Frank Black
 
 
::: LIVE ::: Vicar Street, Dublin ~ February 9th, 2008
New album “Bluefinger”
limited edition CD/DVD package - To be made available via retail outlets on 5th February 2007
“CHRISTMASS” limited edition CD/DVD package Released on 18th December via mail order only
“Fastman / Raiderman” Irish Release on 16th June 2006
PIXIES' FRANK BLACK TO RELEASE "HONEYCOMB" SOLO ALBUM
frankblackfrancis 2 CD set Released 18th October 2004
“Pistolero” (Cooking Vinyl)) Reissued 21st June 2004
Frank Black & The Catholics “Frank Black & The Catholics” Reissued 6th Oct 2003
Frank Black Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin
Frank Black& The Catholics "Show Me Your Tears"
 
 
 
 

BLACK FRANCIS

::: LIVE ::: Vicar Street, Dublin ~ February 9th, 2008
Mini-Album "SVN FNGRS" - Irish Release 29th February 2008

New album “Bluefinger”
AN ODE TO DUTCH ARTIST HERMAN BROOD - OUT NOW
Features the Single "Threshold Apprehension", “Captain Pasty", & the New Single “She Took All The Money"

OUT NOW on Cooking Vinyl

http://www.blackfrancis.net/ http://bluefingeronline.com

Video for THRESHOLD APPREHENSION Click Here
New Video for "I SENT AWAY" from the Upcoming Mini-Album "SVN FNGRS - Click Here...gettin' back to basics!!

In February I will be on tour in Europe promoting my debut Black Francis release BLUEFINGER. It is the first release under my old Pixies moniker. All of the 11 songs are inspired by Dutch rocker and painter Herman Brood. The record will be performed in it's entirety with the sessions line-up of me on vocals and guitar, Dan Schmid on bass, and Jason Carter on drums. Absent from the line-up is vocalist (and wife) Violet Clark, who happily left a recent West coast swing of the tour after discovering she was pregnant with our 5th child!

I am in contact with Brood's management about using some of the many images from the late painter's works in my nightclub show, and I look forward to having the show colored by his vision. The record would not have been possible without him!

In the weeks leading up to the tour, I will be utilizing blogs and forums like frankblack.net and my own official blackfrancis.net to discuss with fans not only what OTHER songs I might perform ESPECIALLY for their town, but also to investigate best locale for me to take my espresso, best Thai food, best bar for pre-show cocktail, best place to score heroin (just kidding!), etc. Also, I will be running a paparazzi photo contest of yours truly patronizing your local hot spots, and announcing precise locations for my 'pre-core' performances. You see, I despise performing the much debased encore, and so on this tour I will be performing solo acoustic 'pre-cores' at pre-determined meeting points (maybe YOUR kitchen!); and, yes, I will be taking Pixies requests; good enough for Herman, good enough for me.

-Black Francis
Oregon Territory


BLACK FRANCIS - New mini album SVN FNGRS
Irish Release 29th February 2008
Cooking Vinyl


Cooking Vinyl has agreed to release my latest session (thank you CV!), which I have called SVN FNGRS, on 29th February 2008. It was written, recorded and mixed in six days, and on the seventh day Mark Lemhouse did artwork. The band for the session was myself, of course, on guitar, vocals and harmonica, Jason Carter on drums, and Violet Clark on bass. The session was produced Jason Carter. There are seven (7) songs clocking in at 20 minutes and so I suppose it qualifies as a mini-LP under the old formats. No one seems to know or care what the current format models are (a very weakened LP on compact disc continues to rule the roost by default), which is WONDERFUL; so let's just call it music and pay whatever price your Google research turns up. If you want it for free you can usually find some tracks for free download on my Myspace page or on my own blackfrancis.net. The production is sparse in terms of the band, which, by the way, seems to be a kind of 'Black Francis' thing that has been developing ever since I went back to the old stage name, but is much more produced in terms of the vocal layering of my own voice, perhaps along the lines of TEENAGER OF THE YEAR. I won't bother you here with what the damn concept is, but let's just say the theme revolves around a lot of NASTY sex, NASTIER death, and beautifully strange birth. It was a coincidence that the whole 'finger' thing turns up again; management asked for a digital b-side for a BLUEFINGER track and what they got was this seven fingered thing which is not related to the HERMAN BROOD concept, although I assure you he would approve of all this nasty business. I have made a video for the song I SENT AWAY (one of the birth songs) and you can see it on youtube and other places, so I guess that qualifies as the first single as released by the impatient artist. I believe the more pragmatic record company is releasing another song (THE SEUS - Charles Normal re-mix) as ITS first single and I'll make an internet vid for that one, too, as soon as I finish recording the digital b-side for THAT (maybe I'll do a self indulgent symphony - note to myself: symphony wiki - written in 10 minutes); DAMN! That espresso this morning was BLACK and STRONG! BLACK & STRONG & LONG! MUDDY BLACK WATER! My brain is exploding...

