I am by no means the biggest Pixies fan. I was first introduced to them in college, many moons ago, and I have fond memories of rocking out to Surfer Rosa while driving (maybe a little too fast) over Hwy 17 (a very windy road), from Santa Cruz to San Jose. They are unique in a sea of blah and have influenced so many great bands along the way. I once read an interview with Kurt Cobain where he said when he wrote “Smells Like Teen Spirit” he was just trying to write a song that sounded like the Pixies (and he followed by saying he failed). I do hear the Pixies in Nirvana—and maybe that’s the part of Nirvana I like(?)—but still, the Pixies are really on a plane of their own.

This video is from their appearance on NPR’s Tiny Desk Concert series, February 3, 2014. I particularly like how Francis just stares stoically into the audience between numbers and at the end.