Friday, May 04, 2012

20 Essential Albums: Surfer Rosa/Come on Pilgrim

Before “Where Is My Mind?” appeared in Fight Club and commercials and covers, The Pixies’ double-album CD Surfer Rosa/Come on Pilgrim was a fantastic record. Maybe it’s because I didn’t go to college straight out of high school, but the term “college rock” has never meant much to me.  But is a term that inevitably arises when discussing the Pixies.

The album came out of the many that were dumped on me by friends that worked at Denver’s Wax Trax record store. Surfer Rosa, originally released in 1998, was paired with the EP Come on Pilgrim, and released on CD in 1992.  For me, the album was the soundtrack to a hot summer spent in a dusty garden-level apartment. Not college.

For all the depth and darkness in my favorite music, this record is remarkable carefree. Fun, even. There’s no reason to doubt why “Where Is My Mind?” has become a popular song, but the album to me was more characterized by songs like “Cactus” and “Vamos.” Everything about the album is little quirky, including the lyrics with lines like “If we get bored we’ll move to California,” and “Run outside with your dress all wet and send it to me.”

The Pixies have some good songs on some other albums, but none are as good as those here.

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