So the Times of Israel is reporting that The Pixies – the indie band from the 90s that you may have never heard of, but influenced some of the bands you definitely have heard of like Nirvana, Radiohead and even U2 – have announced their participation in a concert in Tel Aviv in June 2014. What makes this interesting is that The Pixies were scheduled to perform in Israel in 2010 but cancelled their concert, ostensibly due to the Mavi Marmara incident.
Now I’m not going to call this a BDSFail just yet, but it has the potential to be a massive slap in the face to BDSHoles everywhere. It also has the potential of being a double slap in the face to Israeli fans of the band if they once again back down, which accounts for my reluctance.
There are a couple of circumstances which might shed a little light on the apparent about face. First of all, their lineup has changed as one of their founding members – Kim Deal – has left the band. Its possible she was one that torpedoed their visit back in 2010.
(UPDATE: As commenter Igal correctly points out in the comments, Kim Deal in fact toured Israel with her other band The Breeders in 2008, so it is unlikely she is the reason for their cancelation in 2010 – although lets not forget that even Roger Adolf Waters toured Israel back in 2006)
Also, their announcement to cancel at the time was unusually apolitical.
“The decision was not reached easily,” the band said in a statement. “We’d like to extend our deepest apologies to the fans, but events beyond all our control have conspired against us.”
The Mavi Marmara affair was particularly nasty, and performing in Israel at such a time may have just been a bit too hot a potato for the band to deal with. They weren’t the only band that cancelled at the time and there may have been a groupthink kinda thing happening. I’m not excusing their cowardly act, just looking for a plausible reason why they might have changed their minds. Its not like Israel is any less isolated now than it was 3 years ago. But lets be positive for now. A reformed former boycotter is something new and hopefully will allow some of the other cowards like Santana and Elvis Costello change their minds and grace us with a show or two.
Anyway, more good news is that they won’t be performing alone. Soundgarden – another popular band from the 90s and headed by Chris Cornell, who HAS performed in Israel on a number of occasions in the past few years will also be playing on the same bill. (Soundgarden’s biggest hit was Black Hole Sun and Cornell is probably even better known from his song “You Know My Name” from the Bond film Casino Royale). Now that IS a big BDSFail, and Mr. Cornell I personally think you’re an awesome human being and a great musician.
Now A special message to The Pixies from George W Bush: