Monday, March 13, 2006

SXSW Film: loudQUIETloud: A Film about the Pixies

I'm a big Pixies fan, have been since high school when they were still together. I never saw them live back then. Having heard how bad they sounded on the tour, I didn't want to see them open for U2. So it broke my heart when I heard that they had broken up. Not wanting to be disappointed again, I was wary of the reunion rumors until the shows were actually booked. I finally saw them at Austin City Limits Festival 2004 and it was pretty fuckin' amazing. In that post, I left out how I cried when they played "Velouria", though I'm not sure why as that song's not even in my top ten of Pixies songs. Music does funny things to you. I saw them two more time in Houston and Austin on their next go-round and it was better each time.

Anyway, I saw the world premiere of last night and it was fantastic. When directors Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin (Devil's Playground) heard the reunion rumors, they pitched the idea of filming it, along with many other suitors. They got the nod and so their cameras were present from the first rehearsal all the way through to the end of the first tour. Along the way they capture it all, the hesitant comradery, the disconcerting silences, the humor, the grief, and the blistering performances that made the band's reputation. loudQUIETloud is The Pixies, warts and all. It's an odd thing to see a band that barely communicates with each other offstage deliver so powerfully onstage. And they're not even mad at each other, they just don't seem to have a lot in common besides the music.

 loudQUIETloud directors Steven Cantor and Matthew Galkin at SXSW

Equally as strange is that this band, who was never that popular when they releasing albums, have continued to attract new fans. Every show filmed has a mix of fans from 16 to 40-years-old. I'd ascribe at least part of this continued legacy to the many bands that The Pixies inspired. loudQUIETloud opens with the quote from Kurt Cobain about "Smells Like Teen Spirit" being his attempt to write a Pixies song. One young fan in particular is featured, returning during the credits for a great payoff.

For any Pixies fan, the film is a must. It's a great document, just try to keep from twitching in your seat when they rip into "Something Against You" or "Cactus" or "UMass". For everyone else, it's hard to say. I can't really put myself in the mindset of someone who doesn't know of them.

Joey & David of The Pixies at SXSW

Joey and David were at the screening and answered questions afterward. Nothing too thrilling. As expected, they were mum on any future recording plans.

Finally, shoutout to my high school classmate Miles who is a roadie for the band and appears twice briefly. Too fucking cool.


  1. Oooh, I want to see that! I can totally die happy now that I've seen the Pixies (twice).

  2. i really want to see this movie now!

    and i'm also seriously jealous that you got to hear morrissey sing how soon is now. (i would have totally burst into tears.) he did shoplifters of the world once at a concert i saw, and i nearly fell out of my pants.

  3. "One young fan" :)