Big Black—The “Pigpile” Video

“Pigpile” is a live recording of Big Black‘s final tour in 1987. The video was taken at the Hammersmith Apollo concert hall, London and is currently out-of-print. This is pretty damn near the entire thing. Playlist below the fold. Enjoy.

  1. “Fists of Love”
  2. “L Dopa”
  3. “Passing Complexion”
  4. “Dead Billy”
  5. “Cables”
  6. “Bad Penny”
  7. “Pavement Saw”
  8. “Kerosene”
  9. “Steelworker”
  10. “Pigeon Kill”
  11. “Fish Fry”
  12. “Jordan, Minnesota”
  13. “Heartbeat” (w/ members of Wire)
  14. drunken outro

Here are Steve Albini’s comments about the setlist on the liner notes to the accompanying album:

Fists of Love: Captain Riley’s lever retitling of this song should be read as a measure of our frustration with the British “cuisine”, architecture and work ethic. Please note the “now clap ‘em” quote from a popular vulgar joke toward the end of the song.

L Dopa: That Oliver Sachs has been portrayed by Robin Williams in a saccharine mass-market tearjerker movie in no way invalidates his life work: documenting the entertaining behavior of people of people will sever brain anomolies.

Passing Complexion: Nowadays we can see talk show panels comprised of people who have to tell people they’re black because they’re pale, don’t look like the “black” archetype, and therefore miss out on all the racism they’re entitled too. If someone can be “black” by proclaimation, then the term is as meaningless now as it was in the 1920’s.

Dead Billy: When we started playing this song, we had no idea the antics of the armed forces would become the crass pop-culture fodder to the extent that they have. For the ex-posto-facto banality. The video footage documents the very rare “drinking bird dance”.

Cables: The silly guitar noises at the beginning go on entirely too long, yeah, yeah. You try restraining yourself when you’ve got 30,000 watts of PA blowing your genius into a half-million cubic feet of ballroom. Be thankful we didn’t break into “House of the Rising Sun” or “Supernaut”.

Bad Penny: This song appeared as “Bad Pfennig” on German setlists, “Bad Pence” on British ones and “All This Money is Bad” in Belgium. The irony of incorporating this song into this record has not been lost on the band.

Pavement Saw: The male-female relationship, as a subject for song, is thoroughly bankrupt. This attempt is noteworthy mainly for the preposterously drawn-out introduction and Santiago’s hummingbird-like solo at the end.

Kerosene: While the band was active, much ado was made about the “pork roast” nature of the subject of the song. They lyrics were an afterthought, actually, and were originally about either race car driving or frog gigging, I forget which.

Steelworker: Man, can we get a lot of mileage out of two notes.

Pigeon Kill: I haven’t been to Huntington, Indiana, since 1983, so I don’t know if the folks there still kill off scores of pigeons with poisoned corn every year. Perhaps they have opted for a more permanent solution.

Fish Fry: The decline in popularity of drive-in movies is doing tremendous damage to the sexual developments of adolescents. When the drive-ins are all gone, there will be no place where teenagers can practice and observe sexual technique in large numbers with ready access to popcorn, fresh air, and Coca-Cola douche.

Jordan, Minnesota: Look it up numbskull. None of the parents got locked up, only the guy who finked on them.

We also played “heartbeat,” and quite happy I was that I was able to incorporate quotes from both the Defranco and Partridge families in this number. Otherwise it was a mess.

Posted by Kevin K. on 11/14/07 at 05:30 PM • Permalink
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That Roland plays some mean ass drums…

What a great way to end a piss and vinegar day at the Rumproast with the one of the most piss and vinegar bands of all times.

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