Wednesday, February 16, 2011

"Rock Box" Track of the Day: Pixies, "Where Is My Mind?"

Rosie O'Donnell hated Fight Club so much she spoiled its climactic twist on her talk show on the day the movie opened nationwide. Too bad she wasn't inside one of the collapsing buildings in this scene.
Song: "Where Is My Mind?" by Pixies
Released: 1988
Why's it part of the "Rock Box" playlist?: It turns up at the end of Fight Club, while the nameless Edward Norton character and his girlfriend Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) watch the results of the Norton character's plan to free everyone from the stranglehold of credit card companies by obliterating all the companies' office buildings. "The ending of the film provided a bit of a prelude to the global financial crisis that the world is currently embroiled in," says a Popdose blogger about Fight Club's final scene.

A year before Fight Club's 1999 release, the frequently covered Pixies tune made its first soundtrack appearance in the Adrien Grenier/Clark Gregg coming-of-age flick The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, which is about the strained relationship between a misfit teen and his cross-dressing stepdad and is worth checking out if you ever wanted to know what Agent Coulson from the Iron Man movies and the upcoming screen version of Thor looks like in a lady's wig, a dress and heels.

Inspired by the odd behavior of the little fish that followed around Pixies frontman Black Francis while he went scuba diving in the Caribbean ("Animals were hiding behind the rock/Except for little fish"), the tune has turned into a go-to song for conveying inner turmoil or insanity. "Where Is My Mind?" has also been used in Veronica Mars' "Driver Ed" episode, Criminal Minds, The 4400, HBO's stylish and well-produced promos for its broadcast premiere of The Dark Knight, It's Kind of a Funny Story (which features a piano-only instrumental version by French pianist Maxence Cyrin instead of the original Pixies version) and the full-frontal flasher chase scene in Observe and Report (where the flabby flasher's dick flaps back and forth in vomit-inducing, psyche-scarring slow-motion to the tune of a faithful cover version by City Wolf).

But the most effective use of "Where Is My Mind?" remains the conclusion of Fight Club. The oddly uplifting track will forever be identified with the uplifting sight of every credit card company being blown to smithereens.

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