field hockey

field hockey

Pixies-"Gigantic" from Surfer Rosa

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Surfer Rosa is the first full-length album by Pixies, released in March 1988. A number of music magazines have positioned Surfer Rosa as one of the quintessential alternative rock albums of the 1980s and is consistently placed as one of the best albums of the 1980s in any genre. Before the release of Pixies' debut mini-album Come on Pilgrim in October 1987, Ivo Watts-Russell, head of 4AD Records, suggested they return to the studio to record a full length album. Due to differences between the band's manager Ken Goes and producer Gary Smith, Pixies ended up looking for a new producer and recording studio. Watts-Russell looked to hire Steve Albini as the record's engineer and producer. Albini used unusual recording techniques. For Kim Deal's backing vocals in "Where Is My Mind?" and her lead vocals on "Gigantic", Albini moved the studio equipment and recorded in a studio bathroom to achieve real, rather than studio, echo. With "Something Against You", Albini filtered Black Francis' voice through a guitar amp for "a totally ragged, vicious texture." "I'm Amazed" begins with Deal recounting a story in which one of her former teachers who was "into field hockey players" was discreetly fired. Francis finishes Deal's sentences, joking that her response to hearing of the teacher's activities was to try and join the team. Surfer Rosa's lyrical content includes examinations of mutilation and incest in "Break My Body" and "Broken Face", while references to superheroes appear on "Tony's Theme". Voyeurism appears in "Gigantic", and surrealistic lyrics are featured on "Bone Machine" and "Where Is My Mind?". Puerto Rico references and Spanish lyrics are found on the tracks "Oh My Golly!" and "Vamos." "Cactus" is narrated by a prison inmate who requests his girlfriend smear her dress with blood and mail it to him. "Gigantic" is an "unabashed praise song to a well-endowed black man". Francis was inspired to write "Where Is My Mind?" after scuba diving in the Caribbean. He later said he had "this very small fish trying to chase me. I don't know why—I don't know too much about fish behavior." Many of the themes explored on previous recordings are revisited on Surfer Rosa; however, unlike on the band's later albums, the songs in Surfer Rosa are not preoccupied with one overarching topic. Surfer Rosa's cover artwork features a photograph of a topless "friend of a friend" of the band, posing as a flamenco dancer, pitched against a wall which displays a crucifix and a torn poster. Simon Larbalestier, who contributed pictures to all Pixies album sleeves, decided to build the set because "we couldn't find the atmosphere we wanted naturally." Black Francis came up with the idea for the cover. According to Melody Maker, the album was originally entitled "Gigantic" after Deal's song, but the band feared misinterpretation of the cover and changed it to "Surfer Rosa." The music press reviews of Surfer Rosa were generally positive. Q wrote that "what sets the Pixies apart are their sudden bursts of memorable pop melody," and noted that "they could have a bright future ahead of them." NME said "they force the past to sound like them"; awarding them nine and a half stars out of ten. Underground magazine, gave the album 22⁄3/3, calling the songs "well crafted, well delivered sketches which embrace commercial ideals as well as bizarre left-field out of control moments". Robert Christgau gave the album a B rating, and remarked that the band were "by consensus the Amerindie find of the year," and that the album featured "guitar riffs you actually notice." Spin described it as "beautifully brutal," and named Pixies as their musicians of the year. Both Surfer Rosa and Albini's production of the album have been influential on alternative rock. Kurt Cobain cited Surfer Rosa as the basis for Nevermind's songwriting. When he first heard the album, Cobain discovered a template for the mix of heavy noise and pop he was aiming to achieve. He remarked in...