Author Topic: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me  (Read 4873 times)

"Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« on: February 07, 2013, 06:52:54 PM »
I just heard Fire Of Love by The Gun Club for the first time yesterday, and am shocked at how much the Pixies ripped it off.  It's depressing because the Pixies were always an important band to me when I was growing up, and discovering what was out there existing beyond the FM dial.  I got a box of tapes from a friend with Jane's Addiction, Porno For Pyros, Pixies, Breeders, Smashing Pumpkins etc, and always regarded the Pixies as being really original and important.

Of course, everyone has influences, but it's just a real shock to find out that whole songs on Fire Of Love sound like Pixies numbers, and hearing how much Black Francis ripped off Jeffrey Lee Pierce's vocals on top of that...Jesus gosh.

Then again, two decades have passed since I first listened to the Pixies, and that was when they were most important to me, so...fuck 'em!  Still prefer the Deal girls anyway.

Funcrusher

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #1 on: February 07, 2013, 07:01:15 PM »
I've never really heard The Gun Club, but I've not come across anyone making the link with The Pixies before. Aren't they a bit like The Birthday Party, kind of gothish rockabilly? I'll have to listen to it.

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2013, 07:12:32 PM »
Yeah punk rockabilly/blues, there's a lot of nice slide guitar in there, and it's a really great record too by the way, instantly engaging because you're already in that mind-set with so many years of listening to the Pixies behind you.  It was a surprise to me, too - I think I'd only really heard of the likes of Husker Du and maybe Pere Ubu cited as being direct influences, but Fire Of Love left my jaw dropped yesterday.  Just the whole dynamics that Pixies are so renowned for, and as I say, the entire vocal style of Black Francis!  You can pick out exact Pixies songs while listening.

Here's a few songs to sample:

For The Love Of Ivy - http://www.sendspace.com/file/pvtfqr
The opener, Sex Beat, a monster - http://www.sendspace.com/file/bn4un8
Goodbye Johnny - http://www.sendspace.com/file/lof8hg

See also Black Train, and oh God, the riff to Preaching The Blues in particular. 

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #3 on: February 07, 2013, 07:22:38 PM »
Preaching The Blues - http://www.sendspace.com/file/kmk4pt  I mean, FFS.

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #4 on: February 07, 2013, 07:50:01 PM »
Yeah, absolutely - wonderful band and Jeffrey Lee Pierce, a rare talent. First came across them due to the Kid Congo Powers and Patricia Morrison connection - incidentally, those two formed Fur Bible, which you might be interesting.

Don't know if you've come across them, but if not, have a listen to Poison 13 - rather rawer stuff, but all the talk of slide guitar made me think of them, particularly My Biggest Mistake, which I consider an absolute gem.

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vrailaine

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #6 on: February 07, 2013, 10:18:25 PM »
I got a few songs of theirs back on dialup and was pretty damn surprised how much I thought they sounded like the pixies. Was before I ever really had enough knowledge to ponder over why the Pixies sounded so distinct. Basically settled in my mind as a crappy proto-Pixies.
...not actually crappy, just, gimme the Pixies instead, y'know? Yeah..

Nobody Soup

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2013, 04:00:49 PM »
I love the gun club, I think there was a revival a few years back due to the obvious similarities with the white stripes for mixing blues and punk, and yeah, for the love of ivy is a storming song.

HOWEVER...

they're not nearly as good as the pixies, who were near flawless.

have you heard zen arcade by husker du? I can't really recall much of it except Something I learned today, but that's often cited as where the pixies got a lot of their sound.

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2013, 11:46:12 PM »
I thought the same on hearing The Classical by The Fall for the first time, and a few other of their tunes from this era. I don't know if the Pixies were knowingly influenced by The Fall but I know Sonic Youth were by their own admission, and although they're all very different bands, that uniqueness was lost for me.

