Rock Docs: The Pixies: Gouge

There are certain bands that I have just avoided for many years. I do not know why, I just never gave them any attention most likely because I was much more interested in other things. But, I just keep hearing about them, and hearing about them over the years. Eventually, a man just breaks and he has to finally open the forbidden chest that has been in the attic for decades.
I have avoided the Pixies since their start in the late eighties up until present day. I know, a lot of you will be laughing out loud right now. “How, could you avoid such an iconic band??” Like I said, I just did, do not have any real reasons, however, I really enjoyed and still enjoy The Breeders, one of Kim Deal’s projects formed during the Pixies reign.
So, I used the Pixies: Gouge documentary on the band as a vehicle to turn me on to the band if possible. Writing this review in 2017 would make this documentary (aired for TV in 2002) relatively older now, but I think that Gouge is a fantastic look into the formation of the Pixies back in 1986 through their first breakup in 1991.
Over the years, the Pixies have been referred to as “Your Favorite Band’s Favorite Band”. Gouge illustrates this with interviews with several iconic artists such as Bono from U2. Jonny Greenwood from Radiohead, PJ Harvey, and David Bowie. What struck me was the level of detail everyone that was being interviewed went into on a technical standpoint. David Bowie, in particular goes into a discussion about Charles Thompson’s use of dynamics in his songwriting with the Pixies. David explains the idea of an exploding chorus in a song and a quiet verse, which is really commonplace in rock music up through the present day. It would be referred to as a “hook” in a song these days. It is postulated in Gouge that the Pixies were the first band to really pull these dynamics off as a band.
So, did Gouge make a believer out of me? Somewhat. Gouge has for sure peaked my interest in the Pixies finally, which will promptly have me purchasing at least the first four Pixies studio albums (Surfer Rosa, Doolittle, Bossanova, Trompe le Monde) for serious listening to truly experience the sound of this iconic band that the excellent archive footage in Gouge will wet your whistle with.
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-Scott W. Lambert