My British Columbian connection has come through for me, and I can officially announce my return visit to The Coov in April. Why? Because I've got a ticket to see THE PIXIES. (ideally, this sentence should be punctuated by me slamming my locker door.) Perhaps it's a sort of in appropriately adolescent thing for a man of my advanced age, traveling across the border to see a reuinted rock bad, but I have a special sepia-toned place in my heart for this band. I know they'll make it to NYC eventually, but I don't think I could live with the shame of getting sold out for tickets and missing one of my favorite bands while they crunched on guitar chords right in my own backyard. Plus, let's be honest: in a contest between The Pixies in Vancouver vs. the The Pixies in NYC, I would give The Coov the decided advantage. The New York dates will be crowded and jaded, and those Canadians sure know how to enjoy things in earnest. (canadians consider vancouver audiences fairly jaded but, having witnessed several audiences there myself, they have nothing on new york city. this is a town where people will spend three months bragging about an upcoming show, and then spend the entire concert staring the band blank-faced, with arms folded.)
The only other time I saw The Pixies was 1989, on their Doolittle tour. (that comment could be interpreted two ways, depending on whether you're a "half-full glass" type person or a "fuck you for trying to establish your indie cred" type person. have fun.) Some friends and I drove nearly two hours to Syracuse University, where the band entertained no more than 200-250 enthusiastic college freshmen. This was back when The Pixies had earned a reputation for playing their set list in alphabetical order. "Debaser" came nice and early.
I spent the first half of the show pressed against the stage, because that was the desirable stance back then, and the second half about 12 feet from the stage, on the periphery of a small circle of kids who took it upon themselves to mosh at this, and every show. (this was before bands started making long-winded proclamations denouncing the habit of moshing. back then, when bands did this, i was like, "you get me!" now i realize they were just being old dudes.) We almost got into a scuffle with the floppy moshers, when my friend, Peter, decided to punch one of them square in the back, sending him skittling forward on his Doc Martens. Peter was the son of a rabbi, and as spontaneous as he was high-strung. I miss his violent temper.
If you see me at the Commodore Ballroom on April 23rd, say hello. I'll be the old, bald guy nodding his head rhythmically to "Crackity Jones" and trying vainly to stretch the weak fabric of his 50/50 "Death to the Pixies" shirt over his swollen, contented belly. Now that I've read that last sentence back, let me revise my request. If you see me doing that at the show, don't say hello. Just take my hand, lead me out of the venue, and help me into a pair of sensible chinos.