September 6, 2007


   Home Page

 News & Features


 Columns & Opinions

   Publisher's Note





 Pop Culture



   Video Games
   CD Reviews




   Grazing Guide



   Music Roundup

   Live Music/DJs

   MP3 & Podcasts





 Find A Hippo




   View Classified Ads

   Place a Classified Ad




 Contact Us

   Hippo Staff

   How to Reach The Hippo

 Past Issues

   Browse by Cover

Black Francis, Bluefinger
Cooking Vinyl, Sept. 11
As mastermind of Boston legends the Pixies, Frank Black commanded the ultimate anti-Fleetwood Mac, a jumbled train wreck of notes, pretty/unpretty voices and bar-band guitars that sucked in every unwary soul who got too close. For Black, Bluefinger is a series of scores settled with himself, all bespeaking refinement, though not in a “wow did he get old” sense. Purists — people as old as Black, that is, and the multitudes of hangers-on who to this day can’t begin to articulate the Pixies’ je ne sais quoi — aren’t going to be happy about this, but fact is this album reveals his Pixies oeuvre as a set of rough demos, experiments with volatile compounds that proved the guy was on to something and he’d sew it up eventually. We knew Black had a fixation on stupid-simple rock-guitar whamming, but Bluefinger’s first three songs take that ball, run with it and do a chicken dance in the end zone right in front of the commissioner’s box. Those tunes alone constitute a clinic for all the wannabes trying to be edgy these days, but the beauty part is when he gives himself a do-over of the boys-choir chorus that Surfer Rosa’s “Where Is My Mind” mismanaged, this on the new album’s “Angels Come to Comfort,” whose out-of-nowhere fadeout is one of the most stirring things you’ll hear all year. A+Eric W. Saeger.