loudQUIETloud (DVD)


MVD Visual, 2006


REVIEW BY: Shane M. Liebler


Television is a strange place. We watch it so often and have become so desensitized to its content, it really takes an odd statement to catch you off guard. That said, I heard something on the Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report the other day that nearly knocked me off the couch.

“Tonight, an indie rock band rips off my style,” the cocky, faux-pro-Bush host said in his opening. “Why can’t they be like every other indie rock band and rip off the Pixies?”

For the first time in the show’s storied yearlong history, it was the truth. Every band I’ve championed 2000 through 2006 has some type of Pixies aesthetic. I realized I fucking love the Pixies, which I confirmed to myself at that moment.

Too bad I was just starting to wrap my head around long division when they broke up in 1992. Nirvana, their most famous followers, made a killing with the Pixies’ rock in an era when rock was dead. In 2004, the Pixies defied all odds and reunited. They’ve been touring ever since. I haven’t seen them (yet), but my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 loudQUIETloud is as close as a guy living in Norfolk, N.Y. -- or anywhere else, for that matter -- can get.

Most music docs get caught up in the fan boy and basking-in-former-glory-crowd proclaiming the featured the band the greatest thing since the Beatles and/or Mozart and/or sliced bread. These interviews are accompanied by the pace-slowing, excessive footage from a single night at a club in the ’80s where half the band was on some performance-diluting substance and not really on that night, as the interviewees explain.

This simultaneously heartwarming and rocking recap of the 2004 reunion is as candid and honest as Dig, the band-doc-reviving retrospective of the Brian Jonestown Massacre from a couple years back.

Frank Black (aka Charles Thompson), the genius Achilles heel of the band, is back as the overly confident, kind-of-a-dick frontman. Kim Deal, the smoky-voiced recovering alcoholic, still can’t believe she inspired a generation of girl bands and rock journalists. Joey Santiago is a family man with indie rock riff wielding possessed by no other. Dave Lovering pounds away his troubles with drums and drugs even after exodus from an extended gig as magician and treasure hunter.

Wow. The Pixies. The godfathers of all things rock in the 21st century. Dads, alcoholics, drummers and magicians. LoudQUIETloud is a must-see for fans of documentaries and the alternative era-defining groups. The music performances are timed just right and pulled from all the right places. The Beatles-second-coming fan interviews are absent.

Also, the stories are some of the most compelling in the business. Whether its Kim Deal trying to find the right beat by listening to the Surfer Rosa LP (like the rest of us) or struggling with the heaviness of an obsessed fan who’s highlighted every Pixies reference in a fiction novel. Whether its Frank Black explaining to Rolling Stone why the band split up or driving a minivan to the aquarium with his girlfriend’s kid. Whether Joey is recreating a classic riff or breaking down in tears after an e-conversation with his daughter. LoudQUIETloud is as varied and touching as Lovering’s struggle with addiction to Valium and his iPod dance.

This is the band that launched a thousand others, 12 years after the fact. They still can’t stand each other. They can still play on stage and inspire off the set. It’s a Behind the Music masterpiece without all the glitz (or commercials). Highly recommended.

Rating: A

User Rating: Not Yet Rated


© 2006 Shane M. Liebler and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of MVD Visual, and is used for informational purposes only.