Talk:Black Francis

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Featured article Black Francis is a featured article; it (or a previous version of it) has been identified as one of the best articles produced by the Wikipedia community. Even so, if you can update or improve it, please do so.
Main Page trophy This article appeared on Wikipedia's Main Page as Today's featured article on April 11, 2012.
Article milestones
Date Process Result
November 5, 2006 Good article nominee Listed
January 31, 2007 Featured article candidate Promoted
Current status: Featured article

Birthplace?[edit]

According to Frank Black's official website,

"Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV. Charles was “born alive” April 6, 1965 (despite his desire to have been conceived a decade earlier) in Boston (though some sources suggest Long Beach). Several years later, his family moved to Boston and the world of music would never be the same." [1]

Does anyone know which city is the correct birthplace for Frank Black? BlankVerse 06:08, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Also, the All Music Guide website says Frank Black was "born in California" [2]. BlankVerse 06:19, 23 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hi, I run the website in question and that unfortunate quote was the result of a prior edit not being completed properly. He was, in fact, born in Boston, and that correction will appear on the site as soon as we get its backend functioning again. -Dean Katsiris

Puerto Rico[edit]

The article states that Puerto Rico's motto is "Isla Del Encanto" (Island of Charm). However, the Wikipedia entry for Puerto Rico states that its motto is (Latin) "Joannes Est Nomen Eius" / (Spanish) "Juan es su nombre" / (English) "John is his name". Which is correct?

Damaged vocal chords[edit]

On the frankblack.net forums Frank himself had this to say on this subject:

'I can say that I have had no vocal damage. Although going to vocal lessons in recent years has really brought a lot of my voice back. Back from where? Just life, wear and tear, it happens to everybody. My voice feels better than it has in years (thanks, coach!).'

So Frank responds to something that originated from this very page and it takes three months to trickle down to us so we can fix it. Kinda sad. Everyking 23:26, 11 October 2005 (UTC)

Lyle Workman[edit]

As you can see by following the Lyle Workman link, he performed on not only The Cult of Ray, but on the albums Frank Black and the Catholics and Oldballs. Also on The Cult of Ray, Lyle is guitar left. He is guitar right on FB&TC's.

Nimrod's Son referencing unknown bible story[edit]

In the "Singing and songwriting style" section, Nimrod's Son is invoked with this:

"He has also used the Bible as a source for his stories,
most notably in the incestuous tale of "Nimrod's Son""

Someone please find evidence of a biblical incestuous tale of Nimrod's son; I don't think such a story exists. The name Nimrod (in the song), being a sigularly biblical in nature, and having possible specific reference to a biblical hunter and a biblical king, probably came from the bible--just not in any incestuous story.

Maybe nix the mention of Nimrod's Son as being biblical in source, and find another suitable instance, such as "Build High," which (I'm not sure, so I won't add it to the article) possibly refers to the Tower of Babel. Edbanky 18:23, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

Lyrical/Musical quirkiness[edit]

I will look at doing this myself, but I can imagine others being more qualified. It wouldn't hurt to give separate recognition and treatment to both his musical acrobatics (with examples) and lyrics (with examples). Both are mentioned, with some examples. Anyone care to flesh these ideas out?

For instance, although I "know it when I hear it," I am technically inept for translating specific aspects into accurate words (as someone did with the "19 quavers" mentioned regarding the Marsist).

Specifically, where do haikus show up in his lyrics? Just curious. Edbanky 18:34, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

I think that haikus are used in Hang Wire on Bossanova:

"they're going higher
wind is whistling on the barbs
your head's a hammer"

and

"that man is a liar
the day is like a warm night
salt rusts the cold line"

Ouioui 21:32, 21 June 2006 (UTC)

On the subject of quavers, unless I'm grossly misunderstanding the concept, there are 20 in "The Marsist" riff, not 19. I'm taking quavers to mean individual notes making up the riff before it repeates. Somebody miscounted...I'm taking that line out. Anazgnos 22:46, 27 July 2006 (UTC)

Charles Thompson vs Frank Black vs Black Francis[edit]

So the article is titled "Frank Black" but refers to him throughout as "Thompson". I'm thinking it should be "Black". Whaddya think? --Jolomo 04:35, 11 July 2006 (UTC)

I've done a little rewriting, and I left references to Thompson in the biography up to the point where he adopted the name "Frank Black" (1993). It's "Black" thereafter...except for the part where it mentions his divorce. 70.183.63.108 18:30, 8 August 2006 (UTC)

Why has someone reverted this? We don't talk about Jones and Zimmerman when we mean Bowie and Dylan and Black Francis has never used his birth name professionally. Cavie78 (talk) 13:25, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

I'm a huge fan of Charles/Francis whatever as an artist. His real given name is Charles Thompson. But as an artist name, his name is Black Francis for sure. [1] Let himself explain why he chose this temp name as Frank Black in between breakfast and lunch.

