Pixies Creative Mastermind ‘Black Francis’ Returns
Bob Grossweiner and Jane Cohen – TicketNews.com
In support of his new solo album, “Bluefinger” to be released on Sept. 11, Black Francis, formerly known as Frank Black, will do a 14-concert west coast run beginning on Monday, Oct. 1, with two nights in Portland, OR at the Fir Lounge. Black Francis is the lead singer of the iconic Pixies, and his solo tour will also include multiple nights in Los Angeles, Vancouver and San Francisco.
He will be joined on this trek by the group of musicians who recorded “Bluefinger”: Violet Clark/vocals, Dan Schmid/bass, and Jason Carter/drums. Black Francis will play guitar and harmonica and sing.
Imbued by the spirit of the late eccentric Dutch painter/musician Herman Brood, Frank Black donned his decades-old moniker of Black Francis and recorded 11 songs – 10 by Black Francis and one a Brood cover. “I privately went back to the old stage name, if that even makes any sense, almost as a joke,” Francis said in a statement. “I couldn’t get the Pixies back into a studio, but I would transform into my alter ego of yesteryear.”
All songs on “Bluefinger,” which is being released by Cooking Vinyl Records, directly or indirectly reference Brood who was known as the “Dutch personification of ‘sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll’.” Brood was a rock musician going back to the 1960s, and he and his band, Herman Brood and His Wild Romance, experienced success in Europe and even scored a top 40 hit in the U.S.A. in 1979 with “Saturday Night.” He was outspoken and in the public eye for decades, in part due to his relationship with the German artist, Nina Hagen. His art has been exhibited at galleries and at the Museum of Groningen in Amsterdam, and he created murals – considered by many to be valuable contributions to Dutch culture and art – in various public spaces around that city. A hard drug user for many years, he swore off most drugs later in his life, but the damage had been done. In 2001, he was told he had only a few months to live, and later that year, committed suicide at age 54 by jumping off the roof of the Amsterdam Hilton Hotel.
“John Lennon and Yoko Ono claimed the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969,” Francis continues. “The Pixies headlined their first big rock show in Holland in 1988. Herman Brood reclaimed the Hilton for his country in 2001, and now I feel he has even claimed back the Pixies, or at least me, Black Francis.”
As Black Francis, the Boston and Los Angeles-bred musician was one of the architects of modern rock as a front man of the Pixies, whose “loud-quiet-loud” dynamics, primal scream intensity and free-ranging compositional style exerted a huge influence on alternative music.
Black Francis itinerary:
1 Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
2 Fir Lounge, Portland, OR
3 Richards on Richards, Vancouver, BC CANADA
4 Richards on Richards, Vancouver, BC CANADA
5 Wow Hall, Eugene, OR
7 Harlow’s, Sacramento, CA
8 The Catalyst, Santa Cruz, CA
9 Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA
10 Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA
11 Cafe Du Nord, San Francisco, CA
13 Soho Music Club, Santa Barbara, CA
14 Downtown Brew, San Luis Obispo, CA
15 Safari Sam’s, Los Angeles, CA
16 Safari Sam’s, Los Angeles, CA