Home Arts A bright star called Black

A bright star called Black

by Archives November 13, 2002

This article is for the weak, the elderly and young children.

The rest of you have no need to read this article because, if you weren’t smart enough tp catch one of the greatest, purest rock n’ roll acts across the globe, chances are you live in a cave and don’t listen to rock music.

Frank Black and the Catholics belted, poured, pounded (and any other action verb you can think of) their way through one hour and 45 minutes of good ol’ rock n’ roll last Tuesday night in front of a packed Club Soda audience.

For those of you unfamiliar with the band or the man, let me run it down for you real quick.

Charles Michael Kitteridge Thompson IV went to the University of Massachusetts where he met one Joey Santiago. They jammed, met Kim Deal and David Lovering, Thompson adopted the stage name Black Francis, and the Pixies were born. And if you’re still confounded, just know that Kurt Cobain really liked them. Yeah, now you’re impressed.

The Pixies broke up and Frank Black was born as a solo act, releasing his first solo album, Frank Black, in 1993. A couple of albums later, including the super Teenager of the Year, the Catholics were added. In 1998 they released their self-titled album.

Currently, the Catholics are Scott Boutier, Rich Gilbert, David McCaffrey and Dave Philips. This year the crew released their fourth and fifth albums simultaniously, entitled Black Letter days and Devil’s Workshop.

It’s fair to say this now (and I think a lot of people are in the same boat): I’m an all out Pixies fan.

But Frank Black is different from the Pixies. That loud/quiet thing is sparse, if not non-existant in his straight-ahead tunes. Gone are the days of ground-breaking ruckus; these are the days of fundamental song writing. Plus he gained 80 pounds and is now balding.

But somehow it works. Frank Black doesn’t play songs or put on a show so much as he beats into you the gospel of guitars. This was a true rock show. From the onset, decked out in collared shirts and jackets, you knew these boys were all business.

The crowd danced, Black yelled, sang, screeched and played us all like the naive concert goers we were.

It’s well known that he has been playing Pixies song for years now at his live shows, so it was no surprise when we all (I do mean all) recognized the opening bars of “Nimrod’s son”. And it wasn’t a shock to hear the slide-guitar duet version of “Monkey Gone to Heaven.” But it was Frank Black doing Pixies songs. And for a few minutes, that’s all there was in the world.

Excluding the drunk guys next to me who infuse

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