Black Francis
Eugene, Oregon

Svn Fngrs tracklisting :
1. The Seus
2. Garbage Heap
3. Half Man
4. I Sent Away
5. Seven Fingers
6. The Tale of Lonesome Fetter
7. When They Come To Murder Me

 
 
 
 
BLACK FRANCIS
New album “Bluefinger”
Released 3rd September 2007 on Cooking Vinyl

Also ...
"Frank Black 93 – 03" (see below)
2-CD Set (includes bonus disc of live tracks and demos)
Released June 1st, 2007 on Cooking Vinyl
New Frank Black Microsite: www.frankblack9303.com

Black Francis / Frank Black Explains ....

What is in a name? I had a stage name suggested to me by my father about 20 years ago during a time when I was considering seeking my fortune in the rock and roll business. “Why don’t you call yourself BLACK FRANCIS” he said. “Sure”, I answered, never questioning why. A few years later when I left my group The Pixies I decided to symbolically go another direction and adopted the inverted FRANK BLACK. I felt validated when someone I know in the business told me that just before this time, while driving Warren Zevon to his performance, had explained that he would be driving someone called BLACK FRANCIS on the following night, and that Warren had quipped “that guy ought to change his name to FRANK BLACK”.

I never thought I’d go back to the old stage name, although I secretly missed it. I never thought I’d go back to the old band, although I discovered during a reunion tour years later that I missed them, too. But these things are bittersweet, and all of the rekindled foreplay of performing the old BLACK FRANCIS songs never warmed to the full coitus of a reunion LP. Even the sessions we did manage for two new recordings (a song by Kim Deal and another by Warren Zevon) were fun, but the quick f**k was awkward.

I privately went back to the old stage name, if that even makes any sense, almost as a joke. I couldn’t get The Pixies back into a studio, but I would transform into my alter ego of yesteryear. I spoke the magic syllables aloud and nothing happened; just as I thought. Soon after my new manager asked me for a bonus track for a “best of” compilation to be released later in the year. And as I prepared for the session I became (honestly) gripped by the spirit of Herman Brood, and my bonus track expanded into an 11 song record called BLUEFINGER in just a few days. Thank you Herman. You were at the distant edge of my vision for years when suddenly I was under your influence like a cloud of opium, like the scent of the house of the rising sun. Bliss. Bliss. Bliss. I had spoken the magical name and nothing had happened, but I was impatient, and like so many people, I thought the magic would reveal itself in an instant, as depicted in films. Magic is more subtle. And Herman Brood did turn me back into BLACK FRANCIS. Funny how things work out. You just never know.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono claimed the Amsterdam Hilton in 1969. 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.

Warren Zevon and Herman Brood were both blessed piano players. And you know, I am crazy for Leon Russell. “Who are my influences” I’ve been asked about a thousand times, and I just never really know what to say. Piano rolls are cool, sheesh, they shaped the 3 minute pop song; but even as they threatened the station of the human piano player, the piano player stayed at his bench, and would not be outdone (or will ever be outdone) by the fantastic machines. I don’t know who my influences are, but I love the piano players who stayed true.

Black Francis
May 2007
unincorporated suburb, Oregon

 
 
 
 
FRANK BLACK
“CHRISTMASS”
limited edition CD/DVD package
To be made available via retail outlets on 5th February 2007
::: “Best Of” planned for Summer 2007:::
Do What You Want) Gyaneshwar Click Here to See Video on Youtube )


Originally available via Mail Order Only back in December 2006, the overwhelming response now sees the release of “Christmass", the limited edition CD/DVD from Frank Black to Music retail outlets on February 5th. This release is comprised of live acoustic recordings from Summer 2006, along with five studio tracks recorded partly in hotel rooms and partly at Planet of Sound Studios in Hartford, Connecticut; there is also a DVD (NTSC format) with selections from one of the live acoustic shows. In total there are seven new songs. The project was produced by longtime Pixies’ camp member Myles Mangino

Features 7 new Frank Black Tunes; complete tracklisting below:

CD: 1. (Do What You Want) Gyaneshwar, 2. Bullet, 3. I Burn Today, 4. Wave Of Mutilation, 5. Living On Soul, 6. She’s My Way, 7. Massif Central, 8. Where Is My Mind, 9. Raiderman, 10. Demon Girl, 11. Dead Man’s Curve, 12. Cactus, 13. Six Sixty Six, 14. Radio Lizards, 15. Don’t Get Me Wrong, 16. All Around The World, 17. Nadine, 18. Manitoba, 19. The Water, 20. Outakes/Song Of The Shrimp


DVD: 1. Intro/Los Angeles, 2. Brackish Boy, 3. I Burn Today, 4. Cactus, 5. Nadine, 6. The Holiday Song, 7. Sing For Joy, 8. Dead Man’s Curve, 9. California Bound, 10. Ed Is Dead, 11. My Life In Storage, 12. Two Reelers, 13. Whiskey In Your Shoes.

A brief interview with the artist conducted by his wife, Violet, follows:

Violet: I know you too well, I know how picky you are about questions. I am under a lot of pressure here!

Frank: Don’t worry about it, honey. I’ll walk you through it. Plus, it’s only for mail order ... plus, it’s the holiday season. This should just be about us having fun.

Violet: Okay then ... how do you think the record turned out? Do you have a favourite track?

