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Pixies' Frank Black visits Helsinki Hudson as Black Francis

Frank Black

WAMC's Ian Pickus speaks with Frank Black of the Pixies.

Irreverent and iconoclastic, ironic and irascible, few people have been as influential on the sound of modern rock and alternative music as Black, or Black Francis, or Charles Thompson — whatever he’s calling himself at the moment. As the leader of the landmark group The Pixies, Black helped shape a generation of listeners and rockers alike, and the band’s breakup in 1993 only further solidified their legend.

Frank Black and the Catholics picked up where the Pixies left off, and the Boston-born Black kept touring and recording in various bands and as a solo artist before an unexpected reunion of the Pixies in 2004. They have continued to tour occasionally, but Black has saved his new music for other outlets, including the two albums and an EP with his wife under the Grand Duchy moniker.

Now Black Francis, he will appear Friday, February 8 at Helsinki Hudson with collaborator Reid Paley also on the bill.

A lifelong resident of the Capital Region, Ian joined WAMC in late 2008 and became news director in 2013. He began working on Morning Edition and has produced The Capitol Connection, Congressional Corner, and several other WAMC programs. Ian can also be heard as the host of the WAMC News Podcast and on The Roundtable and various newscasts. Ian holds a BA in English and journalism and an MA in English, both from the University at Albany, where he has taught journalism since 2013.
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