Local Wire

Frank Black

Frank Black could be living the easy life, riding the public's insatiable thirst for the Pixies through another big nostalgia tour. But he'd clearly prefer to be doing his own thing. Consider the staggering volume of solo material he's been able to crank out since putting the Pixies back together in the first place. First came Honeycomb, recorded on the fly in Nashville with some of the hottest session players in the business, Blonde on Blonde-style, in the few days he had to himself before hitting the road with the Pixies. That came out in the summer of 2005. Then, in June of this year, he followed it up with a filler-free two-record set called Fast Man Raider Man. And while it may not feel as revolutionary as the Pixies did back in the day, the best of his recent material, from the achingly soulful falsetto of "Fast Man" to the country-flavored gallows humor of "I'm Not Dead (I'm in Pittsburgh)," finds Black at the top of a new game — older, wiser, still inspired.
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Ed Masley