Frank: I think the record turned out great! I’ve resisted all of this laptop technology for so long now, but I have to admit, it really made things convenient for us out there on the road. Recording in the hotel rooms was especially a treat. I really enjoyed recording ‘Radio Lizards’. It’s about the strangest recording I’ve ever done - just voices. Lots and lots of voices ... Singing about the haunting road of the troubadour ... fellow troubadour Mark Mulcahy really helped out on this one. He sings like
a beautiful woman.

Violet: Having seen many of your acoustic shows this summer, I feel that this record really captures the essence of the live acoustic Frank Black experience. What do you get out of hearing the live tracks now?

Frank: Well gee, Violet, I'd have to say, I really get a kick out of finally getting to hear what some of the audience members are yelling at me, because I find it very hard to focus on these comments during a show. People are funny.

Violet: ... and you can be quite funny, too, when you’re up there, just you and your guitar. Were you a stand up comedian in a past life?

Frank: Well, comedians are troubadours, too. Remember that one time when we saw Eddie Izzard having coffee in Portland?

Violet: Yes! Except that I wasn't there. You called and rubbed it in my face.

Frank: Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot.

Violet: Let’s talk about the title for a moment, Frank.

Frank: My father always encouraged me to one day put out a Christmas album, which I always found a bit strange, since he was a self-declared pagan. But, I guess by ‘Christmas’ he meant winter. And it always sort of bothered me that that extra ‘s’ got dropped off of Christmas.

Violet: Merry Christmass then, Frank.

Frank: And a Happy Green Man to you, Darling.

www.cookingvinyl.com

A Frank Black “Best Of…” album is planned for Summer 2007. More details to follow …

 
 
 
 
FRANK BLACK
“CHRISTMASS”
limited edition CD/DVD package
Released on 18th December via mail order only
Features 7 new Frank Black Tunes:

# (Do What You Want) Gyaneshwar ( Click Here to See Video on Youtube )
# She's My Way
# Demon Girl
# Dead Man's Curve
# Radio Lizards
# Don’t Get Me Wrong
# The Water


Monday 18th December sees the release of “Christmass”, the limited edition CD/DVD from Frank Black. This release is comprised of live acoustic recordings from Summer 2006, along with five studio tracks recorded partly in hotel rooms and partly at Planet of Sound Studios in Hartford, Connecticut; there is also a DVD (NTSC format) with selections from one of the live acoustic shows. In total there are seven new songs. The project was produced by longtime Pixies’ camp member Myles Mangino. While the CD/DVD may one day be distributed to retail outlets, it is currently only available as a mail order release from www.recordstore.co.uk/cookingvinyl.

A brief interview with the artist conducted by his wife, Violet, follows:

Violet: I know you too well, I know how picky you are about questions. I am under a lot of pressure here!

Frank: Don’t worry about it, honey. I’ll walk you through it. Plus, it’s only for mail order ... plus, it’s the holiday season. This should just be about us having fun.

Violet: Okay then ... how do you think the record turned out? Do you have a favourite track?

Frank: I think the record turned out great! I’ve resisted all of this laptop technology for so long now, but I have to admit, it really made things convenient for us out there on the road. Recording in the hotel rooms was especially a treat. I really enjoyed recording ‘Radio Lizards’. It’s about the strangest recording I’ve ever done - just voices. Lots and lots of voices ... Singing about the haunting road of the troubadour ... fellow troubadour Mark Mulcahy really helped out on this one. He sings like
a beautiful woman.

Violet: Having seen many of your acoustic shows this summer, I feel that this record really captures the essence of the live acoustic Frank Black experience. What do you get out of hearing the live tracks now?

Frank: Well gee, Violet, I'd have to say, I really get a kick out of finally getting to hear what some of the audience members are yelling at me, because I find it very hard to focus on these comments during a show. People are funny.

Violet: ... and you can be quite funny, too, when you’re up there, just you and your guitar. Were you a stand up comedian in a past life?

Frank: Well, comedians are troubadours, too. Remember that one time when we saw Eddie Izzard having coffee in Portland?

Violet: Yes! Except that I wasn't there. You called and rubbed it in my face.

Frank: Oh yeah, sorry, I forgot.

Violet: Let’s talk about the title for a moment, Frank.

Frank: My father always encouraged me to one day put out a Christmas album, which I always found a bit strange, since he was a self-declared pagan. But, I guess by ‘Christmas’ he meant winter. And it always sort of bothered me that that extra ‘s’ got dropped off of Christmas.

Violet: Merry Christmass then, Frank.

Frank: And a Happy Green Man to you, Darling.

 
 
 
 

Frank Black's new micro-site
www.fastman-raiderman.com also new myspace for Frank Black's new album
www.myspace.com/fastmanraiderman

FRANK BLACK
“Fastman / Raiderman”
Irish Release on 16th June 2006
...on Cooking Vinyl Records
::: New Double CD from the Pixies Frontman :::
Features a stellar collection of Legendary Musicians

Following the critical success of 2005’s “Honeycomb”, Pixies icon Frank Black will see the release of his ambitious new double-CD, “Fastman/Raiderman”, on Friday 16th June.

