The windowsills were lined with people standing, as every nook between every office desk filled to capacity with NPR employees and their assorted guests. Pixies, after getting misplaced for a time in our parking garage during a moment worthy of This Is Spinal Tap, showed up in time to encounter the largest crowd we’ve ever assembled for a Tiny Desk Concert. (Our new office space allows for more guests than the old one did, but it’s still a mark of this band’s significance for so many youthful grownups.)
Black Francis played an acoustic guitar for this set, while drummer David Lovering set up a simple snare and a cymbal, tapping a tambourine with his foot where a bass drum might be. With his electric guitar, Joey Santiago was the only plugged-in member of the group. The newest member of the Pixies is Paz Lenchantin, a musician of many talents who played violin at the Tiny Desk, though she handles bass duties at larger concerts. You may miss Kim Deal on bass for all the good reasons one might miss Kim Deal, but Lenchantin rhythmically fits in well, and was a treat to hear (albeit quietly) on violin.
Prior to the rolling of cameras, the band warmed up the crowd with “Where Is My Mind,” but this three-song set features a 2014 tune called “Greens and Blues,” a song yet to make it onto a Pixies release called “Silver Snail,” and 1989′s “Monkey Gone to Heaven,” which melted hearts and seared minds with a new memory from a time long past. –BOB BOILEN
“Greens And Blues”
“Monkey Gone To Heaven”
Producers: Bob Boilen, Denise DeBelius; Audio Engineer: Kevin Wait; Videographers: Denise DeBelius, Gabriella Garcia-Pardo, Olivia Merrion; photo by John Poole/NPR