Where Is My Mind?: A Tribute To The Pixies
Glue Factory Records, 1999
REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 06/14/1999
I remember the first time I ever remember hearing the work of The Pixies - it was 1992, when they opened for U2 on their "Zoo TV" tour in Chicago. My guest and I had no idea what to expect from this group, and when Black Francis and crew hit the stage, they literally blew me away - the first time I ever recalled an opening act not wanting to make me yell, "Get the hell off the stage!" Within days, I had purchased Trompe Le Monde - and not long after that, the band called it a day.
Now, thanks to the alternative all-star cover album, Where Is My Mind?: A Tribute To The Pixies, I've been able to experience some of that virgin excitement all over again. Fifteen of the genre's best bands (or at least bands you'll be hearing about soon) gather to pay homage to the songs you might not know, but should.
Now, one has to keep in mind that a cover album does not guarantee that things will be played note for note, or will sound exactly like the version you so fondly remember. In my case, the two covers from Trompe Le Monde disappoint a little bit, but they are admirable for the most part. Braid's take on "Trompe Le Monde" is almost head-on (though I honestly don't understand what the spoken-word at the end has to do with anything), while The Get-Up Kids speed "Alec Eiffel" up a little more than I would have liked. (While we're on the album I'm most familiar with, I'm honestly surprised no one chose to cover "Planet Of Sound".)
For the die-hard Pixies fan, Where Is My Mind? is sure to intrigue you at every turn. Tracks like Weezer's take on "Velouria" and Nada Surf's cover of "Where Is My Mind?" all were quite pleasing, even if someone (like myself) wasn't familiar with the band's entire catalog.
Whether it was Reel Big Fish checking in with "Gigantic," Samiam's version of "Here Comes Your Man," Weston's take on "La, La, Love You" or Superdrag hammering things home with "Wave Of Mutilation," Where Is My Mind? does exactly what an album of this sort is supposed to do. It pays tribute to the band by opening your mind to their music, while it piques your curiosity about other acts. (Not everyone knows about Local H, Samiam, Eve 6 or Far, but something tells me that all 15 of these groups are going to be attracting a lot of attention to themselves thanks to their efforts.)
Granted, the style of music that The Pixies played in their time wasn't everyone's cup of tea; I'm sure if I had looked around at the audience that night, I would have seen a lot of gaping mouths. (After all, who would have expected such a band to open for U2?) But The Pixies were the type of band who could quickly grow on the listener; the same is true with Where Is My Mind? Give this one a chance, and be surprised to discover you're a fan of one of alternative music's best-kept secrets.