So i recommend we pay respect to both figures in life, charles or francis http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Thompson or http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_Francis

instead of the present http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Black_(disambiguation)

"Pray For the Girls" & other work[edit]

I am sitting here listening to the Powerpuff Girls soundtrack, and there is a Frank Black track on it called "Pray for the Girls". I'd like to see it in the discography, but it is not clear where it would belong. --psu256 18:35, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Maybe that could go in a "Trivia" section? The song was also included on the iTunes b-side compilation, FWIW. There are a few other things that might be appropriate for a "Trivia" section, such as the Sunday Sunny Mill Valley Groove Day record that never saw official release. 71.131.199.247 21:14, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
If the discography were expanded to include all compilation appearances, that's where it would go. Anazgnos 22:08, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
Also, I'd like to see a reference to "Man of Steel" off the "Songs in the Key of X" X-files tribute album. Again, included later on a compilation album (in this case, "Oddballs"), but its original source is significant in relation to his interest in sci-fi. Calzero 16:37, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

That's the Jaina Blues[edit]

Very clever whoever put in the "Jains" category tag, but...the dude wrote a song that referenced Jainism...I've never seen anything suggesting that he's a practicing Jain. I took it out. Anazgnos 22:07, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Comment[edit]

I think the article was well written. Note that references should go after punctionation as per Wikipedia:References#Footnotes_come_after_punctuation so you need to make adjustments to the lead section. / Fred-Chess 15:05, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I'd also appreciate if you clarified reference 21. / Fred-Chess 15:07, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

I believe I've addressed those comments. CloudNine 15:26, 5 November 2006 (UTC)
I promoted it because the most of the article is so well written. There is still a comparatively weak section called "Musical_style" and it would improve the article if you rewrote that with proper references. / Fred-Chess 15:57, 5 November 2006 (UTC)

Country Music Influence (& folk influence)[edit]

It seems to me that this is an increasingly important aspect of Frank's music, and I regard it as a major omission. I've added a line in the "musical style" section, but I think this needs to be fleshed out. Perhaps someone can help?

Obviously, the Nashville albums are prominent in this discussion. I don't know anything about the studio musicians he worked with. There is a cover version of the song "dark end of the street", which Frank is quoted ( http://www.frankblack.net/songs/Default.asp?mode=search#quotes ) as being familiar with the Gram Parsons version. So there's one reference.

Also, he's toured and co-written stuff with Reid Paley ( external link : http://www.reidpaley.com/ , and myspace : http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendID=27777300 ), who's style is very honky tonk / rockabilly.

Maybe someone with musical expertise can describe the "swinging" feel of a tune like Black Rider?

Another thing? Looking around at interviews, Frank's a little defensive about the country influence ( external link : http://forum.frankblack.net/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=16533&SearchTerms=country ), preferring to summon his folk background. Personally, I think "rock'n'rollers" should remember that country was part of the origin of RnR and has periodically re-influenced it. So, like, get over it. But also Frank's folk influence maybe needs to be fleshed out in the styles/influences section. What exactly constitutes folk influence beyond acoustic guitar, soft singing, etc? I haven't done the research... maybe someone else wants to pitch in? Calzero 18:01, 3 January 2007 (UTC)

File:FrankBlack.jpg[edit]

Why are we using File:FrankBlack.jpg at all? It's a fair use promotional image, and we have more than enough images of him that are free license here (some of which we are using). --Brandt Luke Zorn 22:14, 10 February 2007 (UTC)

Never mind, did it myself. --Brandt Luke Zorn 23:14, 10 February 2007 (UTC)
Probably because the free images barely show the subject in question (being blocked by a microphone in most cases), are blurred or are taken too far away from the subject. CloudNine 10:08, 11 February 2007 (UTC)
Infobox image changed to a free image. CloudNine 11:56, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

Frank Black discography article[edit]

It's turned up as an uncategorized article and I'm not sure what category it belongs to. Frank Black isn't a category and I didn't think it fit in with the Pixies category. If you want to come up with a category to put it in, do so and remember to remove the uncategorized template. DandyDan2007 13:01, 28 February 2007 (UTC)

Velvety[edit]

There's a reference to "velvety" being an early acknowledgement of the Pixies. Is this somehow documented? FB has been playing Pixies songs lives years before re recording Velvety.

