While the music industry dithers over how it can ever again make money from record sales, the Pixies have come up with their own solution. Over the past year, the band have released three four-track EPs as downloads from their website, and all 12 tracks have now been gathered on this, their fourth album, and their first in 23 years.
Those who bought the vinyl edition, released for World Record Store Day, even got a bonus track, ‘Women of War’. Pixies fans are such that they will already have paid for the downloads, bagged the vinyl edition and bought the CD. It’s the kind of ruse that might cause rancour were it not for the Pixies’ credibility: this is not just a band, but an indie institution, and buying their records is less a commercial exchange than a statement of belief in the redemptive power of rock’n’roll.
In making Indie Cindy, the Pixies must have faced the kind of dilemma most bands of their vintage can only dream of: whether to create a record much like their classic albums of old, or one that was radical and new. They may have played it safe by opting for the former, but in truth, the Pixies were radical enough to begin with, and one must be grateful that they deliver the gnarly guitar pop that is expected of them.
Pixies purists will bemoan the absence of Kim Deal’s bass from this album, but it is arguable whether she was ever quite as indispensable as her bandmates. As long as David Lovering, Joey Santiago and Black Francis are on board, it seems, the essential ingredients are all in place. Tribal drums? Check. Chainsaw guitars? Check. Black Francis alternating between declamation and croon? Check and check again.
It was unlikely that the Pixies could ever quite recapture the glorious waywardness of their early career, but Indie Cindy still trounces the output of indie bands half their age. There’s no ‘Debaser’ here, but there are many more than passable tracks, the best being ‘Magdalena’ and ‘Blue-eyed Hexe’. And no one pens lyrics quite as exultant or plain daft as those Black Francis bellows on the latter: “Felt a burning in my solar plexus/Give me the pow-wow, give me the hexe.”
Maeve Lynch is a young Cork artist, a graduate of the Crawford College of Art and Design, who has a background in costume and set design in the theatre.
Much of Lynch’s new work is black: by reducing her palette to its bare bones, Lynch has given herself the freedom to experiment in a variety of media, most of which relate to printmaking.
As the title of the exhibition suggests, some of the work relates to construction. ‘An experiment in building’ is sculptural, consisting of three small concrete blocks, two of which are covered in wool and feathers, while the other features a tiny etching of a house. The materials, as with the feathers in ‘Edifice’, suggest buildings are not solid or permanent, but fragile and ephemeral. Lynch depicts dwellings as tiny: in the photo intaglio ‘Dependence Variable’, she presents two images, one of a house, the other of a single nail. Other pieces are also sculptural, or relate to bookmaking. The artist varies their presentation: one untitled work, a book of cloth pages, hangs on the wall, while a similar piece rests on a podium and another rests against the wall. The viewer is challenged to engage with each in relation to its surroundings.
Most of Lynch’s pieces stand alone, but some work in tandem with others. ‘This one leads to the end’ and ‘Build walls of shadows’ are the same size, but the first is an oil pastel on paper and the other a monoprint. ‘This one leads to the end’ is an elegant black D-shape, albeit on its side, while ‘Build walls of shadows’ is a frenzied smudge of black, its density contrasting with the openness of its companion.
Lynch also explores how objects are affected by their treatment in artworks. Judging by its shape, the subject of the photo intaglio print ‘Black Tent’ is a circus marquee, but who would have thought a construction so associated with entertainment could be so brooding? Site Assembly is a thought-provoking and beautifully presented exhibition of work, one that confirms Lynch’s professionalism as an artist.