"Lies and betrayals, fruit covered nails, electricity. . ."
September 18, 2009 12:39 AM   Subscribe

Pavement to reunite and tour the world.

On their final tour in 1999, band leader Stephen Malkmus infamously took the stage with a pair of handcuffs. Now playing with his new band The Jicks, people were surprised when he started to throw some Pavement tunes into his set-list (YT). But a full-blown reunion? Pretty shocking.

Youtubery:
"Cut Your Hair"
"Range Life"
"Father To A Sister Of Thought"
"Rattled By The Rush"
"Zurich Is Stained"
"Space Ghost Jam"
"Summer Babe" (live)
posted by bardic (81 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
Well, I'm excited.
posted by princelyfox at 1:26 AM on September 18, 2009


Your favorite band sucks, unless it's Pavement.

I was at the second-to-last show (in Manchester) and Malkmus did the handcuffs thing there too if I remember properly, but it was pretty obvious without that that the band was on its last legs.

I'll be pleased if this turns out to be more than a one-off, and they actually stick with it and maybe even write some new songs. Good as SM is with The Jicks, I'm not convinced he's done anything with them that matches the raw slack genius of his Pavement work.

Gb pryroengr, gur svefg crefba jub nfxf pna unir zl fcner pbcl bs gur Fybj Praghel QIQ (ertvba 2).
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 1:33 AM on September 18, 2009


Forgot to include the video for "Painted Soldiers."

Gotta love a band that jokes about breaking up. Right before they break up.
posted by bardic at 1:42 AM on September 18, 2009


I love Pavement. but I hate re-union tours.
And their last few albums were kinda shit anyway.

I hope they DONT start releasing more material.
posted by mary8nne at 1:55 AM on September 18, 2009


But what if the new material is good?
posted by the cuban at 2:04 AM on September 18, 2009


And their last few albums were kinda shit anyway.

I've heard a theory that says that when you get into a particular band, you'll always consider their peak to be the album that was out around that time. After that, they're in decline. Before that, they were just finding their sound. Which rings true when I think about the Flaming Lips. I loved Transmissions from the Satellite Heart and Clouds Taste Metallic, and I still feel The Soft Bulletin was a disappointing change of direction. I guess you feel that way about Pavement. But really, isn't 'the last few albums' their entire output in this case?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 2:07 AM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


I'm glad to see that it's not just the classic rock dinosaurs that do this 'reunite and tour' thing anymore, but also the "alternative" dinosaurs and the "post rock" dinosaurs and all the other "______" dinosaurs.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 2:22 AM on September 18, 2009


Pitchfork. Entertainment news. This isnt a good post for metafilter.
posted by cillit bang at 2:26 AM on September 18, 2009


Gb pryroengr, gur svefg crefba jub nfxf pna unir zl fcner pbcl bs gur Fybj Praghel QIQ (ertvba 2).

—le morte de bea arthur
V'yy gnxr vg.

Cyrnfr fraq gur QIQ gb

Celslsths mabfpce Nmmpx 4
Templbcj hqsc tsnmgg
Erlxwnivx
AZCOYTI
posted by krilli at 3:08 AM on September 18, 2009


For goodness sake! You don't post your address (even ROT-13'd).
I porbably should have said MeMail me, shouldn't I?
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 3:13 AM on September 18, 2009


GAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH
posted by koeselitz at 4:19 AM on September 18, 2009


Tho' I have been ready for this, to be honest. It was sort of obviously inevitable; I mean, I've been reading interview since at least 2006 where SM answers questions like 'WILL YOU REUNITE PLZ PLZ' with a firm "not... yet."
posted by koeselitz at 4:21 AM on September 18, 2009


Radio Birdman, the Pixies, them I justified seeing on reunion tours because I'd never had the chance to see 'em the first time around. But Pavement? I did see them play. And I'm still going to head along for this tour...
posted by russm at 4:41 AM on September 18, 2009


But the boys have done reunions before, and well. Not the first time they've had to relight the burnt match & stick a flag on it.

My only demand:

BRING BACK GARY! BRING HIM BACK NOW!

le morte de bea arthur: I've heard a theory that says that when you get into a particular band, you'll always consider their peak to be the album that was out around that time. After that, they're in decline. Before that, they were just finding their sound.