Name Change?[edit]

Recently on frankblack.net, Charles Thompson said he re-adopted the Black Francis persona and changed his username to reflect it.

That's a pain. I'll update the article soon and put in a move request once he's released the album. CloudNine 11:39, 20 March 2007 (UTC)
He didn't exactly say that. In a series of cryptic, mostly-Dutch posts on his forum about the forthcoming album Bluefinger, he identified the album as being credited to "BlackFrancis". Given the loosy-goosy, freewheeling and off-the-cuff context, it's not the same as him coming out in an interview as saying "oh yes, I'm going back the old stage name." I just think it's jumping the gun to go crowing about this name reversal as if there were really anything solid to go on at this point. Anazgnos 23:02, 30 March 2007 (UTC)
Actually, he did do exactly that. The media release in which he said so can be found here: http://forum.frankblack.net/topic.asp?whichpage=1&TOPIC_ID=18350&#401468. I suggest it be changed ASAP. Fanaticdestroyer 07:55, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

New album, Bluefinger[edit]

He has also announced the name and tracklisting for his new ablum on frankblack.net, and the album has since leaked onto the web... is this noteworthy or what?

I'll add that to the article once we get more concrete sources. CloudNine 11:39, 20 March 2007 (UTC)

I have said album, if that is of use. --Discharger12 17:06, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Well, I put it in, as well as creating a rudimentary album page, with the cite back to the official site. Also, I'm listening to the album at this moment, so I'm pretty sure it exists. :) Anazgnos 19:14, 26 March 2007 (UTC)

You might also be interested in what appears to be a compilation of Frank Black solo material from Cooking Vinyl. '93-03' is a two-cd set (one a live disc) set for either a June 4th (Amazon UK) or June 18th (WH Smith & BlahDVD) release. No tracklisting as yet and Cooking Vinyl's own site has nothing. There's a cover though.

Last video[edit]

The current version of this page says his only video since 4AD was Robert Onion and that the last widely released video was Headache. I haven't verified the absolute last video but there *was* a video for Men In Black on The Cult of Ray which was played on MTV. [3]

Verified that information ("Men in Black" appears to be the last) and corrected the article. CloudNine 10:14, 24 March 2007 (UTC)

Politics?[edit]

I would find interest in knowing something about Black's political leanings, if it's possible to acquire any such information. 10:14, 24 March 2007 (CET)

I can't say I've found any information about his political outlook, apart from commenting how the welfare state in Puerto Rico is, in his words, "fucked up", and a metaphorical reference to environmentalism. CloudNine 15:21, 4 April 2007 (UTC)
“There are probably far worse places in the world,”he told Ireland’s Hot Press, “but Puerto Rico is weird... because it’s American!

“It’s a welfare state so the people are really screwed up. They’ve got a really bad identity problem. “They’re a Spanish-Indian race, but some of them want to be Indian. More think of themselves as American, and they’ve been, like, on the dole for something like five hundred years... Man, it’s just so fucked up! “And because it’s essentially a Catholic place - that fuck’s things up even more. The serious alcohol problems don’t help much either. “I’m not trying to put the people down or anything, but it is definitely a strange and screwed up place!” I can't make much out of this, heh. But in the same article (http://www.geocities.com/sunsetstrip/bistro/7063/biog.html) I found THIS: "Gigs included a few on the European festival circuit, playing Glastonbury more for the exposure than the politics of CND awareness that it raised money for" - They don't care that much for Nuclear Disarmament, they were only after the exposure! Republicans!? Mickeymacaroni 03:57, 15 July 2007 (CEST)

Children[edit]

"Black currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, and is married to Violet Clark, his second wife, with whom he has four children.[1]"
I thought he had two children with her, the two other being the children of Violet Clark and her ex-husband, so his step-children ?
Also, did he have children with his ex-wife ? I'm just curious.

