The haunting anthem to one of the greatest movies of all time, the Pixies “Where Is My Mind” has gone on to enjoy great and diverse commercial successes long after it’s initial 1988 release…
Of all the covers and re-recordings of this famous Pixies song, it took Microsoft with their Kinect and the quirky cool Vitamin String Quartet to produce what could quite possibly be the most melodically haunting and uplifting version of “Where Is my Mind” the world will ever know.
Instrumental Genesis: The Kinect Effect
The Vitamin String Quartet Performs:
Where Is My Mind
Along with official releases like Wave of Mutilation: The Best of the Pixies and Frank Black Francis, The String Quartet Tribute to Pixies is another, somewhat more unusual spin-off of the Pixies’ 2004 reunion tour. Then again, it seems like even the most obscure groups have a string quartet tribute album (or, alternately, Pickin’ On… bluegrass tribute album), so it’s a little surprising that it took Vitamin this long to get around to arranging the music of one of alternative rock’s definitive bands for a string quartet.
Actually, The String Quartet Tribute to Pixies isn’t performed by a proper string quartet; instead, it’s a duo dubbed the Tallywood Strings, with one guy playing violins and violas, and the other handling cello duties. The fact that two people are playing four parts may contribute to the album’s occasional stiffiness, but overall, this set is better than many of Vitamin’s countless other string quartet tributes. The best tracks manage to transcend mere quirkiness, though it is pretty fun to hear “Debaser”‘s surging intro played by a cello instead of a bass. Overall, the album is too literal: virtually every vocal tic and instrumental fill from the Pixies’ originals is translated into the string arrangements. However, the version of “Caribou” underscores the song’s creepy majesty, “Velouria”‘s weightless feel and bittersweet melody are translated beautifully, and “Where Is My Mind?” features some attractive counterpoint and brings out the yearning partially obscured by the noise and weirdness on the original’s surface.