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The Pixies: Live Acoustic & Electric Blu-ray Review

  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Video Codec: AVC/MPEG-4
  • Resolution: 1080i/60
  • Audio Codec: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0, Dolby Digital 5.1
  • Region: A
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • Discs: 1
  • Studio: Eagle Rock
  • Blu-ray Release Date: August 24, 2010
  • List Price: $24.98

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Purchase The Pixies: Live — Acoustic & Electric on Blu-ray at CD Universe

Shop for more Blu-ray titles at Amazon.com

Overall
[Rating:4/5]
The Performance
[Rating:4.5/5]

Video Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Audio Quality
[Rating:4/5]

Supplemental Materials
[Rating:3/5]

Click thumbnails for high-resolution 1920X1080p screen captures

(Screen captures are lightly compressed with lossy JPEG  thus are meant as a general representation of the content and do not fully reveal the capabilities of the Blu-ray format)

The Performance

[Rating:4.5/5]

The Pixies formed out of the Boston college scene in 1986 with Black Francis (AKA Frank Black) as their central figure, vocalist, guitarist and main songwriter. Their indie rock with a highly melodic tinge has routes that can be traced back through the punk movement all the way to surfer rock of the 1960’s with hints of The Velvet Underground. The “loud-soft-loud” dynamic that they pioneered would go on to influence grunge mavens Nirvana and become a staple of the early-90’s alternative rock scene. Unfortunately for the indie pioneers, the success of bands that would follow in their footsteps would prove allusive to the Pixies, and the group disbanded in 1993.

In 2004, the Pixies reunited with the original lineup still in tow, Black Francis (lead vocals and electric guitar and acoustic guitar), Joey Santiago (electric guitar), Kim Deal (bass guitar and backing vocals), and David Lovering (drums). Launching a reunion tour in 2005, this release from Eagle Rock captures the reunited band mates on two separate occasions, including their first ever all-acoustic performance at the Newport Folk Festival. The second performance on this release is a more traditional Pixies performance, also from 2005, at The Paradise Club in Boston.

Both shows are excellent performances from the stalwarts of the alternative movement. Although they hadn’t been together as a band for years, the members had been active musically throughout their “missing” decade, particularly Frank Black and Kim Deal, who became darlings, somewhat, of the alternative scene. The Newport Folk Festival acoustic set is a perfect set for longtime Pixies fans to hear their favorite tracks in a somewhat different mode. Although the band keeps the arrangements pretty much straightforward, mostly just swapping their amped-up electrics for steel string acoustics, the setting emphasizes the melodic nature inherent in the Pixies music.

The Paradise set is back to the more traditional Pixies — electrified, small club, and full throttle ahead. It seems as though the members haven’t missed a beat. Other than members wearing a few more pounds, it’s a riveting set, and the usual favorites like “Monkey Gone to Heaven” “Gigantic” and “Bone Machine” do not fail to entertain.

Track Listing:

Acoustic

  • Live in Newport:
    • Bone Machine
    • Cactus
    • Been All Around the World
    • Subbacultcha
    • Monkey Gone to Heaven
    • Is She Weird
    • River Euphrates
    • Wave of Mutilation (UK Surf)
    • I Bleed
    • Crackity Jones
    • Gouge Away
    • Hey
    • The Holiday Song
    • Nimrod’s Son
    • Mr. Grieves
    • Caribou
    • Vamos
    • Where is My Mind?
    • Gigantic

Electric

  • Live at The Paradise in Boston:
    • La La Love You
    • Winterlong
    • Into the White
    • Vamos
    • All Around the World
    • Mr. Grieves
    • Nimrod’s Son
    • In Heaven
    • Where is My Mind?
    • Gouge Away
    • Something Against You
    • Dead
    • Isla de Encata
    • Crackity Jones
    • Monkey Gone to Heaven
    • Wave of Mutilation
    • Subbacultcha
    • Planet of Sound
    • Bone Machine
    • River Euphrates
    • Allison
    • Sad Punk
    • U-Mass
    • Broken Face
    • Debaser
    • Tame
    • Gigantic
    • Hey
    • Caribou

Video Quality

[Rating:4/5]

From the sun-drenched seaside performance in Newport to the darkened, intimate club The Paradise, Acoustic & Electric’s 1080i/60 AVC/MPEG-4 will provide a pleasant, detailed, and lifelike high definition presentation mostly free from artifacts and compression issues. The Paradise Club setting has the stronger image quality with the least video noise, perhaps due to its more3 controlled environment, but either one will be pleasing to the eyes.

Audio Quality

[Rating:4/5]

Both performances offer DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, LPCM 2.0, and Dolby Digital 5.1 audio options. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mixes will be the best option, with balanced sound, deep yet tight bass and solid midrange.

Supplemental Materials

[Rating:3/5]

Pixies fans will really love the uncovered 1986 footage of the band performing at TT The Bear’s on Halloween. Other interesting footage includes a featurette of The Pixies rehearsing for the Newport gig, which includes loads of backstage footage and candid banter.

The supplements provided with this release are:

  • Newport Rehearsal Featurette (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:21.30)
  • Newport Photo Gallery
  • TT The Bear’s, Boston (1.33:1; 480i/60; 0:22.42) — The Pixies live at TT The Bear’s, October 31, 1986, Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The Definitive Word

Overall:

[Rating:4/5]

With superb picture and sound and an acoustic set that puts a new twist on the Pixies classics, The Pixies: Live Acoustic & Electric on Blu-ray is a must have document of this influential alternative band’s 2005 reunion.

Additional Screen Captures:

[amazon-product align=”right”]B003V5CTF0[/amazon-product]

Purchase The Pixies: Live — Acoustic & Electric on Blu-ray at CD Universe

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