ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

I saw The Pixies and Jellyfish at the Academy Theatre.

Updated on December 7, 2015



How the Pixies Strike a Chord

The Pixies were organically gutted out of the earth during the early grunge movement. When I say that, I say it with sincere respect and love of their creativity. Translating music into an almost surreal slap in the face brought devoted fans to listen to their music, go to their performances and buy their CDs.

I saw them play a show right before their first break up in 1993 at the Academy in New York City. This was even before I studied their lyrics or read about their music background and philosophy.

Superficial things I liked: They had a girl bass player and backup singer, Kim Deal, with perfect, understated delivery. Their lead singer Black Francis (Charles Thompson IV) had all his nerve endings exposed on stage. He held back nothing. The drummer (Dave Lovering) was a tightly run time clock with endless energy. The band rounded itself out with startling, edgy Joey Santiago on lead guitar.

More significant things I liked: The music from this Boston-based band was and is well crafted, angular, tittering from quiet trance to violent screaming. The words are influenced by surrealism and arranged between Kim's tuneful backup vocals to Black Francis's Holy Ghost explosions.

In the 80's, record companies created their own fabricated stars. Youth music was losing its street creds and disillusioned teens and young adults needed music that spoke for them. The late 80's early 90's brought a welcome break from over-produced highly polished pop music.

Their breakthrough album Doolittle for me and many others was a benchmark in alternative rock music. My era was the mid 80's, rock had gotten tired and soggy. Doolittle had so many songs with power and uncontrollable artistic pulse. It WOKE US UP! I still listen to it regularly on my iPhone.

review continued below



Not only is this music collection critically acclaimed and put at number 227 in Rolling Stone's all time top 500 greatest albums, it is a permanent fixture on my listening devices.


The Pixies During the Time of Doolittle


Surrealism is destructive, but it destroys only what it considers to be shackles limiting our vision -Salvador Dali


An example song in Doolittle is called Debaser. The definition of Debaser in this song means to break with standards of morality and what is considered 'art'. The imagery compressed into the words and music is inspired by the Salvador Dali short film Un Chien Andalou (1929), in which a calm woman is filmed having her eyeball sliced. In this album, the Id is exposed, Sexuality, guilt, mental illness and disgust are not off topic. Other songs include studies on toxic waste, despair and unrequited love.

With all this seriousness, they do have an ability to view themselves with a sly, sardonic humour. They are not a contrived product of the record industry. That's why it works. That's why a person like me, a positive glass-half-full type of person can still relate to and enjoy their music. Because it's real.

Let's put it this way, the Pixies inspired Kurt Cobain of Nirvana, a band that was also an eruption out of youth angst.

The Pixies are currently touring and released a new single in 2013.

Pixies' Doolittle 33 1/3

The Pixies' Doolittle (33 1/3 Book 31)
The Pixies' Doolittle (33 1/3 Book 31)

The Kindle Edition

This book is a great overview of the Pixies. It has detailed song interpretations and an interview with Charles Thompson (Black Francis).


Where is My Mind?

Monkey Gone to Heaven, Tame

Their new 2013 single and video - Bagboy.

I Recommend This As Well

Album: Surfer Rosa

Before Doolittle there was Surfer Rosa. More surfing riffs. Just as angular. Hits include 'Gigantic' and 'Where is My MInd.'

Taking on the Jellies


Jelly Love

What's better than going to a rock concert? Going to a rock concert with your sister and mom!

It may not sound 'hip' but when my mom and sister visited me in the spring of 1993 in New York City, I got tickets for a concert at the Academy on 43rd Street. The band we saw was the Jellyfish.This power pop band was actually new to me. I was playing drums in a band called The Peaces and my bandmates raved about them and said I simply must go. The little amount of music I heard sounded great. Apparently, they put on a good show, they dressed colorful in a rave-like style, and I thought my mom wouldn't get too blown out of her seat (fingers crossed). I don't have pictures of the concert but I was so proud to have my mom and sister share this musical experience with me. I only saw them once or twice a year so it was a real treat.

The Peaces


Off to see the Jellyfish

Here is my band during this time. This version of The Peaces comprised of two sets of brothers and myself! I was only with them for about a year but it was fun. I hadn't pulled this photo out in years, yikes, forgot I was a blonde then. You know what they say: Old rock musicians never die, they just stay under the illusion they never get old, lol.

So off to the concert we went. Since I was with family, my other band members got their own tickets and sat separately.

Group Shot


The Concert

Jellyfish is a band originating from San Francisco. The main members and songwriters were Andy Sturmer, lead singer and drummer, and Roger Manning, keyboards and guitar.

They specialized in strong in-your-face power pop with creative instrumentation. They were expert at creating music 'hooks.' Along with others, I would compare them to Queen, the Beach Boys and the Beatles. They were influenced by many great bands before them and they didn't try to hide it. A lot of their music choices were very obviously a Beatle's lick or a Queen's harmony. Their sound was intense and saturated. Kind of like your ballerina music box on steroids.

The concert was smoking, the most striking thing was the lead singer in the front playing drums STANDING UP! He balanced on the left foot and playing the bass drum with the right. They were able to pull off their studio sound live. My mom and sister really enjoyed the evening together with lots of screaming fans.

Bellybutton - Spilt Milk is great too.


I cannot believe they didn't make it any bigger than they did. Dripping with well written lyrics with just enough satire to be cheeky. They teetered on the edge of being over-produced, but the sound they got is still wonderful to listen to.


Performance: Ghost at Number One

Bye Bye Bye

Cheeky Group Picture


The Academy Theater, 1993

The Academy Theatre 234 West 43rd Street New York City (Not to be confused with the Academy of Music on 14 Street). The Academy was a great venue. It carried a certain air of intimacy, being an old classic concert theater. Many acts performed there including The Rolling Stones. There were at least a couple tiers of balconies and it felt like you were going to a theater that showed ballets but instead, it was rock and roll!

Joining a Fan Club?

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • Kim Milai profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Milai 

      5 years ago

      @fullofshoes: Thank you so much for stopping by!

    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Great review, thank you. Featured on under MUSIC.

    • Kim Milai profile imageAUTHOR

      Kim Milai 

      5 years ago

      @TransplantedSoul: I miss going out to see shows. I'm out in the country now and am too lazy to drive to Richmond or D.C. Thank you for stopping by. I'm hoping to get more of a discussion here eventually.

    • TransplantedSoul profile image


      5 years ago

      I love idie music. In fact I am going to a local concert tonight of two excellent local musicians.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)