KLG-7B

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2013, 08:55:10 AM »
Pixies are good because they were directly inspired by other bands and turned it into something melodious, personal, energetic and good. I don't need them to have invented everything they do.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2013, 03:40:32 PM »
I thought the same on hearing The Classical by The Fall for the first time, and a few other of their tunes from this era. I don't know if the Pixies were knowingly influenced by The Fall but I know Sonic Youth were by their own admission, and although they're all very different bands, that uniqueness was lost for me.

Although The Fall weren't above lifting ideas either:

Athlete Cured - The Fall: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXcI7YROuHE

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #11 on: February 10, 2013, 02:26:00 AM »
I only have one Gun Club album but I don't agree about Pixies ripping them off big-time. Think there's a small similarity in the punky dynamics and vocals but nothing criminal. For instance Francis' voice makes me think of Gordon Gano a lot more than Pierce while I felt a lot of the songs on Fire of Love weren't that distinctive from one another, perhaps down to a kind of flat guitar sound (not sure how to describe it), whereas Joey Santiago's playing was a lot more varied and evocative. Also, The Gun Club can't really account for some of the great slower songs found in the Pixies catalogue, like Silver, Ana, All Over The World, Motorway, etc.

I do enjoy a few songs off Fire of Love; Sex Beat is killer. I must check out some of their other albums.

I used to be a Pixies obsessive (suppose I still am to a degree) and the bands BF cites as a major influence on his early song-writing include Beefheart, The Stooges, Husker Du, The Cars and Larry Norman. The screaming thing apparently developed when a Thai guy told him to sing Oh! Darling "like you hate that bitch". And I reckon listening to New Day Rising helped too.

Basically I think Pixies dabbled in all these sounds and made something quite brilliant out of it. Certainly don't think you should dismiss their music!

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #12 on: February 10, 2013, 12:31:25 PM »
I don't really hear the Gun Club references at all.

People are always telling me that I will love them, because of my fondness for psychobilly, Cramps, Birthday Party and Crime & the City Solution, etc. But most stuff I've heard sounds derivative and almost pop-punk - in particular the warbly vocals are really off-putting. However, those links to songs from the Miami album are something else entirely. I really like them, and the vocals are closer to Suicide.

Has anyone heard S.C.U.M.? Now that's a band that are REALLY ripping off The Gun Club:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOWANx94pbU

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #13 on: February 11, 2013, 02:06:20 AM »
The Gun Club are a great band, one of my favourites. Can't really see The Pixies similarities myself though, nor the ones with S.C.U.M (who I have been listening to a lot of lately, coincidentally). They do seem to be pretty underrated though in my opinion, you don't really hear of them much apart from being namedropped by The White Stripes and such, I think they should get more recognition than they do as I think their sound is very unique. Their later albums aren't really mentioned all that much either, but they moved into a more straight up electric blues sound on Pastoral Hide and Seek and Lucky Jim, which are both superb.

Doomy Dwyer

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #14 on: February 13, 2013, 08:38:12 AM »
The Blues in the hands of a honkie is a low down treacherous thing. Make a one man weep, make another man sing.

There's the Clapton Factor to to consider - a man technically gifted and steeped in the arcane lore and well versed in the history who yet somehow manages to bleed any of the joy or wonder from the music like some po faced musical halal butcher. A man dubiously blessed with some dread alchemic power to turn the real into artifice. His is an academic approach. But I come not to damn Clapton, for he is an honourable man. Then you've got a man like Jeffrey Lee. Again, he's down with the lore and his knowledge cannot be faulted, and while he's focused and driven he's not precise nor precious neither. And he sounds all the better for that. He takes the form, fucks it up with his own fucked uppness and makes it something new and personal like all great artists do. He adds to it rather than preserves it. The Blues, and in particular the pre war Delta blues, is perhaps the most mysterious, Gothic with a big G forms of music there is, even more Gothic than Goth, which you wouldn't expect, would you? But it is. If you listen to a lot of it you'll notice phrases repeated, altered and twisted, that drift from song to song, songs that sound like fragments, that don't seem to make any sense and that stop as soon as they seem to get started. It's like one long conversation, which you're only privileged to hear snatches of. And against the odds of race and time, Jeffrey[nb]And, one imagines, being called Jeffrey. Although the Lee takes the edge off it.[/nb] manages to place himself in that ongoing conversation. And that's what makes him great.

