With a music career that spans nearly 30 years, more than 25 albums with the Pixies and alone, and too many incredible riffs to count, picking just one Frank Black song to talk about was incredibly difficult. But when The A.V. Club called upon Frank—real name Charles Thompson—to ring in another batch of One Track Mind, “Headache” seemed like a natural choice. The single from 1994’s Teenager Of The Year was his biggest hit as a solo artist, solidifying his transition from leading one of the most-revered cult bands in music history into a career that’s endured decades of shifting tastes and trends. “Headache” embodies all of the off-kilter charm and undeniable catchiness that’s made Thompson’s work so timeless, even as he’s aged (gracefully) into a family man living in Amherst, Massachusetts, back where the seeds of the Pixies were first planted all those years ago. We visited Thompson in the nearby town of Easthampton—home to Eastworks, a sprawling industrial warehouse that’s been converted into artists’ spaces—to talk “Headache,” and to get a glimpse inside the head where it began.
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