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The Fall’s Great Brix Smith Has A Surprising Second Act

Posted in Music with tags , , , on September 19, 2013 by johnbuckley100

Long before The Dandy Warhols would yearn for “A Girl As Cool As Kim Deal,” there was Brix Smith.  In the entire, 35+-year run of The Fall, by far the best period were those years — 1983-1989 — when Brix Smith played lead guitar and sang in her husband Mark E. Smith’s band.

And there you kind of have it, right?  The two best bands from the 1980s, The Fall and The Pixies, both represented by iconic women.  Brix was pretty, sexy, competent on guitar, and when she was in the band, the Fall were amazing.  The Wonderful and Frightening World Of The Fall was the high point, for us at least, of mid-’80s music, though we’d love to have a barroom debate over whether it was better than The Nation’s Saving Grace and Bend Sinister, which followed it.  Brix was the driver of those great riffs, from “Cruisers Creek” to “L.A.”, but she also sang just enough that the strange, barking, white rapper’s vocals that erupted from her husband somehow went down a little easier.  And when she left the band, both our attention and the band’s performance drifted.

And now The New York Times has done a profile of Brix, who these days is a fashion star in London.  Who knew?  And who knew, actually, that she was a 19-year old Bennington girl, there concurrently with Jonathan Lethem, when she foisted a cassette of her band in Mark E. Smith’s hands — we can see his buzzard’s eye being raised as a pretty young American college girl comes on to Smith, who even then was a creepy misanthrope — and a short time later found herself in the lineup of the premier punk band of its day.

It’s a great piece, this profile on Brix, and a great story.  Even greater was the music, and that she now seems like a character out of Ab Fab is just plain funny.  So yeah, before rockers wanted to date a girl as cool as Kim Deal, there was Brix Smith.  And we’re glad she’s back, and doing well, and happy for the memories of when she was an integral part of the mid-’80s best band working.

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