At Home He's a Tourist

He fills his head with culture/ He gives himself an ulcer.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Robert Christgau Words of the Day

pat·i·na n. 1. A thin greenish layer, usually basic copper sulfate, that forms on copper or copper alloys, such as bronze, as a result of corrosion. 2. The sheen on any surface, produced by age and use. 3. A change in appearance produced by long-standing behavior, practice, or use: a face etched with a patina of fine lines and tiny wrinkles.

gal·van·ic adj. 1. Of or relating to direct-current electricity, especially when produced chemically. 2. a. Having the effect of an electric shock: a galvanic revelation. b. Produced as if by an electric shock: The new leader had a galvanic effect on our morale.

fey adj. 1. a. Having or displaying an otherworldly, magical, or fairylike aspect or quality: “She's got that fey look as though she's had breakfast with a leprechaun” (Dorothy Burnham). b. Having visionary power; clairvoyant. c. Appearing touched or crazy, as if under a spell. 2. Scots.. a. Fated to die soon. b. Full of the sense of approaching death. (

Pixies [SpinArt, 2002]
Up until Doolittle in 1989, when the tunes blossomed, I pretty much missed this band. Put off by Black Francis's feyness, I sensed what is now clear, that he's a pomo sociophobe of a familiar and tedious sort. Where in retrospect his philosophical limitations seem harmless annoyances, they portended many regrettable developments in irony, junk culture, sexual eccentricity, and other folkways that deserved better. But that wasn't reason enough to resist the music. In such cases, the recommended m.o. is in the destructive element immerse--understand its attractions from the inside, the better to combat or, what fun, succumb to them. Now Surfer Rosa and the Come On Pilgrim EP seem audaciously funny and musically prophetic. I like the way the elements form a whole without coalescing, and the brushed-aluminum patina they got on their punk-pop-art-metal amalgam. I guess these nine Come On Pilgrim outtakes are a little looser and wilder than the stuff they put on the market, but in retrospect once again they're every bit as much a galvanic hoot. A- (


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home