Pixies @ Aragon Ballroom - Nov 20, 2009 (jjohnson1120)
Pixies

When a group of revered and influential rockers come back together after a decade of acrimonious separation and/or inactivity, all but the most hard-hearted punks can grant them one lap around the reunion circuit playing the old should-have-been-hits, if only to collect the accolades and the cash that probably eluded them the first time.

Boston's proto-alternative quartet the Pixies took that victory lap in 2004. Now, while they remain popular enough to play three nights at the Aragon Ballroom [in Chicago]--Friday and Saturday sold out, though Thursday only was about half full--it's hard to consider them anything but a cynical corporation cashing in on blatant nostalgia--a hipper version of Creedence Clearwater Revisited or Journey and whoever is singing with that group these days.

Bandleader Black Francis, bassist Kim Deal, guitarist Joey Santiago and drummer David Lovering have had nearly five years during their second act to prove that they are once again a vital, vibrant and forward-moving creative unit. Instead, absent even the whiff of a new album, the twist they've put on their latest tour is that it's the 20th anniversary celebration of "Doolittle," their second and best studio album, and an epic of free-associated weirdness, twisted sexual imagery and religious symbolism.
[Jim DeRogatis @ Chicago Sun Times] (via)

The Pixies are popular enough to play FOUR shows in NYC (actual capacity comparisons aside), though like in Chicago one show (the LATE one) is not sold out (yet?). That run begins tonight (Monday, 11/23). Black Gold opens the show (instead of Bad Lieutenant).

In related news, Jim DeRogatis just released a book on the Velvet Underground.