The Pixies are a now-bulky and balding band that hasn't recorded an album in almost 15 years and never had a radio hit.
Despite an acrimonious breakup, repeated reports that there would never be a reunion and followers who were faithful, but few, The Pixies have once again picked up the mantle as rock's loudest surrealists, and, selling out city after city, become rock's hottest ticket.
Absence, it seems, does indeed make the heart grow fonder.
Next week, the band will bring its unique blend of sweet vocal harmonies, oddball lyrics and dynamic hurricane guitars to Atlanta's Fox Theatre for a two-night stand.
As a warm-up, The Augusta Chronicle offers this primer to The Pixies, past and present:
Frank Black, aka Black Francis, aka Charles Micheal Kitridge Thompson IV (That's the one his parents gave him): Guitar and vocals
Joey Santiago: Guitar
Kim Deals, aka Mrs. John Murphy: Bass
David Lovering: Drums
How they spent the past 10 years
FRANK BLACK: Recording and performing as Frank Blank and with Frank Black and the Catholics
DAVID LOVERING: Tour drummer with Cracker and Nitzer Ebb; performing as a "scientific phenomenalist" (that's a magician to you and me)
JOEY SANTIAGO: Formed the band The Martinis with his wife, Linda Mallari; scored music for the film Crime and Punishment in Suburbia and the television show Undeclared
KIM DEAL: Played with The Breeders and The Amps, both of which also featured her twin sister, Kelly
Come On Pilgrim (1987)
Surfer Rosa (1988)
Trompe Le Monde (1991)
The band name
Guitarist Joey Santiago picked it out of a dictionary, responding to the definition "mischievous little elf."
KURT COBAIN, who claimed Nirvana's Nevermind was his attempt to ape The Pixies' sound
DAVID BOWIE, who has been known to perform the band's song Debaser live and recorded Cactus for his Heathen album
THOM YORKE, of Radiohead, who has been quoted as saying The Pixies all but saved his life in high school
U2, which asked The Pixies to open for it on the epic Achtung Baby tour
Favorite subjects for songs
UFOs, surgical procedures, Pentecostal religion, Spanish language and culture, and sundry unwholesome attractions and kinks
Bam Thwock - A song written, and rejected, for the Shrek 2 soundtrack
Ain't That Pretty at All - A cover of the Warren Zevon tune recorded for an upcoming Zevon tribute album
Limited-edition live albums recorded at each Pixies date.
WHO: The Pixies
WHEN: 8 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 14
WHERE: The Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. N.E., Atlanta
COST: $37-$62. Call (404) 843-9800.
Reach Steven Uhles at (706) 823-3626 or firstname.lastname@example.org.