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
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.
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
Also available :
By Nick Kelly
Temple Bar, Dublin July 16, 2003
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.
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.
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.
Man, it is freezing around here.
Frank Black & The Catholics
SHOW ME YOUR TEARS - track listing:
Manitoba / This Old
Heartache / Massif Centrale / Goodbye Lorraine / My
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.