Paired again with producer Jon Tiven, the 27-song CD was recorded over a two-year period at studios in Nashville and Los Angeles, and slams a bit harder than the laid-back “Honeycomb”.

“Fastman/Raiderman” features some of the most celebrated players in music, including Levon Helm from The Band, Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick, Heartbreaker drummer Steve Ferrone, the legendary Al Kooper, honky-tonk hero Marty Brown, songwriting enigma P.F. Sloan, and Simon Kirke from Bad Company and Free, as well as “Honeycomb” ‘returnees’ Steve Cropper, Reggie Young, Buddy Miller, Spooner Oldman and Chester Thompson, to name just a few.

For Black, the recording of “Fastman/Raiderman” was a bit of a homecoming. “On Honeycomb I was walking on eggshells,” he admits about his renowned ‘back-up’ band. “These guys are still legends, but now that we’d hung around a bit, I was more at ease.”

Songs on “Fastman/Raiderman” include the somewhat bizarre ‘Kiss My Ring’, the almost hallucinogenic ‘Dog Sleep’, and the overlay of the lyrically obscure and the body-punch, visceral groove of ‘In the Time of My Ruin’. ‘Highway to Lowdown’, ‘Sad Man’s Song’, and ‘Where the Wind Is Going’ were originally recorded for “Honeycomb” but didn’t match that album’s laid-back feel so have been in hibernation until now. ‘Fitzgerald’ and ‘Elijah’ look back to when Black and the Pixies were just beginning to turn rock music inside out from their home base in Boston, and ‘My Terrible Ways’ is a true, tragic story of heroism in the devastation in Mississippi from Hurricane Katrina.

One of Black’s favorites is the track ‘Raiderman’ which was recorded one lazy summer night at Tiven’s house in Nashville. It boasts an accompaniment from a chorus of cicadas chirping in the backyard and Tiven’s dog Sammy, who made himself heard right before the second verse. “That provides a nice backdrop to this tale of a Polish coal miner who lost his legs to the coal train,” Black says. “He ends up being a security man after he gets fired by the coal company, chasing the Raiderman away.”

As Black is fond of doing, some of the new songs were recorded in a single 24-hour marathon session with musicians coming and going in three shifts and only one two-hour break for some shuteye.

“We gutted it out on sheer adrenaline,” Tiven remembers. “By the end things were getting surreal and we were just going with the untamed forces of the universe. If you’re halfway between waking and sleeping, you can do things with a song that might not normally seem possible.”

Black plans to put together a band that can support the songs on “Fastman/Raiderman” and hit the road later this year. First, he’ll join his Pixies’ bandmates on a European summer tour.

Nobody is as fast as Frank Black. His work with the Pixies was like a string of firecrackers: tiny songs, most of them just over a couple of minutes long, that pop against the cold stone surface of pop music, each one leaving its mark on the landscape.

Nobody raids the pop music trove like Frank Black. From the formative years as a punk rock innovator through, on last year’s Honeycomb, Americana, he grabs every treat within his reach, rolls it around, and hands it back, Frank Blackened to the core.

Thus, the title of his new, most ambitious record: a sprawl of music on two discs, recorded over nearly two years with unlikely accomplices – veterans from immortal rhythm sections (Motown, Stax, Muscle Shoals, Phil Spector’s Wrecking Crew), guys you’d never expect to find working together (Levon Helm from the Band, Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick, Buddy Miller, honky-tonk hero Marty Brown, songwriting enigma P. F. Sloan), plus a former Catholic or two.

Fastman Raiderman picks up where Black’s Honeycomb album left off. Paired again with producer Jon Tiven (B.B. King, Wilson Pickett, Graham Parker), he offers 27 songs, from the somewhat bizarre (“Kiss My Ring”) to reflections on the dark sides of recent history (“Raiderman”) and the almost hallucinogenic (“Dog Sleep”) and the overlay of the lyrically obscure and the body-punch, visceral groove (“In The Time Of My Ruin”).

What’s interesting is that each of these four particular songs stem from a different recording session, each one exposing a distinctive shade of Black. The more you listen, the clearer their nuances become – and, paradoxically, the more the big picture comes together.

Here’s the breakdown.

The Honeycomb Session, April 2004

Stranded in post-divorce in Portland, Oregon, Black decides to stir up some music with Tiven. They had collaborated previously on the Headache EPs of 1994. Since then, Tiven had left New York for Nashville. He sets the stage, lines up an Olympian assembly of musicians, books time at Dan Penn’s studio, and as Black tries to relax in the presence of players he had idolized since childhood – Steve Cropper, Reggie Young, Spooner Oldham – starts rolling tape.

The results are thoughtful, reflective, and quietly soulful, except for a few cuts that slam a bit harder. “Songs Like ‘Kiss My Ring, ‘Highway to Lowdown’, ‘Sad Man’s Song’ and ‘Where The Wind Is Going’ didn’t have that laid-back feeling of Honeycomb,” Black says. “I was sad to see those songs go, but we decided to set them aside.”