'The Fire of Love' is The One. He gets it right first time. Even if he'd never made another record, or especially if he'd never made another, we'd be talking about this one. Right place, right people, right time, right drugs. Chemistry, hunger and art coalesce and congregate in a way that doesn't happen often. Predictably He hated it. And there lies Jeffrey Lee Pierce's major obstacle - the fact that he was Jeffrey Lee Pierce. Can't have been easy. The ever changing line ups, the inconstant record labels, the shambles of a discography all bespeak of a man who was perhaps difficult to get along with. Headstrong and set in his ways, to put it diplomatically. To be less diplomatic, you are left with the impression that Jeffrey was a world class arsehole of unenviable magnitude. He's got that look, that petulant smackable face. He looks like the result of some cursed union between Elvis and Jim Morrison with all the personality disorders and propensity to chubbiness such a vile coupling would pass on. He even took to wearing a little sailor suit on stage, prefiguring Viz's own unloveable Spoilt Bastard by decades.



Example of Elvis/Morrison parentage plus slappable face evidence.



Spoilt Bastard yacht rockin' beats.


With his vision, his addictions and his self regard he must have been a hard man to get along with. Nick Cave called him his truest friend. This was the old Nick Cave, the steal your TV for junk money and fuck your missus for fun version. Here they are doing the Rock 'n' Roll outlaw thing, again, Jeffrey all dressed up like a little soldier. Why Jeff? -



The remaining albums are all great, particularly 'Miami', 'Las Vegas Story' and 'Mother Juno'. But they're nowhere near as good as 'Fire Of Love'. There are a million knock off's demo's and live recordings to which I say caveat emptor my friends, although 'Da Blood Done Signed My Name' is a good 'un and the box set 'The Life and Times...' is tres bien. There is an ongoing Jeffrey Lee Pierce Sessions Project thing in which artistes of the calibre of Cave, Mark Lanegan, Debbie Harry, David Eugene Edwards all bash out unrecorded songs of Jeffs, of which there are many. I've only got the first album, but its pretty good. I thought Nick Cave sounded engaged on his couple of numbers, which was quite touching.

I've never even thought of the Pixies with regards the Gun Club though.

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #15 on: February 15, 2013, 01:32:33 AM »
I'm possibly the world's biggest Pixies fan, but I have to say that it does sound very early-Pixies. Still, I reckon they still had enough unique elements that I'll let that pass as an 'influence'.

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #16 on: March 05, 2013, 11:58:57 PM »
Rice and Beans Music has been updated with new song titles on BMI..  I've heard a few of them on Youtube (played live by BF) and I'm excited.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #17 on: March 10, 2013, 06:51:47 PM »
Pixies are good because they were directly inspired by other bands and turned it into something melodious, personal, energetic and good. I don't need them to have invented everything they do.

Exactly- all that matters is whether their songs are good. Why give a fuck about anything else? Originality is just a variable used by music bores to beat their authority over other people. That isn't anything to do with what really matters.

Most musical styles are inevitable anyway- tick follows tock...

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #18 on: March 10, 2013, 07:19:26 PM »
Exactly- all that matters is whether their songs are good. Why give a fuck about anything else?

It's a question of giving credit where it is due. If someone presents someone else's work as their own (in this case a compositional strategy) then people who praised that work might feel their praise was misplaced.

Quote
Originality is just a variable used by music bores to beat their authority over other people. That isn't anything to do with what really matters.

Originality is the variable that keeps music from stagnating.

Quote
Most musical styles are inevitable anyway- tick follows tock...

I'm not sure I get what you're driving at here. In what way are they inevitable?
« Last Edit: March 10, 2013, 07:47:31 PM by Johnny Yesno »

KLG-7C

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #19 on: March 10, 2013, 08:42:32 PM »
If someone presents someone else's work as their own (in this case a compositional strategy)
Would you feel this way about a computer game not being supplied with a list of credits recognising the games that defined its genre? I don't think it's fair to call anything the Pixies have done as "The Gun Club's work".

