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Doolittle (Anglais) Broché – 1 janvier 1980

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Descriptions du produit

Revue de presse

'A brilliant series of pocket-sized books focussing on a classic album. Each one a work of real love.' --NME Magazine

Présentation de l'éditeur

The Pixies have had a career unlike any other in alternative rock, disappearing as not-quite-the-next-big-things only to become gods in absentia. 'Doolittle' is their knotty masterpiece, the embodiment of the Pixies' abrasive, exuberant, enigmatic pop. Informed by exclusive interviews with the band, Sisario looks at the making of the album and its place in rock history, and studies its continued influence in light of the Pixies triumphant reunion.

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Commentaires client les plus utiles sur (beta) 4.5 étoiles sur 5 21 commentaires
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent addition to the 33 1/3 series, about one of the quintessential alternative rock albums and bands! 2 décembre 2015
Par Paul R. Mauceri - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Ben Sisario does an excellent job illuminating the various influences, e.g., the surrealist films of Luis Buñuel and David Lynch, behind The Pixies' idiosyncratic and highly original (especially for their time) aesthetic and sound on what can be considered their magnum opus (though I'm sure Pixies fanatics will disagree on this last point). He also provides adequate background on the origin of The Pixies up to the recording and release of Doolittle and the eventual (and well deserved) legendary status they now enjoy as one of the essential American alternative rock bands, despite being under-appreciated during their main active years. Fun and interesting anecdotes abound as well, as Sisario got to hang out with Black Francis, Joey Santiago, and Dave Lovering (now a Magician) - though not Kim Deal - while researching the book, to get their reflections and insights on this fantastic album. I found it a worthy addition to the venerable 33 1/3 series. Another one that I read through in two sittings, three at most. Fun, fun, fun!
5.0 étoiles sur 5 An excellent book for longtime fans or Pixies novices 10 décembre 2013
Par Craig Cainkar - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
You can barely throw a limited-run vinyl without hitting a band that claims to be influenced by the Pixies. They stand as one of the most brashly innovative alt rock bands even to this day. As Ben Sisario points out in his entry in the Thirty Three and 1/3 series, “Doolittle”, the seminal album by the same name is so irreplaceable that not only is it never duplicated, it’s rarely even imitated. Even bands that proudly invoke the Pixies heritage seem unwilling or unable to display their bloodlines loud and proud.

So then, why did this album released in 1989 by a small alt rock band sell more copies after their dissolution than during their heyday? Why do their stop-go songs sprinkled with nigh-unintelligible lyrics reeking of sex, death, violence and rage resonate so persistently? Sisario, impressively, comes as close to pinpointing the answers as anyone ever may, combining the style of a storyteller and the attention to detail of a historian.

His book alternates from scenes of personal discussion with lead singer Charles Thompson to insightful and incisive backgrounding on the state of alt rock and the industry. Even for readers with not the slightest clue of why they should care about the Pixies, Sisario presents a compelling case for why the Pixies were and to some extent still are avant garde. You don’t even have to like them. After reading and listening to Doolittle, you will at minimum respect their contributions.

Sisario has the advantage of studying and personally speaking with Charles Thompson at a time providing clarity of hindsight. Thompson and his band have since reunited in 2004 for touring and begun producing new music only recently, though with a slightly shuffled roster.

Pixies songs have long perplexed listeners with their lyrics. Thompson explains his inspiration and songwriting process in detail, reaffirming some claims he’s made all along while at other times providing glimpses into authentic meanings. Citing surrealist filmmakers as influences on his style, Thompson might have lost the reader if it weren’t for Sisario’s constant and highly welcome explanation.

While Sisario occasionally includes the terse input of guitarist Joey Santiago, drummer David Lovering had little to offer and estranged bassist Kim Deal seems to have stonewalled any attempts to include her side of the Pixies story. A regrettable exclusion, though it does not noticeably impact Sisario’s ability to explain why the music itself matters. In fact, he admirably avoids mucking most of the book with personal interjection until the very end, where his 121-pages-proven musical chops give him more than enough clout to draw some conclusions.

Readers of “Doolittle” might find themselves surprised, impressed, taken aback, disappointed, or all of the above. It will depend largely on their existing knowledge of the Pixies. Musical pariahs who have long claimed Pixies songs to be overrated strummings behind rambling incoherence might find themselves googling “un chien andalou.” On the other hand, members of the if-you-haven’t-heard-the-Pixies-you-don’t-really-know-about-music-at-all club might find themselves ever so slightly disillusioned. Sorry guys, “Silver” really doesn’t mean anything. Even Thompson himself doesn’t know what it’s about, describing the lyrics as “throwaway rhymes.”

