Friday, July 12, 2019

Certain Songs #1581: Pixies – “Distance Equals Rate Times Time” | Medialoper

Album: Trompe Le Monde
Year: 1991

. . .

This is my favorite Pixies song, encapsulating everything I absolutely love about them in a snappy 1:24, making it not just the shortest Pixies song I’m writing about, but one of the shortest of all of the Certain Songs, period.

But that’s OK: “Distance Equals Rate Times Time” knows that song length is relative and crams more into its short running length than most songs would in quadruple the time.

“I HAD ME A VISION!” Black Francis screams at the outset, his entire band coming in at the end — David Lovering on a double-time, Kim Deal right there with him, Joey Santiago’s guitar set to stun — as he continues screaming:

There wasn’t any television
From looking into the sun

And at that point the sun explodes. Or at least to me, it seems like it: Kim Deal uncorks both an amazing bass run hook and an amazing vocal harmonizing “Suunnnn” while Joey Santiago’s guitar skronks and squeals as Francis screams “Sunnn / Looking into the sunnnn.”

Look. We all know that looking into the sun is where the fun is, mama, but nobody had ever quite encapsulated exactly how much fun it can actually be until now.

We got to get some beer
We got no atmosphere
From looking into the sun
Looking into the sun

I’m not even kidding: every single time they crash into “Looking into the sunnnnnnn” it’s just about the greatest fucking thing I’ve ever heard in my entire life: an absolutely unprecedented conglomeration of beauty, light, power and joy that quite literally could only have been done by the Pixies.

“Distance Equal Rates Times Time” absolutely fucking killed me in that autumn of 1991: I’d walk around singing “looking into the sunnnnnnnn” to myself, drunkenly scrawled that same phrase randomly into my journal; and turned it up as loud as possible whenever it came up on a mixtape or listening to the CD.

Even now, all these years later, playing it over and over (and over and over, cos it’s so fucking short) while writing this post, “Distance Equals Rate Times Time” makes me about as happy as a song possibly could.


Fan-Made Video for “Distance Equal Rate Times Time”

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