Thursday, March 30, 2006

The Canon #3

The Pixies - "Debaser"

This is the song that made me want to start this column. One night at a bar, I had an intense discussion with my friend, Josh, concerning "perfect album openers." Once we both agreed upon "Debaser" as one of the great "album openers," the conversation quickly transformed into drunken praise about how perfect this song is period. Hell, I could write an essay on why The Pixies were a perfect band. I'm talking about the fact that you can play "Debaser" on repeat ten times in row after being familiar with it for ten years and it still sounds fucking unbelievable. I can't imagine my life without that bassline, that forever-bouyant riff, and the joyous declaration of "I wanna grow up to be a debaser!" I don't know what the hell a debaser is, but I wanna be one too. The Pixies had an uncanny ability to be simultaneously abrasive and superbly melodic. On "Debaser," their melodic nature seems bent on overthrowing their abrasive, weird side, but, you still couldn't call them a "pop" band.

At some point, "Debaser" (and The Pixies as a whole) ceased to be just a song I loved and became part of my being. You can call me nostalgic and hyperbolic, but, I could care less. Judging from the crowds at the recent Pixies reunion tour, I seriously doubt I'm the only fan who would make such bold and ridiculous statements. I saw them play twice on their 2004 reunion tour, and, I could have almost cried I was in such ecstacy. At the first show, I stood about ten feet from Joey Santiago's Marshall stack and I couldn't hear out of my left ear for two days. It was one of the best days of my life.


At 2:42 pm GMT-6, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Is it just me, or does Joey Santiago look like Chris Johnson in this picture.

At 6:22 am GMT-5, Anonymous Dark said...

Debaser IS a wonderful song, and as I am speaking it's playing for the 16th time in a row or smth. I've loved it for years and years and I'm still not tired of it. To help you out on the subject of what a debaser is, a debaser is one who moves down in social class or reputation, or as the dictionary says it :

tr.v. de·based, de·bas·ing, de·bas·es

To lower in character, quality, or value; degrade.

The connection with the chien Andalusia isn't "just" a connection. The entire song is 'based' on the movie Un Chien Andalou. That's why he sings "Got me a movie" and "slicing up eyeballs", because in the movie you can see a women's eye being slit open. The film is a short film written by Salvador Dali.

Some people say that he sings the movie title phonetically in Spanish because it's a reference to him loving dark skinned girls. Other part would also point to that. But I don't want to go that far, I'm not the one who wrote the lyrics and I can't read his mind =P

So there you go =)


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