Artist: Frank Black & the Catholics
Label: What Are Records
Released: Jan 30, 2001

The latest album by Mr. Black and his group of Catholics. Let me be honest, Frank has dissapointed me for a while. His first 2 solo albums were ok, but after that it really went down hill. Let's be blunt, he has been sucking for a while. However, in March I went to see him in concert at a small local venue. Despite having all their equipment stolen 2 nights before, they managed to put on one hell of a show. They did a 4 hour set with no break and even treated us with a whopping 6 Pixies songs. Let's just say it renewed my faith and interest in Frank a bit.

Recently a track from this album (Bullet) has been getting a fair bit of airplay on the local independant station and again I found my curiousity peaked. I liked it. A lot. So of course, I had to have the album. Well, let me summarize: it kicks ass. It is not the pixies, but it doesn't try not to be either (a problem which plauged some of his earlier albums). Basically the whole album is just a solid rock album with Frank's goofy lyrics and diverse song structure. Most of it is fairly slow and rootsy, with a fair mix of slow soft songs and moderately tempoed screaming numbers.

This album also marks the return of former pixies keyboardist and producer Eric Drew Feldman and former pixies guitarist Joey Santiago. With all the people adding to the mix, the sound tends to be very layered, but in a simplistic way, if that makes any sense. There is also a lot of steel guitar here, which somehow just fits into the slow and rootsy mood of the album. Overall I am very thrilled with this album, while not groundbreaking, it is very listenable and has plenty of classic Black lyrics and riffs to keep things interesting. Let's just say it hasn't left my cd player for 3 days. My pic for best tracks: St. Francis Dam Disaster, Stupid Me, Bullet, and The Swimmer.


  1. Blast Off
  2. I've Seen Your Picture
  3. St. Francis Dam Disaster
  4. Robert Onion
  5. Stupid Me
  6. Bullet
  7. The Swimmer
  8. Hermaphroditos
  9. I'll Be Blue
  10. Llano del Rio
  11. If It Takes All Night
  12. Dog in the Sand

Dog in the Sand is a song from the album of the same name by Frank Black and the Catholics. It was recorded live to two track (without editing) at Sound City Studios in Los Angeles.

Dog in the Sand is one of Black's later albums, and while some (see above) might argue that he has lost his way since he parted ways with the Pixies, there are those amongst us that believe that he has in fact found his way. This track is perfect proof of the fact that Black will be making excellent music until he can't move from his wheelchair to adjust his amp. Hey - no one said writeups had to be objective!

The song starts off with a couple of bars of soft finger plucking, and then moves into a slow paced strum. A second guitar in the background adds depth to the song, although it is only sporadically active.

This is definitely a reflective song; you can imagine Black sitting around a campfire, strumming this song and sipping some whiskey, as coyotes gather around and howl a background chorus. It's kind of mournful, but at the same time seems to celebrate an epic part of life (perhaps a memory of Black's).

Apart from that, I don't know what the heck this song is about, and neither does anyone else on the Internet, according to Google. If you're a Black fan reading this, help me out, because I would love to know. I get two images from the wording; the first is that of a dog lying half covered in sand, looking up at me with those mournful liquid eyes that dogs have. The second is a surrealistic image of a dog diving and swimming through the desert sand like a dolphin.

Ok, I've been reading the English Patient too much recently. So crucify me. In any event you should probably listen to this song when you have just had sex and are sitting smoking a cigarette, it seems to be made for that situation.


where the water glows
where the water glows
bluish all in black
where the forest grows
I want to go back
I want to go back
let the moody out
let the moody out
ugly mood in you
open up your mouth
kill it with your shoe
kill it with your shoe
if your heart is sad
if your heart is sad
give your dog a bone
see her in the sand
this is your new home
this is your new home


  • the Dog in the Sand liner notes

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