4AD birthdays

Written by Jeff Keibel on Wed, 10 Jun 1998 23:52:05 -0400.

>From Addicted To Noise, June 10th http://www.addict.com

Bassist/vocalist Kim Deal and guitarist Kelley Deal, born 37 years ago today in Dayton, Ohio, were a twin-sister act in the platinum-selling '90s group the Breeders. Through their work in that band and others, the sisters -- together and separately -- left a significant mark on '80s and '90s alternative rock.

Kim first became known as a member of the Pixies, the Boston-based punk/surf rock/pop band that was one of the most innovative of the '80s alternative groups. Kim's bass was a key part of the band's sound, and her harmonies highlighted singer Black Francis' lead vocals.

The Pixies' first full-length album, 1988's Surfer Rosa (produced by Steve Albini), matched stream-of-consciousness musings about mutilation and sex (among other topics) with noisy, jumpy guitar-rock on such tracks as "Where Is My Mind?" and "Gigantic," and the disc became an indie cult-classic. The Pixies further refined their sound on 1989's Doolittle. But the band, in spite of its influence on the soon-to-break-out Seattle sound, didn't achieve significant commercial success.

Kim, frustrated by the lack of an outlet in the Pixies for her compositions, formed her own band, the Breeders, with former Throwing Muses singer/guitarist Tanya Donelly. Though she appeared on the Pixies' critically hailed science-fiction opus Bossanova in 1990, Kim concentrated her energies that year on the Breeders' debut, Pod. That album -- which also featured bassist Josephine Wiggs -- ultimately outsold Bossanova.

Money problems at the Breeders' record company stalled the band's progress, causing Kim to refocus on the Pixies. She toured with the Pixies throughout Europe and the U.S. in 1991 and 1992 and contributed to their last album, the heavy-metalish Trompe le Monde (1991). In early '93, Francis officially disbanded the Pixies due to management pressure and continuing friction among the members.

In the meantime, Donelly left the Breeders (to form Belly), leaving Kim to hire her sister Kelley on guitar and Jim Macpherson on drums. Kelley, a guitar novice when hired, learned quickly.

The Breeders opened for Nirvana on a 1992 European tour. In 1993, the Breeders' Last Splash became a million-seller in the U.S. on the strength of the modern-rock hit "Cannonball," an MTV "Buzz Bin" favorite. The Breeders then played the 1994 Lollapalooza tour. Over the next few years, various musicians joined the Breeders on tour, Wiggs departed and Kelley went on hiatus. In 1995, Kelley was arrested for possession of heroin, to which she had developed an addiction.

In 1995, Kim released the album Pacer under the name the Amps and toured to support it with Macpherson, guitarist Nathan Farley and bassist Luis Lerma. Kelley entered rehab and went on to release Go To The Sugar Altar (1996) and Boom! Boom! Boom! (1997) as Kelley Deal 6000 (including guitarist Todd Mund), a band with which she toured.

The Breeders -- principally Kim -- began recording a new album late in 1997 for release sometime in 1998. s Whatever future paths the Deal twins take, their place in punk-rock history is assured.

Other birthdays on June 10th: Joey Santiago (Pixies), 33; and Emma Anderson (Lush), 31.

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