Magdalena 318

Songfacts®:

  • Guitarist Joey Santiago: "This song is so atmospheric. We had these weird Moog pedals that sounded like water. It was a very mood-based, atmospheric sound, not based on any lyrics or anything."
  • The song was inspired by 318 Magdalena, an asteroid belt orbiting The Sun. "Now why the hell would I be writing about an asteroid?" Black Francis said to Pollstar. "The reason is because the producer of our album, Gil Norton, has been going on and on with his own science fiction narrative arch since we began this process of recording a new record or whatever – 'Charles, you've been away in outer space. The Pixies have been away from earth for 20 years. You've been away on the Planet Of Sound, making your Pixies music. No one's heard you for 20 years and now you're back, stepped out of the capsule and this is what our record is about.'"
  • The song's music video was conceived and directed by Judy Jacob, who created some of the films made for Pixies' 2009-2011 Doolittle world tour. The provocative clip stars British dance/theatre/performance artist Nando Messias.
  • Other songs with Magdalena in the title include ones by:

    A Perfect Circle (about a stripper)

    Brandon Flowers (about an annual pilgrimage that takes place in Mexico from Nogales to Magdalena)

    Mars Volta (about Magdalen Asylums, which are Roman Catholic institutions intended for the rehabilitation of "fallen women.")

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