And so four songs go into hibernation and wait for the right moment to spring back to life. That moment would come eventually, but first …

All-Nighter at Cowboy Jack’s, October 2004

Maybe six months after wrapping up Honeycomb, Black finds one empty day on his calendar, between Pixies concerts at Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium and in Tampa. Rather than spend the day crashed on a hotel bed, he calls Tiven again to see if he could get a few of the guys together for another round.

Some are free, including Cropper and drummer Billy Block. Others aren’t. And Penn’s studio isn’t available. So Tiven summons a strange combination of players to Cowboy Jack Clement’s studio. Motown’s Bob Babbitt, Cheap Trick’s Petersson and drummer Simon Kirke from Free show up ready to play, and Levon Helm actually drives in from New York to make this date. Black calls a couple of his friends too: steel guitarist Rich Gilbert, who had played with Frank Black & The Catholics, and guitarist Lyle Workman, who goes back with Black to Teenager Of The Year and has just finished scoring a new film about to be released, The 40 Year Old Virgin.

In the end, so many players want in that Black crams them all in a single 24-hour session, with musicians coming and going in three shifts and only one two hour break for some shuteye.

“I just wanted to do a session,” Black explains. “But it doesn’t take long before I start thinking like, ‘Hey there’s going to be a bunch of guys there. If I show up with 15 songs, we might get a record out of this.’ I wasn’t sure about it when we finished though, because everything had turned into a bit of blur.”

“We gutted it out on sheer adrenalin,” Tiven remembers. “By the end things were surreal and we were just going with the untamed forces of the universe. If you’re halfway between waking and sleeping, you can do things with a song that might not normally seem possible.”

Another Nashville Dance, October 2005

A year passes. Black comes back to Nashville for the Americana Festival. Once again he calls Tiven, this time with a little more slack in his schedule. By now it’s like homecoming. Cropper, Reggie Young, Buddy Miller, everybody says hi to Black as if they’d just run into him yesterday. Black, too, is relaxed: “On Honeycomb I was walking on eggshells,” he admits. “They’re still legends, but now that we’d hung around a bit, I was more at ease.”

Augmented once again by some of Black’s old friends, including Gilbert and saxophonist Jack Kidney, whom he had met through David Thomas of Pere Ubu, this lineup cut the last of the Nashville tracks for Fastman Raiderman. Some of them – “Fitzgerald”, “Elijah” – look back to when Black and the Pixies were just beginning to turn rock music inside out from their home base in Boston. Others ponder more recent events – a true, tragic story of heroism in Hurricane Katrina’s devastation of Southern Mississippi on “My Terrible Ways”. The musicians play with an easy familiarity; their communion, and their understanding of this material, elevate Black’s artistry.

But there’s electricity here too, especially in an unplanned final session. After three days of recording Black ambles back to Cowboy Jack’s to hang out as Tiven adds a couple of overdubs. The producer has brought a friend, Marty Brown, to do some backup harmony. As members of the band from the previous day’s session strip down their gear, the two singers talk. Brown, raised in Kentucky’s wild hills and know throughout Nashville for his raw, down-home delivery, has only a vague idea of who Black is – and vice versa. Yet soon none of that matters.

“We were playing songs back and forth, trying to get to know each other,” Black recalls. “I said something about divorce songs, and he said, ‘Yeah, I got me one of those.’ And he picks up his guitar, and I swear, as he was sitting in this chair his legs kept moving towards the floor until he was basically on bended knee. His eyes closed, as if in prayer. And he performed this song like he was at the Grammies or on the Super Bowl halftime show. It was like ‘Whoa! I’ve got to work with you right now!””

Black doesn’t have any more of his own songs ready, so he suggests covering Ewan MacColl’s “Dirty Old Town”. Brown is game, and Black asks the band to set up and join them on one more track. When Black spells out the arrangement he’d dreamed up that morning, and Buddy Miller finds a rumbling low riff on guitar, and Billy Block punches it up with a swaggering drum groove, the two singers nail it, as if they’d been singing about grimy factory life together for years.

Idyll at Tiven’s, September 2005

There was just one track cut on this lazy, late summer night at the producer’s house, but Black singles it out as his favourite in this collection. It captures him with Duane Jarvis on acoustic guitars, doing “Raiderman” with accompaniment from a chorus of cicadas chirping in the backyard and Tiven’s dog Sammy, who makes himself heard right before he second verse. “That provides a nice backdrop to this tale of a Polish coal miner who lost his legs to the coal train,” Black says. “He ends up being a security man after he gets fired by the coal company, chasing the Raiderman away …”

West Coast Wrap, January 2006

A birthday party for Black in L.A. triggers the last four tracks. Tiven shows up with a friend: P.F. Sloan, whose “Eve of Destruction” flared out of radio speakers throughout the world in the mid-sixties, as if to herald his arrival and departure at the same moment. The producer is just beginning to work with Sloan on a new album; Black has already contributed some duet vocals, which he’d mailed from Japan. But it’s soon obvious that Fastman Raiderman requires a denouement – one more session, this time in L.A.

