by Frank Lewis
One of indie-rock’s most prolific frontmen, Black Francis hasn’t slowed down much in the past 20 years. As the pioneer behind the Pixies, he helped write five classic albums. Under the pseudonym Frank Black (and sometimes with his backing band the Catholics), he’s released 13 albums. Now he’s back to using his Pixies’ moniker Black Francis (the name under which he released 2008’s SVN FNGRS) and playing acoustic sets.
“[The shows are] whatever’s in my head,” he says. “I don’t really do a set list. It’s just a steady stream of whatever. It could be heavy Pixies. It could be Frank Black & the Catholics. It could be heavy on recent Black Francis. It’s a solo performance and there’s the whole intimacy thing too, and people are open to getting anecdotes from me. So there’s this dialogue — kind of a monopolized dialogue — but there is a dialogue there that isn’t in a band situation.”
When he’s not putting the finishing touches on new solo records like The Golem (an original score for the 1920 silent movie), Francis is producing albums like Art Brut’s latest, Art Brut vs. Satan. Even with his busy schedule (touring off and on all year), Francis says he’s open to making a new Pixies album, though it’s a project that sits in constant limbo.
“We’re thinking about it,” he says tentatively. “I heard Kim [Deal] is working on something — something I had already started on — which was put on the back burner a few years ago. So who knows?” Bill Fox opens at 8 p.m. at the Grog Shop (2785 Euclid Heights Blvd., Cleveland Hts., 216.321.5588). Tickets: $15 advance, $18 day of show. — Keith Gribbins