Saturday, March 14, 2009


Pixies. Ana.

The Pixies, Forefathers of Grunge, were one of those things that helped me through the last two excruciating years of my student career. I first got to know them by watching MTV where - IIRC - the first hit to make it on my radar was Here comes your man, from the album Doolittle. It was an easy listen but made no big impression on me. Only about one year later I got to know how much potential this Massachusetts-born band had (it originated in Boston in 1986), since I found myself with a roommate, a guy from Antwerp, who was an early Pixies aficionado. Via him I got to know the albums Come on Pilgrim, Surfer Rosa and especially Bossanova, imho their best album. Perhaps not surprisingly, Bossanova was the album in which frontman Black Francis assumed almost total control. From it I drew Ana, for its sheer textual simplicity and crystalline sound, but there are several other darn good songs. I'm told that Pixies reunited again in 2004, even with the original crew - Black Francis, Joey Santiago, Kim Deal and David Lovering. If so, I'm sorry to have failed to notice any new material. Ana's video is amazingly good, and you know how that comes - George Bush the First was POTUS.

Great music from a weird, short lived UK band, The Babys. What one could call a three hit wonder. I suppose Mark formerly from Colorado would label Everytime I think of you and Isn't it time as cheesy songs, possibly stinky cheesy songs (although I can stomach them), but Piece of the Action might find mercy even with our number crunching man who programs in Microsoft Access for Databases for fun and for free.

Yes I know, singer John Waite looks like an androgynous wimp. Live with it.

Time for an great musician, the film and theater music composer Philip Glass. Perhaps what mostly rings a bell are the themes he wrote for Koyaanisqatsi and Powwaqatsi, and more recently for The Hours. He also performs with his own group, the Philip Glass Ensemble. For this "Saturday Nights..." I chose a little known theme from the war movie Hamburger Hill, honoring the sacrifices of a battalion of the 101st Airborne during the assault on Hill 937 in the Ashau Valley in Vietnam, in 1969. The video shows the first eight minutes of that film. When the theme's gone, skip the rest. Or not. Whatever. Hamburger Hill wasn't too bad, at least less melodramatic than Platoon.


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