And so a new cast gathers a few months later, as Black comes to the coast to guest on Henry Rollins’ TV show: drummers Jim Keltner and Steve Ferrone, bassist Carol Kaye, Dave Phillips on steel guitar, Duane Jarvis – who had played at some of the Nashville dates – on guitar, and Sloan on piano. Black, inspired, starts getting up at five in the morning to write for this new configuration of energies and talents. There’s a lot to do, in a ridiculously short amount of time. So when the studio date arrives, Black leaves his hotel, feeling unprepared, feeling as if there was no way he can pull off one more time what he’d done on Nashville …

…. Feeling, to tell the truth, pretty damn good.

“There’s a high that comes from not being ready,” he says. “It’s like gambling. I knew I’d bitten off more than I could chew, but there’s something great about saying ‘Just do it, man!’ And of course it all worked out.”

These tracks hit with a harder rock feel that the stuff Black had laid down in Nashville. “Maybe it’s because I’m from L.A. and I felt like I was back in my ‘hood,” he muses. “But I felt like I was pulling this music up from my past. P. F. Sloan was a big influence, especially on ‘It’s Just Not Your Moment.’ I was soaking up whatever information I could get from him about L.A. and the sixties, and a lot of that went into what we did together.”

The Meaning Of It All

Black is already moving past this milestone double CD. Feelers are out to put a band together that can support this material on the road – not an easy assignment, but considering the caliber of the players he’s connected with over these past couple of years, hardly impossible.

“But I would never do anything as hokey as to tie the title of this album to me,” Black insists, “even though I worked on all these tracks in fast, intense bursts, with the fastest guys and gals out there. And I’ve been able to raid all kinds of mojos in rock and country that I’d never been able to dip into before because I didn’t have the credentials. But now I feel like I can record with anybody because I know the guy at the door who can get us in, you know what I mean?”

Black laughs, like a kid who knows how to finagle his way backstage at a Pixies reunion when he shares with his friends how it all came down. That’s Fastman Raiderman too: It’s rock & roll and something deeper, it’s country and something more urgent, all at the same time.

It’s Frank Black, and that’s all that really needs to be said.

 
 
 
 
PIXIES' FRANK BLACK
TO RELEASE "HONEYCOMB" SOLO ALBUM
Black Makes Magic in the Studio with Legendary Musicians

Irish Release15th July 2005

Friday 15th July sees the Irish release of ”Honeycomb”, Frank Black’s first solo effort since 1996’s “The Cult of Ray”. The Americana-flavored album was recorded at Dan Penn's Better Songs and Gardens studio in Nashville, TN over a four-day period in April, 2004, a few days before the Pixies kicked off their very first reunion tour date. “Honeycomb” features some of the most celebrated players in music: Steve Cropper, Buddy Miller and Reggie Young on guitars, drummers Chester Thompson, Anton Fig, Billy Block, and Akil Thompson, David Hood on bass, and Spooner Oldham on keyboards, among others. “Honeycomb” was produced by Jon Tiven (Wilson Pickett, B.B. King, Robert Plant) who also worked with Black on his 1994 “Headache” EP.

”It was wonderful to have these incredible musicians poking fun at my non-Nashville chord progressions,” said Black. “And then give me a wink after a take to let me know that they approved and enjoyed it. I was so lucky to have them playing on this album.”

Black wrote all but three of the fourteen songs on “Honeycomb”, the exceptions being covers of “Dark End of the Street” (Dan Penn & Chips Moman), “Song of the Shrimp” (Roy Bennett & Sid Tepper) from the Elvis Presley film "Girls, Girls Girls,") and “Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day” (Doug Sahm). Some of the original Black compositions on “Honeycomb” include ”I Burn Today”, “My Life is in Storage”, “Atom In My Heart”, “Another Velvet Nightmare” (co-written with Reid Paley), “Go Find Your Saint” and “Violet”.

Those involved with the making of “Honeycomb” agree that it was a tremendous music experience. According to producer Tiven, “We spent more time having fun and charting the songs than we did with the actual recording; most of the songs were done in one or two takes.” The “Honeycomb” sessions also marked the first time that many of these veteran musicians, whose collective histories are entrenched at Stax Records, Muscle Shoals and American Studios - the three studios synonymous with Southern soul music - had played together. “This was the only time that I have ever been in a studio and had the strange feeling that I was witnessing something spiritual,” Black remembered. “When we were recording, those guys didn’t even look at each other, they closed their eyes and THEY MEANT IT. I have never recorded with people who meant what they played so much.

”I can say without a doubt that the Honeycomb session was the most moving and mind-blowing experience I’ve ever had in my musical career. Steve Cropper co-wrote the first rock’n’roll song that I ever sang in front of an audience (“In The Midnight Hour”). It was a pure pleasure to come full circle with Mr. Cropper.”

As the vocalist/songwriter for one of the most influential bands to emerge from the '80s - Pixies - Frank Black is unique and celebrated in his talent to blend punk and indie guitar, surf rock and Beatles-esque music with bizarre lyrics about everything from religion to pop culture. Just prior to Pixies' 1993 breakup, Black began his solo career, and since then has released nine albums as either a solo artist or as Frank Black and the Catholics. Last year, Pixies got back together for a one of the most anticipated reunions in ages, one that SPIN named "The Comeback of the Year."


