by Dave Segal
on Thu, Jul 30, 2009 at 10:28 AM
Some commenters gave me grief for griping about Sonic Youth's emphasis on their newest album at the Block Party performance (10 of the set's 14 songs came from The Eternal). But some veteran musicians understand the appeal of traversing (most of) their entire catalog during a show that happens late in their careers. One such musician is Pixies frontman Black Francis, who plays Triple Door Sun. Aug. 2.
Below, BF explicates his approach to live performance.
My name is Black Francis (sometimes known as Frank Black). Listed below are the main releases I have been associated with to date. While performing solo or with a band I will play selections from most of these releases. Of course, some releases are better known than others, and in true show biz fashion I will usually perform several selections from my "A" list, but I will not perform medleys. And I generally do not perform so called encores, because I have always found this show biz mechanism (now it is a mechanism) to be overused and as a result lacking in the drama that perhaps occurred in the encores of yesteryear; plus, shouldn't an encore be a repeat performance of some selection that has already taken place earlier in the concert? I think some people would be confused if I repeated a song for an encore.
For some artists the live performance is the chicken before the egg of writing or recording of repertoire. For other artists the writing or recording of repertoire is the chicken before the egg of live performance. For other artists still there is the feeling that the live performance or the writing or recording of repertoire is that EGG which comes first. I am one of those artists who cannot remember which came first: the chicken or the egg? I can remember back as far as age 8 performing with the Boston Folk Song Society. It was a Woody Guthrie song.
why oh why oh why oh why? why oh why oh why? because because because because because because because
But what came before that? I cannot remember. I have always been a singer, a writer, and a musician, not as a prodigy or as in a trade handed to me by my parents, but because of an inner voice or maybe a command from beyond reality as it is usually defined. Some have called we rock and roll performers who never retire troubadours. I enjoy this misnomer immensely. While there are many differences between me and my distant predecessors in L'Occitane I do believe there is a lineage that connects us of the last 70 years with those romantic singers of the High Middle Ages.
1987 COME ON PILGRIM 1988 SURFER ROSA 1989 DOOLITTLE 1990 BOSSANOVA 1991 TROMPE LE MONDE 1993 FRANK BLACK 1994 TEENAGER OF THE YEAR 1996 THE CULT OF RAY 1998 FRANK BLACK AND THE CATHOLICS 1999 PISTOLERO 2000 DOG IN THE SAND 2002 BLACK LETTER DAYS 2002 DEVIL'S WORKSHOP 2003 SHOW ME YOUR TEARS 2004 FRANK BLACK FRANCIS 2005 HONEYCOMB 2006 FAST MAN RAIDER MAN 2006 CHRISTMASS 2007 BLUEFINGER 2008 SVN FNGRS 2009 PETITS FOURS 2009 THE GOLEM (soon to be released)