Sisario’s thesis on Doolittle is incredibly approachable, weaving personal encounters of the alt rock-kind with well-researched conclusions and elaboration. He leaves even the completely oblivious with a rock solid grasp of why musically inclined folks can’t seem to shut up about the Pixies, while at the same time satiating alumni with fascinating minutiae and inside stories from the band. I would go so far as to say that this little analysis stands as a necessary companion for any owner of “Doolittle”, an album that will forever mark a turning point in alt rock history.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Put the chords in my head 29 juin 2014
Par B. Lazaroff - Publié sur
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
This was the first in the 33 1/3 series that I have read, and I've been tempted to read many. It absolutely succeeded in that the reading of the back really changed the way I hear "Doolittle." Sisario's book acts as a remastering: Guitar parts become clearer; bass lines stand out; lyrics become understandable even as they purposely ebb and flow throughout Norton's mix. "Doolittle" has always been second to "Surfer Rosa" with me, but the book helped me understand the band, the song construction, and the making of "Doolittle" in a truly objective way.

My only wish is that there would have been more authorial subjectivity and less reliance on interviews/past reviews. Too much reliance/trying to find literal truth on lyrical meaning (which trip up a lot of rock writing). However, after reading this I am looking to forward to reading more in the series. (Inspired to finally read this after having read Dwight Garner's glowing review in the NYTimes a week ago about Gina Arnold's homage to Liz Phair's "Exile in Guyville" Why I read "Doolittle" instead is unknown to me. "Exile" is next, or possibly "Murmur."
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5.0 étoiles sur 5 A must for any Pixies fan 16 mai 2010
Par P. J. Owen - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
The first thing to know about the 33 1/3 series is that since each book is written by a different author, each book will have its own tone, style, and in some cases, format. For example, the book about Radiohead's OK Computer is a dry analysis of the music theory behind the album, while the book for PJ Harvey's Rid of Me is actually short fiction. So it's important you read the description and reviews of each carefully before purchasing.

Thankfully, the format for the Doolittle installment is more straight-forward than the examples I cite above: it's written in the basic long article style you'd expect to read in Spin or Rolling Stone. That's not very surprising since the author, Ben Sisario, is a regular contributor to these magazines. Through interviews with the band members (especially Charles Thompson and excluding Kim Deal, who refused to participate) and others involved, he quickly covers the formation of the band in 1986 and their early and quick success (in England, at least) with Come On Pilgrim and Surfer Rosa, before moving on to the main subject.

Not surprisingly, there is a lot here about Thompson's writing influences, especially his interests in surrealistic art (its influence is most notable on "Debaser", which begins "Got me a movie! Ha ha ha ho! Slicing up eyeballs! Ha ha ha ho!" after the Bunuel and Dali film `Un chien andalou') and religious & mythological storytelling, ("Ole Neptuna's only daughter" & "Then, God is seven!") which came to their greatest fruition on Doolittle. Sisario does a good job of getting the story on Thompson's oftentimes obscure, almost impressionistic lyrics. Sometimes, as Thompson admits, words came for no better reason than a rhyme pattern, yet they always seem to coalesce around the themes that interest him.

Of course, there's also a good bit here on the music. Joey Santiago talks about his influences, especially the minimalist note painting of Wes Montgomery and the `Hendrix' chord. (E7 sharp-9, which Hendrix used to add just the right edge to the verse in `Purple Haze'. Santiago went up a step to F7 sharp-9 to create the menacing drone in chorus of `Tame') Sisario also touches on Lovering's assured and bombastic drumming and Deal's thumping bass, which anchored the music while the melodies flew by. Interviews with the producer, Gil Norton, show his genius for corralling the band, especially Thompson, to get the best album possible. (Though the Pixies were well-prepared for the sessions, and it's implied that the relative failure of their next two albums could be attributed to poor band preparation for them. Though how much of that was from the already-rising tensions anyway?)

But it is the contrasts that make The Pixies, and especially Doolittle, so great: Deal's angelic voice as a counterpoint to Thompson's screams, the quietloudquietloud verse and chorus dynamic, the humor tinged lyrics of rape, incest, and violence. Sisario goes into great detail on the musical effects and meanings in a song by song breakdown after the main text, and I found this to be the most intriguing part of the book, required reading for anyone who loves the album. Thompson was the main songwriter and driving force of the band, but Sisario ably demonstrates how all the parts created a whole that pushed alternative rock to a place I would argue it has yet to return. (He talks of the odd paradox that the Pixies have influenced so many without creating a single band that sounds like them.)

This book is a must for any Pixie fan. It's well-written, informative, and an all-too poignant reminder of the genius of a band that left us too soon.
5.0 étoiles sur 5 ma, i wanna be a debaser 18 octobre 2012
Par luizbruno - Publié sur
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I really love the 33 & 1/3 series, I have over ten of these books on my favorite rock albums. This one in particular is one of my favorite albums of all time, doolittle by the pixies. Me and my girlfriend love it, it is our official "couple album". It is very well written by ben sisario containing a lot of pre-album info, from what was written in the flyer black francis wrote to hire a female bassist to other very cool facts about the band's history, recording and relationships. I strongly recommend it to people that like the pixies as this is full of detail and insightful interviews with the band ( the author drove around in black francis'car talking to him non-stop for 2 days). Kim Deal refused to be interviewed, but ok. It also contains a very cool in-depth song-by-song analysis of lyrics and music, sometimes even including the chords being played by joey santiago. A definite must have.
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