2 X CD Set (Cooking Vinyl)
Released 18th October 2004

 
“Sometime back in 1987 I think, Gary Smith (the producer of what would become the Pixies first record), asked me to drop by his apartment in the Allston section of Boston, just down the street from the building I was born in, to play some songs into his cassette walkman. He and the band were scheduled to go into the studio, the original Fort Apache in the Roxbury section of Boston, the following day to record Come On Pilgrim, although it did not have a title at the time. Gary wanted to have some audio notes on the songs for the sessions. We were both excited about the session, to take place over three days; my father had given me the thousand dollars to pay for it. The first cd in this set is that tape.

A few years ago a couple of record companies had expressed interest in releasing the tape, kind of a time capsule thing, and I signed some papers. The project sat around for a few years, mostly because my manager, Ken Goes, and I always felt a little uncomfortable about releasing only that tape to the buying public, as it was not a planned performance, a little casual, and very bootleg in sonic quality. Sure the uberfans would be happy enough about the content, but we both felt that a potential new fan might feel a bit ripped off. Ken suggested I re-record some of the old repertoire in some new way, especially a well recorded way, so as to balance this product out a bit. I realize some fans or critics might feel like I am messing with the gospel here, but really these are the reasons for all these recordings here and now.

I first met the Two Pale Boys, Andy and Keith, at a gig some years ago in West Hollywood, the trumpet and guitar members of that trio formed with David Thomas. When David asked me to perform at UCLA as part of his Mirror Man improv-opera in early 2003, Andy and Keith were in the band again, and I asked them to come down on their one day off to record with the Catholics on Show Me Your Tears. The two pale fellows from England offered their studio and input on some undefined project in the undefined future. In the hot summer of 2003, July I think, I went down to the Hackney section of London and belted out the numbers and let the boys do their thing. Those sessions represent the other CD. I enjoy their work, with me or with others. I liked those guys a lot. Sure, we’ve messed with the gospel, but I am satisfied with it.”

Frank Black Francis, Copenhagen 2004

 
 
 

FRANK BLACK & THE CATHOLICS
“Pistolero” (Cooking Vinyl))
Reissued 21st June 2004

Monday 21st June sees the re-issue of “Pistolero” by Frank Black & The Catholics. Originally released in 1999, “Pistolero” was the second record that Frank Black had recorded live to 2-track.

Says Black : “It was meant to be a larger production, but still recorded live to 2-track; we were going to bring in additional musicians to play the parts that normally would have been overdubbed, and my old drummer Nick Vincent (on ‘Frank Black’ and ‘Teenager Of The Year’) would be producing and acting as a kind of musical director for all the different musicians, writing charts and arranging, and basically being our Phil Spector; The Catholics would be the band at the core. Well, I kind of fucked up that concept. It ended up just being the core. I finished a batch of songs and got all excited. I called up the band, who all live on the East Coast, and asked if they could come out to L.A. in a few days. I overnighted them a hastily recorded demo of all the songs, some of which they had never heard, and I called Nick Vincent, who lives here in L.A. and begged him to get together with me the very next morning to hear all my precious, pretty little numbers that we were going to record the following week sans orchestra. The recording went smoothly, done during two sessions totalling 10 days, longer than ‘Frank Black And The Catholics’ which was a four-day session. The longer session allowed us to play the new material over and over while the tape ran. About half the songs were grown out of riffs and chord progressions that we’d been playing around with for months or even years, so it wasn’t all new material, except to our new guitarist, RICH GILBERT (EX-HUMAN SEXUAL RESPONSE, EX-ZULUS, EX-CONCUSSION ENSEMBLE), who had only just started playing with us. But the situation suited Rich just fine. He is a wild, spontaneous player, who Scott Boutier (drums), Dave McCaffrey (bass) and I had been admiring for years. Nick Vincent managed to squeeze in some great intuitive thought and extremely subtle direction and knew instantly which of the many takes we did should be on the record; so the sessions simply consisted of us playing, Billy Bowers recording, and Nick Vincent cracking the whip; no video gaming going on at a Catholics session.

“I know it doesn’t fit in with what’s happening in the charts, on the radio, in the typical, well-produced scene, but we love this whole live recording thing. And it seems appropriate for a band like us so stuck on the guitar, which by the way is a Spanish instrument that has been around since the early 1600’s for those naysayers who are so quick to damn the guitar every time there is an innovation in automated music (hey, the metronome has been with us since the early 1800’s). Personally, I think pop music grown out of a computer is a great advancement that brings more people to music, both artists and patrons. But is rock dead? Such a negative place from which to ask such a pointless question. Who knows how long music has been with us? That is a true mystery.”

 
 
 
  Frank Black & The Catholics
“Frank Black & The Catholics” (COOKCD265)
Reissued 6th October 2003

Monday 6th October 2003 sees the re-release of Frank Black & The Catholics eponymous album. Originally released in 1998, the album features eleven raw Frank Black songs and a raucous cover of Larry Norman's “Six Sixty-Six.”

