There is a book in the Grandview Heights Public Library I check out once a year and struggle with. It's about 70 years old. Its cover is unlike any I've seen, except those of some Bibles: very softly worn and gently creased burgundy leather, suggesting age, wisdom, timelessness, strangeness.   It's a collection of poetry and plays by the late great Spaniard, Federico Garcia Lorca, a member of the Genereration of '27, a group of writers between 1923 and 1927 who explored the Spanish avant-garde of letters. I struggle with it because it is entirely in Spanish and is often abstract, as only they can be.   Picasso is easier. But the book is precious.   As I struggled to understand the magnificent mysteries of the Pixies and their main man, Black Francis, Friday night at the LC, I couldn't relate their impenetrable sound to any other way of expression from which they tellingly may have sprang. Looking at his bald-domed inscrutable aura, listening to his utterly weird lyrics, his guitarist's overlay of noisy psychedelia, only one thing made sense of it all: the Spanish key to his mental highway--that beautiful, ancient book. Strangely there was a fit between the book of Lorca and Black Francisco's ferocity, wordlessly emotional and yet cerebral that it was.   Spanish abstraction and surrealism are doubly foreign to our North American culture--how did this dude come to represent it? Question stands unanswered.   But I will share with you one thing you might not believe but so help me God it's true: this instinctual sizing up of Black F came before I realized he constantly sings fragments of Spanish.   Aren't I special? No, not really. I'm just a nut about Latin culture. Historically I'm in San Juan this time of year, laughing at you gringos freezing your culos off. Something however, had to explain this Pixies phenomenon. There simply has never been anyone like them, either before or since their retirement.   Looking at the bald-domed Black, at the beginning of the show as he burned his way through “I've Been Tired,” the third song, I had an unkind observation: he's sort of inhuman. He makes almost no facial expressions while he sings, which is often an hysterical screaming. His inscrutable aura doesn't give one much to work with. I'd have to say he has the same off-putting effect as the mutant baby in David Lynch's grotesque film classic, Eraserhead.   But the fucking band--good god, they were so freaking powerful. I got sucked into their magnetic vortex and danced and danced and danced. Even while I was standing still I danced. I never thought of the Pixies as a dance band. But there they were. And there I was. Flailing. I just couldn't stop staring at BF nor obsessively trying to get a bead on him artistically. I wasn't flummoxed--I'm too good for that. I do stay with it until I figure a thing or person out. And I nailed the sonuvabitch with the cultural thing. How brilliant of him, how secret, how genius.   The Great Ones always comes from somewhere. It's just up to us music detectives to find out. How fun!   And as I danced almost nonstop to the quartet--David Lovering's drumming is as pole-stripper friendly as anything AC/DC's ever done--I still couldn't get over how the band's output of sound mystified me. Sure, I see them standing there, playing their instruments. But I don't get how they could be so unbelievably intense, weird, harsh--and then melodically breezy, warm, even mellow. How does Black Francis go from the fury of “Planet of Sound” and “Debaser” to “Here Comes Your Man?”   Spanish intensity's one thing, theoretically; in reality, it's another thing. How, how, how do they do it? Never figured that one out. They just stand there, is how.   Loud to quiet. Maelstrom to gentle drizzle. As the Pixies pounded through a 30-song set that left no one unsatisfied, you realized this band, this band was the beginning of modern rock. That Nirvana were Pixies-wanna-be's. That there'd be no Mars Volta if it weren't for Black Francis's dual brain-lobes of abstract weirdness and melodic loving weirdness. That if you could possibly not dance to this band then indeed you are just a brain hooked up to a bed-pan of a body.   Which brings me to my only criticism of an otherwise tremendously amazing, mind-blowing artistic rock success of a night which I think only happens when the Pixies are in town or Jack White or the Black Keys: the crowd simply did not show enough bodily recognition to the fantastic screaming groove machine that was the Pixies tornado.   "Your bones got a little machine...You're the bone machine" are the words haunting me most since the show. Well, really, the whole show has been haunting me. And yet, for as alien and powerful and inner-organ-rearranging as the Pixies were, the entire best moments were at the very end of the show, when the four were done playing. Black Francis put down his guitar, walked over to a speaker cabinet, sort of leaned against it, and smiled the most genuine smile I've ever seen a performer smile after 30 songs of skinned-alive intensity. He held it for a couple of minutes. He gazed at the audience. We were his. He was ours. There was nothing between us except this one beautiful long moment. And like the previous 100 minutes of sound, this one moment was every bit as moving.   We did let him down, though, I feel with this noticeable lack of dancing. Not exactly a compliment but who knows, maybe that's what the Pixies get everywhere they play these days, they being on a huge world tour lately.   I mean, I can understand how you could be so fascinated by this deeply mesmerizing band that you'd just get entranced to the point of paralysis. But still...the whole place should've been flinging their limbs like monkeys crazed by peanut machines. This monkey went to Pixies heaven, you lame-ass bastard white people, why couldn't you?   But the white race has always been disappointing rhythmically. And yet it produced the Pixies, a band for whom I grant you dancing to is not the first thing which comes to mind. However, something's wrong when you look around during “Magdalena,” “Cactus,” “Gouge Away,” “Bagboy,” “Blue Eyed Hexe,” “Nimrod's Son,” “Vamos” and “Where Is My Mind” and 87 percent of the crowd looks like they're trying to remember idiotic trivia from their SAT tests.   Other than that--and I don't, nor won't, forgive them for being crippled lame-asses--the Pixies deserved a crowd of berserk maniacs. Hey, I did my share, I figured them out while my body was going loco. You dopes never even accomplished that.  I tried to Vulcan mind-meld the rhythmically handicapped crackers. But I failed. I can't do everything. +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++   Two interesting shows of vastly different import this weekend to think about: my first guitar god, Johnny Winter, will be at the Newport Friday night. Spend your Valentine energy on the greatest living albino rock 'n' roll blues genius and show the man some love, el yew vee. Of course, he's the only albino blues genius but hey, who's counting. He's Johnny Winter and hopefully he's still got the fire. See you there, maybe?   The other show is Saturday night at the Wild Goose Creative on Summit near the Rumba Cafe: Peter Walker, a guitarist who specializes in finger-style, "American raga" and flamenco; with guitarist Mike Fekette opening up. Should be interesting, if not fascinating, no? Ten bucks and show starts at 8 p.m. Could be a transcendental evening if we're lucky and I'm always lucky the day after Valentine's. ***********************************************************************************   In the continuing saga of OSU vs. my sidewalk speaker this development comes. While jacking up the volume during a Stones song last Friday, I completely blew out what was left of my ragged woofer (the tweeter and mid-range had long been shredded by the elements and my brutal volume knob permanently taped at 11). I found a huge spare cabinet with God-knows-what inside in it and I cranked it. I only got through four Zep songs--”Communications Breakdown,” “Heartbreaker,” “Whole Lotta Love” and “Hey Hey What Can I Do”--before the cops came and told me to turn it down. Once again, the cops were great, funny actually. But for OSU, I have just one word: fuck you, assholes. (editor's note, That's two, John)

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