. . .
So I started 1991 by buying my first Pixies album — Bossanova, remember? — in January, and by the end of the year had digested their entire catalog. So really, the only thing left was to see them in concert.
Which I did, at the Warfield in San Francisco, just a few days before Christmas, 1991, and it goes to where my head was at that point in my life that I have almost no memory of how I got tickets or even who I went with. I seem to recall that it was a last-second thing, but that’s about it. Even my journal was no help; at the time I noted only that I went and that I was a bit underwhelmed.
So if you were responsible for, or went with, or have any other memories of seeing that Pixies show with me, I’d be curious to hear the story, because late 1991 was just that crazy for me.
In any event, looking at the setlist for that particular Pixies show, I wonder now why I was disappointed, as they did play many future Certain Songs, including this one here, “Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons.”
Starting off quiet and organ-drenched — a rarity for this band, who almost never recorded anything that didn’t sound like it wasn’t a live full-band take — “Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons” builds and builds and builds as Black Francis as he inhabits a bird that want to fly to Mars. As you do.
Sun shines in the rusty morning
Skyline of the Olympus Mons
I think about it sometimes
But of course, the guitars slowly come in, chugging and churning, and it’s all very wistful and all very pretty, even as it gets noiser and Francis switches from his pure croon voice into slightly more raspy voice.
Into the mountain
I will fall
I will fall
And as he repeats that over and over while the guitars swell and the organ supports, “Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons” takes on an almost anthemic sweep until it finally crashes into itself.
“Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons”
“Bird Dream of the Olympus Mons” live on the Dennis Miller Show, 1992
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