”We recorded the tape over three days, and since it was only meant to be a demo, we cut it old-school, live to 2-track. After rehearsals in our rented rock space we walked across the parking lot to a studio they call the City of Sound, a studio with history, a studio that was a Vox amplifier factory before it was a studio, a studio where titles like Damn the Torpedoes, Rumours, and Nevermind were recorded; we had cut The Cult of Ray there too. The recording captured a moment before someone sucked all the heart out of it. All that tedious overdubbing and the latest fix-it-in-the-mix computer technology — we’re not interested in that. It’s rough and ready; a diamond in the rough.” (Frank Black)

The following Frank Black & The Catholics albums are available
now through Cooking Vinyl :
Dog In Sand (COOKCD200)
Black Letter Days (COOKCD240)
Devils Workshop (COOKCD243)
Show Me Your Tears (COOKCD262)

Also available :
Frank Black – “The Cult of Ray” (COOKCD221)
Pixies “Purple Tape” (COOKCD234)

 
 
 
  Frank Black
By Nick Kelly
Pop
Temple Bar, Dublin
July 16, 2003
 
  IT’S hard to calculate how influential Frank Black has been. With the Pixies, he made two of the greatest albums of all time in Surfer Rosa and Doolittle; Kurt Cobain admitted that he ripped him off for Smells Like Teen Spirit, as did a thousand other grunge and nu-metal bands since, while even David Bowie covered the Pixies song Cactus on his last album. And clapping excitedly on the balcony tonight in the Music Centre is Bono. . .

Yet Frank Black almost didn’t make it to Dublin after the morning ferry was cancelled, but he arrived in the nick of time to put on a stunning show. It included a generous portion of Pixies classics that elicited a euphoric response from the capacity crowd.

This solo acoustic show was part of an impromptu jig around Europe to coincide with a promotional tour for his forthcoming album with his band the Catholics, Show Me Your Tears, due early next month on Cooking Vinyl.

If the minimalist nature of the show meant that there was no reprise of the manic moshing that used to accompany Pixies gigs, Black was still a long way from busker mode. Those beefy power chords still had a real oomph, while his famous gnarl of a voice can still startle the wild cats in the street.

Kicking off with the old Pixies single Velouria, Black eased his way into the show with a selection of crowd-pleasers, such as Mr Grieves and The Holiday Song, while I Want Live on an Abstract Plain represented the best of an uneven solo career that seems to be back on track with the new record. Goodbye Lorraine, for instance, has a yearning, melancholy quality that seems to have its roots more in the country and folk traditions than in what was once called indie rock. Other new songs such as New House of the Pope suggest that Black hasn’t lost his knack for the quirky, memorable image, even if these no longer refer to visiting aliens or the exotic occupants of interplanetary craft.

Indeed, Black has never been one to take himself seriously. Monkey Gone to Heaven had the whole venue screaming that immortal line about the devil being six and God being seven.

A compelling Wave of Mutilation closed the show before an encore of oldies such as Headache and a surprise rendition of Ewan MacColl’s classic ode to Dublin, Dirty Old Town, left the audience unwilling to go home until Black came back. Which he eventually did for a rousing Nimrod’s Son and Tom Waits’s The Black Rider.

 
 
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  FRANK BLACK & THE CATHOLICS
"Show Me Your Tears"
Irish Released 5th September 2003

April 4, 2003

I found a nice space in Hollywood to put my studio up for a while, and that' s where we recorded SHOW ME YOUR TEARS. It's actually a working studio; the owner of the building let us take over the second floor. It's got big windows, and we look out on sad, beautiful, ugly, smoky Los Angeles. I don' t know if the location has influenced the songs, but it felt right to do the songs there. Also, I've been going to therapy. Take out your big knife, doc, and split me right down the middle of my chest, from my neck to my belly. See my heart muscle right here? Pumping and full of electricity.

Take that knife and split my skull open. See the brain about to explode? The doctor said "I'm not interested in your damn brain; you got a big broken heart? Big deal. I'm not interested in your heart, SHOW ME YOUR TEARS!"
And so here they are. Thirteen big, salty tears. Like thirteen little black dogs just born, still in their sacs, about to wake up, ready to howl at the world. There isn't a happy song in this bunch. I mean, maybe MASSIF CENTRALE has a ray of hope, but even then, I don't know, central France can be really cold and lonely. Maybe NADINE is a sexual celebration, but man, I get so sad when I think about her, way back when, ah fuck, whatever happened to me and her? So maybe you'll like this record. May I suggest a single malt scotch, straight up, as an aperitif? Then drink cold, red wine throughout, and then forget about the digestive; put the record on again and go look for that bottle of scotch. You're never going to like one of my damn records if you only listen to it once.

Man, it is freezing around here.

Frank Black
Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Frank Black & The Catholics

SHOW ME YOUR TEARS - track listing:

Manitoba / This Old Heartache / Massif Centrale / Goodbye Lorraine / My
Favorite Kiss / Horrible Day / New House Of The Pope / The Snake / Nadine / Coastline / When Will Happiness Find Me Again? / Everything Is New / Jaina Blues

Produced by Nick Vincent, Stan Ridgway, Ben Mumphrey and FB & The C's. Guest performances by Stan Ridgway, Joey Santiago, Van Dyke Parks, Eric Drew Feldman, Rob Laufer, Jack Kidney, and the Pale Boys.

 
 
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