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #20 on: March 10, 2013, 09:08:53 PM »
Would you feel this way about a computer game not being supplied with a list of credits recognising the games that defined its genre?

It's not so much about wanting a list of credits as feeling like I'm playing the same game again. I liked Alien Trilogy for the PS1 but I can see why some people thought it was just a Doom clone. Not a problem for me as AT was my first FPS. But where would FPSs be if they didn't innovate?

Quote
I don't think it's fair to call anything the Pixies have done as "The Gun Club's work".

Personally, I think you're right. I was just stating what the accusation is, as I see it: that the Pixies lifted The Gun Club's sound (which is their work as much as their individual compositions are). I think the relationship is one of influences rather than stealing ideas, though. I just don't buy the idea that originality is not important.

KLG-7C

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #21 on: March 10, 2013, 09:32:21 PM »
I think originality is important, but that it doesn't have to be the entire thing. It's better that they did something inspired by something else with their own twist, and not trying to be unlike anything that has ever come before. They probably wouldn't have found the thing that they did so well that way.

I don't think it's a case of taking TGC's style and fitting new content to it (perhaps you agree with that?).

Johnny Yesno

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #22 on: March 10, 2013, 09:39:43 PM »
I think originality is important, but that it doesn't have to be the entire thing. It's better that they did something inspired by something else with their own twist, and not trying to be unlike anything that has ever come before. They probably wouldn't have found the thing that they did so well that way.

I don't think it's a case of taking TGC's style and fitting new content to it (perhaps you agree with that?).

I agree with all of this, yes.

Shoulders?-Stomach!

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #23 on: March 11, 2013, 10:28:27 AM »
It's a question of giving credit where it is due. If someone presents someone else's work as their own (in this case a compositional strategy) then people who praised that work might feel their praise was misplaced.

Originality is the variable that keeps music from stagnating.

I'm not sure I get what you're driving at here. In what way are they inevitable?

Originality is inevitable.
Good songs are what stick in the memory.

A band copying another's style isn't important if the band itself wrote a significantly higher quantity of better songs.

Johnny Yesno

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Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #24 on: March 11, 2013, 03:28:34 PM »
Originality is inevitable.
Good songs are what stick in the memory.

I disagree. Originality is hard won. It's far easier to just imitate what's come before. 'Good songs' may stick in the memory but it's originality that presents new ways of thinking about music. And I'm not sure you can really separate originality from 'good songs' anyway. Composition is a game of taking familiarity and messing with it. Luring the listener in with what they know but making them curious about what's going to happen next. Perhaps even confounding expectations, like in good comedy. That is, unless we want a music industry based on nostalgia.

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A band copying another's style isn't important if the band itself wrote a significantly higher quantity of better songs.

That's assuming that coming up with the style isn't a significant part of the work. If that took a significant conceptual leap (and I'm not saying that in this particular case it did) then it should be taken into account when appraising the music.

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #25 on: June 14, 2013, 04:07:46 PM »
So, Kim Deal quit the band.. http://www.spin.com/articles/kim-deal-leaves-pixies-breeders/

Think that's a big enough indication that new work is on the way.

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #26 on: June 14, 2013, 04:47:05 PM »
That link had me more worried that she'd quit the Breeders. Thankfully not.

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #27 on: June 28, 2013, 10:58:08 AM »
That yer new Pixies song oot
http://pixiesmusic.com/new/

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #28 on: June 28, 2013, 11:18:07 AM »
Ahh. Nevermind.

Re: "Fire Of Love" by The Gun Club has killed the Pixies for me
« Reply #29 on: June 28, 2013, 11:21:46 AM »
Very uneven albums but anyone questioning the brutal rush of songs like thunderhead, the gossamer cocteau twinsesque Beauty of breaking hands and the smooth 80's Power ballad sound heard on port of souls is a fool.