King “Belly”


In a couple of weekends, The Breeders are going to celebrate the 20th anniversary of their epic masterpiece Last Splash by gracing the plaid and mustache clad orgy that is the Pitchfork Music Festival with a live performance of the album (Also note that they re-released the album with some extra goodies titled LSXX). I am massively excited, and at the same time still dealing with the shock that comes with being aged by the 20 year anniversary of the album. I remember watching an interview with the band on 120 minutes with Matt Pinfield. It was a videotaped version because at the time it was recorded I had a “bed time.”

People who experienced that era are understandably excited, and people who didn’t are understandably excited as they try to clamor to associate themselves with the album as we usher the comeback of grungy alternative into the “I heard it before it was cool (again)” scene (checks popularity of Dinosaur Jr. songs on Spotify).

To the latter crowd, I would like to offer you a proverbial “ace in the hole” for a conversation that very well could happen on the dusty baseball field where the bathrooms will be posted during the festival, as you fit in your last potty break before the Deal sisters and company take the stage.

So a guy approaches you in an ironic My Little Pony shirt. Attempting to make small talk, he throws out The Breeders lineup that is about to take the stage. He tries to school you by talking about how Kim Deal has recently quit the Pixies in what may look like a recommitment to her baby that is the Breeders. It is his way of letting you know he’s hip to the salad days. You calmly take a sip of your very hoppy organic IPA that you homebrewed using malaysian acid rain hops, and counter with the following:

“You know what I can’t understand the most out of that period? How the hell Breeders founding member Tanya Donelly put out a gem like King with her band Belly years after leaving The Breeders, and it seemed to be completely thrown to the side. I mean, it has all of the elements of that classic 90s rock album, but is also extremely refined and leaves the listener craving a repeat playing of some of the songs’ hooks. I mean, “Are there heart strings connected to the wings you’ve got slapped on your back”? That’s some good shit. And the woman’s voice is pretty much angelic. In my opinion, the songs on King make “Feed the Tree” from their first album Star seem somewhat of a warmup. I love “Last Splash” as much as the next guy, but there are definitely some pieces of the Breeders story that I think require a second listen as much as Last Splash. Who knows? Maybe in 2015, during the 20 year anniversary of King, Tanya Donelly will get bad ass bassist Gail Greenwood and the rest of the band back together and hit the road. Maybe then, it’ll get the respect it never got when it was released.”

Then when our friend says he hasn’t heard the album, recommend that he check out “Super Connected”, “Seal My Fate” and “Now They’ll Sleep.” Then, compliment the glitter elements on his professional grade ironic, purple My Little Pony shirt, and take care of your business in the stinky doldrums that is the late evening festival portable latrine. The Breeders stage crew is tuning their instruments, which means it’s almost time to experience a priceless little piece of 90s alternative rock. But don’t forget, there’s a whole lot more where that came from.

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