The Dust Bin: Pixies on ‘120 Minutes’

Believe it or not, but “120 Minutes” is still on television. Yes, the pioneering program for alternative and indie rock exposure still gets airtime, but unless you have a DVR or are an ambitious Thursday night partier, you wouldn’t know, because it airs at an ungodly/pointless time slot of 6-8 a.m. on Friday mornings.

Alternative rock exposure has rarely been a prime time event even in the days of Nirvana, but it was a genre that got much more respect years ago, garnering multiple shows dedicated to indie artists. “120 Minutes” used to air on Sunday nights at midnight, which for college students lucky enough to get cable in the dorms was the perfect time to veg out and check out some of the newest cutting edge bands.

One such band was the Pixes, the Massachusetts rockers that more or less invented the wheel as far as alternative music goes. The band imploded just as the indie rock boom exploded, leaving a legion of indie rockers (and I’m sure a few major label record executives) scratching their heads. If you’ve had a chance to read “Fool the World: An Oral History of a Band Called Pixies,” you will find it was an inevitable digression, but the story has a happy ending with their mid-2000s resurgence and reformation.

Back in the days of “120 Minutes,” their videos made numerous appearances on the show and while on tour promoting their final album, “Trompe le Monde,” the band stopped by the studio to talk with host Dave Kendall and (reluctantly) talk and play a song from the record. The somewhat awkward profile finds the band giving insight on the inspiration for the “Here Comes Your Man” video and “Trompe le Monde”‘s supposedly more aggressive sound, while revealing the palpable tension between Black Francis and Kim Deal as they both give conflicting accounts of her hiring in the band (Francis brushes off the famous “Hüsker Dü/Peter, Paul & Mary” story as a fabrication, while Deal claims it to be true). The You Tube clips say “1991” on them but given Kendall’s mention of Nirvana’s “Nevermind” enjoying its eighth week at No. 1, this was probably shot sometime in the late winter of 1992. Kim Deal also makes mention of the next Breeders record being out in March, that being their “Safari” EP, which actually saw release in the first week of April that year.

Check out the full interview below along with a performance of “Planet of Sound” at the show’s conclusion.