cool as Kim Deal

We were talking.

Kim Deal is a musical National Treasure - notice the caps? - and deserves to be treated as such. I'm only going to see the Pixies 'Doolittle' show - a reunion which probably shouldn't have happened seven years ago and certainly shouldn't still be going - because She will be there. (Secretly hoping - completely in vain - for a break out Breeders set. The worst Breeders record is better than the best Pixies record - FACT. Not. Open. For. Debate.)

Had I to pick my favorite Breeders record, it probably wouldn't be 'Pod' - solely for the fact that it contains the one Breeders song I could do without, "Oh!". It's just...not great. But. But. BUT! It contains eleven other AMAZEBALLS tracks the richest band would KILL for. "Limehouse". "Hellbound". "Glorious". "Metal Man"! (They did it in 2009 - with Josephine! - and it was ridiculous. Like, you never walk into a show thinking: "gee, I hope I hear "Metal Man" tonight", but you're still beyond glad you got to experience it, because, really, it's "Metal Man".) Motherfucking "Doe". When these make up your "weakest" - and I use the term loosely, and only in the sense that SOMETHING has to be your weakest - album, you're doing pretty damn good.

The "Safari" EP is brilliant even though it includes a Who cover. Yes, it survives that.

Had I to pick my favorite Breeders record, it might be 'Last Splash'. Here's the thing. "Cannonball" is overexposed, overdone and THAT song that they have to play at every show. But - a-ha! - it's still fucking. brilliant. If you're pulse doesn't get racing, your heart doesn't get beating, you don't start sweating with anticipation the second you hear that opening "AWOOO!!", you're dead. I don't care. I have never been to a Breeders show and, when it starts, think: well, I'd rather hear something else. Because I wouldn't. It's. That. Good. Are there Breeders songs I like better? Absolutely. Is it their finest moment? No way. But it has survived 18 years of overexposure and remains one of the most oddball songs to "make it big", if you will, one of the most endearing and consistently AMAZING tracks of the 90's.

And that's one song out of fifteen - ok, fourteen. Every single track here is dripping with genius. Every single one, you get it? Yes, even - and, perhaps, especially - "Mad Lucas". Genius. It's a fact. Don't argue. Gen.ius. "I am the new year." "I don't like dirt." "He's the invisible man." "I just wanna get along." "I like sticky everywhere." Anyone who says it's unfinished/unfocused/too many wasted instrumentals/too many half-songs/whatever-else-they-say-about-it is missing the point. It is genius incarnate. It's possibly the best album ever. (It's not, but it makes a good argument for it.)
I'm not usually like this, but if you don't like 'Last Splash' you don't enjoy life either, do you? You're no fun. If I ever get to experience "Roi" live and in the flesh, I might have lived out everything I ever needed to live out. Yes, it's that good, and if you don't think so you're probably wrong, so get over it.

The "Head To Toe" EP is also totally brilliant. The title track is, well, obviously amazeballs, and "Shocker In Gloomtown"! Christ. They did it as the second song on the first show of the 'Mountain Battles' tour and it KILLED. Seriously. Completely unexpected and totally floored the crowd. It's not their song but they made it their. song. "Freed Pig" is pretty good, too.

Had I to pick my favorite Breeders record, it might be 'Pacer'. "But!", you say, "It's not a Breeders record!" In name, perhaps, but in spirit it is totally the proper follow-up to 'Last Splash'. In fact, it's better than 'Last Splash'. (Yeah, I said it.) It's perfect in a way records aren't supposed to be perfect. Pop broken in half and stitched back together again. "Hoverin" makes its argument for the "Best Song In The World", exactly because it is clearly not the best song in the world. Every time I've seen the Breeders they've done at least two songs off this record and they are invariably the highlight of the evening. ("Hoverin" live in 2009 was quite possibly the most amazing thing I've ever witnessed. You probably weren't there so you don't know - if a concert you go to DOESN'T include Kim Deal doing "Hoverin", it's almost not worth going. Jesus. Christ.)

Had I to pick my favorite Breeders record, it probably would be 'Title TK'. Surprised after that crazed rant on 'Last Splash'? Don't be. Knowing full well this could put a price on my head, 'Title TK' is - without doubt - the finest record both Kim Deal AND Steve Albini have ever been involved in. Fact. Don't argue it because you'll lose. It. Is. It's life changing in a way records aren't supposed to be life changing. It's half-baked and the songs probably don't work in the way that Kim herself thinks they do, and that's why it works. Even moreso than 'Last Splash', it is genius incarnate. If this isn't your favorite record in the whole world you're doing it wrong. Listen to the way Kelley "ooohs" and "aahhhs" and basically grunts in the background of "Too Alive". Life. Changing. Genius. Don't argue, I'm right. This is the stuff dreams are made of. 'Title TK' is what we've been waiting for. It's the Rapture. Everything is downhill from here.

I'll repeat: 'Title TK' is the finest record either Kim Deal or Steve Albini have ever been involved in. Come and get me, motherfuckers.

Had I to pick my favorite Breeders record, it might be 'Mountain Battles'. After perfecting sound - which, let's be frank, 'Title TK' did - where do you go? You break it all over again. This bitch here makes 'Title TK' sound like the most-ready-for-Top-40-collection-of-pop-songs ever record. This is some seriously fucked up pop shit. Songs don't do what you think they should, "Bang On" is a TOTAL hot mess - and that's the second song! - there's a song in German and a song in Spanish - neither of which the girls know very well - etc., etc., etc. This is the true sound of pop revolution. There's more underground records - clearly, they have more major label backing - there's harder to wrap your head around records, there are obviously more immediately catchy records, there's records that are clearly better, but at the same time, almost nothing is better than this. It. Is. Sound. It's only fault - ONLY FAULT - is that it's not 'Title TK'.

"Fate To Fatal" - the song - is ridiculous. So good. 'Fate To Fatal' - the EP - is the only non-essential Breeders purchase. The other three tracks on the EP, quite frankly, just aren't that great. Also, I wasn't able to get a handscreened sleeve because Record Store Day is a crock of shit - and I literally got physically shoved out of the way of a rack of records (if it was even in there) so I'm a little bitter - but really, it's the weak link. It makes me a bit sad that it's the last Breeders release we have for now because it's not totally amazing.

Kim. Seriously. Fuck the Pixies. You don't need them. We need more Breeders material ASAP. (Judging from the track record we'll have to wait until 2015 for another LP, but I can be patient. I know it will be worth it.)

(I should write after margaritas more often, but I've been waiting YEARS to get that off my chest.)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

the hell?