaimed albums “Surfer Rosa” and “Doolittle.” Tensions within the group after “Doolittle” led to a brief hiatus, after which they released “Bossanova” and “Trompe le Monde” before their initial split in 1993. The Pixies’ distinct style combined various influences, making them a seminal act in the alternative rock genre.

Here are some of my favorites from their extensive catalog:

Where Is My Mind? – from the album Surfer Rosa (1988)


Planet of Sound – from the album Trompe le Monde (1991)


Wave of Mutilation – from the album Doolittle (1989)


Velouria – from the album Bossanova (1990)


Gigantic – from the album Surfer Rosa (1988)


U-Mass – from the album Trompe le Monde (1991)


Magdalena – from the album Indie Cindy (2014)


The Holiday Song – from the album Come on Pilgrim (1987)


Here Comes Your Man – from the album Doolittle (1989)

All I Think About Now – from the album Head Carrier (2016)

Christian Buckley

Christian is a Microsoft Regional Director and M365 Apps & Services MVP, and an award-winning product marketer and technology evangelist, based in Silicon Slopes (Lehi), Utah. He is the Director of North American Partner Management for leading ISV Rencore (, leads content strategy for TekkiGurus, and is an advisor for both revealit.TV and WellnessWits. He hosts the monthly #CollabTalk TweetJam, the weekly #CollabTalk Podcast, and the Microsoft 365 Ask-Me-Anything (#M365AMA) series.

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  1. October 17, 2023

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