The Pixies would never have let their hearts slip so precipitously sleeve-ward. Their frenzy wasn't meant to focus attention on the suffering soul, but to conceal a carefully wrought architecture—a set of formal devices that allowed the band to communicate emotional intensity while guarding it from mawkishness or self-pity. Black, however, managed something more on his own: He found a way to combine formal dexterity with emotional directness and to convey his heartfelt passion for rock 'n' roll itself. And if he manages to carry that new-found conviction into the Pixies' reunion, we just might see a better band than the original Pixies ever got to be.
TODAY IN SLATE
The Democrats’ War at Home
How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?
Secret Service Director Julia Pierson Resigns
Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing
Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10
Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.
Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.
How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.
How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully
On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.