Thursday, May 28, 2015


The Breeders brought the essentials and burned the field completely with the scrabbled salty spawn of this glorious sparking hot wire supersister sideproject.   Sisters Kim and Kelley Deal performed under the name during the early 80's in Dayton, Ohio.  Feeling overshadowed by Black Francis in The Pixies, Kim revisited the moniker when she decided to record with Tanya Donelly from 4AD labelmates Throwing Muses (who was likewise eclipsed by her step-sister Krisin Hersh) after the bands had toured together.   A demo tape recorded with violinist Carrie Bradley (from Ed's Redeeming Qualities),  bassist Ray Halliday, and three different drummers (David Narcizo, Mickey Bones, and Carl Haarer) led to a deal with 4AD (the label for both The Pixies and Throwing Muses) for which label head Ivo Watts-Russell gave them a budget of $11,000 to record an album.   

Watts-Russell explains:   "If you’ve met Kim, you understand why a record where she got more of a focus than she did in the Pixies would be fun to do. She’s an eccentric woman, very individual. I wouldn’t say that anything she decided to do would have been okay, but pretty much anything she decided to do would have been okay."

At this point they brought in Josephine Wiggs from The Perfect Disaster to play bass.   Producer Steve Albini agreed to helm the project and suggested Britt Walford from Slint (who assumed a pseudonym for the project) as a drummer.   Following a week of rehearsals at Wiggs's house in Bedfordshire, England; they recorded 'Pod' in ten days at Palladium Studios in Edinburgh, Scotland.   The sessions featured Kim Deal on lead vocals and guitar;   Tanya Donelly on vocals and guitar;  Josephine Wiggs on vocals, bass, and Spanish guitar ;   Britt Walford (credited as Shannon Doughton) on vocals and drums;  Carrie Bradley on violin;   and Michael Allen on backing vocals.     

Deal demurs:  "Being from the Midwest and Ohio, I’ve been in basements when I was 17. No girls allowed in the band, definitely. I heard a lot of mustachioed riffs. I love Black Sabbath...There are people who really know how to work a fretboard and have spent years in the bedroom learning “Black Dog.” I prefer melody. If I had to choose between a simple melody and a really complicated rudiment sitting in the middle of a good song, I would prefer a simple melody every time...Pixies fans didn’t know about the Breeders. Maybe they did in England, but I don’t know. Josephine said, 'Because of the goodwill Kim had from the Pixies, she went ahead with Breeders.' And I don’t recognize that. I don’t think Pixies fans knew. For the longest time I don’t think people realized I was the same person."

 'Pod'  charted at number seventy-three in the Netherlands and number twenty-two in the UK.  Donelly would leave the band and Throwing Muses to form Belly.  Donelly jokes:   “The devil refuses to do business with me.  I’ve been very lucky to know the people I’ve known, and to choose and be chosen by some incredible songwriters and musicians and artists, starting with my amazing kickass sister and then all the good things that followed. I am always very consciously grateful for this, corny as that sounds ... [The formation of Belly] had more to do with the logistics of everyone releasing their songs. We had our outlets for that. There was never a point where I ever expected to start releasing those kinds of songs with Throwing Muses specifically. The Breeders was a different story. The genesis of that band was going to be that Kim would have an album and then the next one would be my songs. And in fact all of the demos for Star say “The Breeders” on them. Like, on the reels and on the boxes. Because that was supposed to be the second Breeders album originally...It was unnamed at that point, it wasn’t called “Star,” but those songs were all demoed under the Breeders name and Kim actually played on a few of the songs.


"When I Was A Painter" / short interview / "Iris"

full album:

All songs written and composed by Kim Deal, except where noted.

00:00 - Glorious (Deal, R. Halliday)
03:27 - Doe
05:35 - Hapiness Is A Warm Gun (Lennon–McCartney)
08:24 - Oh
10:54 - Hellbound
13:17 - When I Was A Painter
16:45 - Fortunately Gone
18:33 - Iris
22:05 - Opened
24:36 - Only In 3's (Deal, Donelly)
26:35 - Lime House
28:23 - Metal Man  (Deal, Wiggs)

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