Article title[edit]

Shouldn't the article be titled "Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV" if that's his real name? After all, this article is about Charles Thompson and simply discusses his various personas/pseudonyms. It seems wrong to say that the article is about "Frank Black" when it talks a lot about Black Francis also.

It seems to me that the article should be titled "Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV" and the intro would say something like

"Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV (born April 6, 1965) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. Active since 1985, Thompson is best known as the frontman of the influential alternative rock band Pixies, where he performed under the stage name Black Francis. Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the stage name Frank Black."

Or, more directly

"Charles Michael Kittridge Thompson IV (commonly known as Black Francis or Frank Black) is an American singer, songwriter and guitarist. Active since 1985, Thompson is was the frontman of rock band Pixies, under the stage name Black Francis.] Following the band's breakup in 1993, he embarked on a solo career under the stage name Frank Black." Hugzz (talk) 02:43, 15 June 2008 (UTC)

No. We use the most common name of the subject, which is now Black Francis (I haven't had the time to update the article) per Wikipedia policies. Almost no-one uses Charles Thompson, except for his Pixies bandmates. CloudNine (talk) 09:32, 15 June 2008 (UTC)
Why the title change? Google shows much more results for "Frank Black" thank "Black Francis"? Sokalite (talk) 17:55, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
Great, but the number of Google results doesn't denote his current name, which I think we should use in this situation. (It seems strange to use an out-of-date psuedonym) He has chosen to change his psuedonym, beginning with his latest studio album. CloudNine (talk) 18:31, 4 August 2008 (UTC)
should we really change the article name just because FB changed his? If Iggy Pop would start performing as James Newell Osterberg, would we change the name of the article? I think the article should use his best known name, which is still Frank Black. We can't go around changing the article's name with the artist's every name change. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 217.132.73.208 (talk) 20:06, 5 August 2008 (UTC)
Although he's perhaps equally well known as Black Francis of the Pixies (or even more, considering the Pixies sold much more than Frank Black), so the choice of name is fairly arbitrary. Since he changed his name back, that's even more of a reason to change it. CloudNine (talk) 20:37, 5 August 2008 (UTC)

Jonny Polonsky[edit]

It's probably not worth mentioning, but I distinctly remember Black trumpeting a young musician named Jonny Polonsky right around the time Cult of Ray was released. Black was sent his tapes, loved them, got Jonny a record deal and eventually produced the album (it was a really fun power pop album, my two cents). Is this worth mentioning in here? I know Black hasn't produced too many albums, so it would be worth writing up, I think. WordsAmp (talk) 15:31, 25 June 2009 (UTC)

Songwriting style[edit]

In his songwriting, Black uses some techniques over and over that define his signature style, that I think definitely deserve mentioning, beyond just the descriptions of his guitar sound and lyrical style. Unfortunately I don't know the musical term(s) for it. His songs always seem to repeat after an unusual number of measures - i.e. whereas most songs tend to repeat phrases after four or eight measures, Black's songs tend to repeat after three, five, or sometimes even six or seven measures. Can someone with more musical knowledge than me maybe add something about this? His chord progressions are pretty non-standard too, I think. —Preceding unsigned comment added by 58.96.21.61 (talk) 07:19, 19 August 2009 (UTC)

Last sentence in lead[edit]

"However, in his solo work and records with the Catholics, he received fewer publicized popular and critical accolades.[9]" Probably technically true, if slightly confusingly phrased (did he get the accolades, but they just weren't publicised?), but it does read as bit of a sarky kiss-off. Plus the Slate article cited as a source for this is itself actually fairly positive about his solo work (albeit while acknowledging that not everyone is). Could we just lose it? Most music articles are improved by losing claims about how great or terrible, or how "critically launded/derided", the artist or work supposedly is. N-HH talk/edits 14:54, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Agreed. Some music critic's personal opinion is hardly a good or neutral reference anyway. I'll get rid. – McDutchie (talk) 14:26, 2 June 2014 (UTC)

Song samples[edit]

Can someone replace the two samples? They sound awful! — Preceding unsigned comment added by 98.23.17.252 (talk) 21:02, 11 April 2012 (UTC)

Can someone tell me how we put in the song samples? RavenThePackIsBack (talk) 21:40, 16 August 2012 (UTC)

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  1. ^ VPRO 3VOOR12. "Citation at 5:00 min and further". youtube. VPRO.