It is possible to be at least a little objective about such things; and while I don't agree that 'their last few albums were shit' (well, yeah, the albums were shit, but the b-sides were always great, and the albums sucked only because SM couldn't get it up in studio) I have to say: I don't know anybody who thinks that SM's solo work (or Scott's, for that matter; Preston School of Industry was better than expected, but still not superlative) was anywhere near the excellent standard he'd set in Pavement.

So I can appreciate the sentiment that begs them not to produce new material. If it's anything like what both of them have been writing for years - and how could it not be? - then it's not likely to be as great as it was. But that's not so awful, really; they aren't that bad nowadays, to be honest.

Which rings true when I think about the Flaming Lips. I loved Transmissions from the Satellite Heart and Clouds Taste Metallic, and I still feel The Soft Bulletin was a disappointing change of direction. I guess you feel that way about Pavement. But really, isn't 'the last few albums' their entire output in this case?

Well, I don't think it's possible to claim that At War With The Mystics is any kind of good. And Soft Bulletin is good, but only great because people DO NOT REALIZE??? that they were making better albums for years on end.

When all is said and done, in an unexpected turn not unlike the fact that George Harrison produced the best post-Beatles solo album by the Beatles, Gary Young was the only Paveperson to produce a really super post-Pavement solo record. [See also: 'Birds In Traffic.']

Which once again proves my theory: GUYS, THIS WILL REALLY SUCK UNLESS YOU FUCKING BRING BACK GARY.

By the way, always loved (Ugly Yellow Thurston notwithstanding) this Box Elder video of early-days Pavement. Gary yelling: 'wait, how does it start?' - SM plays it - 'Oh, oh yeah, that one.' Love it.
posted by koeselitz at 4:48 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and you can keep Bob around. He's swell. Maybe have him ride one of his horses around, that would be cool. Is he still a jockeys' agent?
posted by koeselitz at 4:54 AM on September 18, 2009


This FPP makes more sense once you know Pavement is a band.
posted by Eideteker at 4:54 AM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]




I interviewed Pavement once for my college's school newspaper. They, understandably, did not take the reporter from the small college newspaper too seriously, because my interview with Pavement was really an interview with the drummer while Stephen and several of the other members played pool nearby. Turns out that was a good approach for them to take, because Elton John was playing the same town the same night, and for some reason which I can no longer even guess at what it was, I decided that it would be cool to only ask questions of Pavement about Elton John. "How does it feel to be competing with Elton John tonight?" "Is your favorite Elton John song 'Crocodile Rock' cause it is mine?" "Do you ever wear outrageous outfits onstage like Elton John?" "Do you think alternative rockers could use more showmanship in their live shows, similar to entertainers like Elton John?" "Did you see that time Elton John was on 'The Muppet Show' and would Pavement like to be on 'The Muppet Show' if it was still on TV and which muppet is your favorite and no fair saying Kermit cause he is everybody's favorite?"

As I recall, Pavement's drummer did not think I was anywhere near as cute as I thought I was.
posted by ND¢ at 5:14 AM on September 18, 2009 [3 favorites]


ND¢: I interviewed Pavement once for my college's school newspaper. They, understandably, did not take the reporter from the small college newspaper too seriously...

Ha ha, awesome! When was this?

(By the way, take heart; yours actually sounds like it might have been one of the most serious interviews they ever did, considering.)

... my interview with Pavement was really an interview with the drummer... Turns out that was a good approach for them to take, because Elton John was playing the same town the same night, and for some reason which I can no longer even guess at what it was, I decided that it would be cool to only ask questions of Pavement about Elton John... As I recall, Pavement's drummer did not think I was anywhere near as cute as I thought I was.

I ask about time periods because this was either (a) Gary (long hair, little goatee-like beard, older guy) or Bob (anything from frothing beard to shaved face). Gary was wacky alcoholic hippie dude, Bob would've been weird, hip, endlessly witty guy.

If it was Bob, he was probably making a joke by acting serious. And if it was Gary, he was probably insulted because he actually really likes Elton John.
posted by koeselitz at 5:20 AM on September 18, 2009


You wouldn't... have a copy of that college newspaper interview, would you?
posted by koeselitz at 5:23 AM on September 18, 2009


As for when that was, I would guess 1997 or 1998. As for having a copy of it, I just ran upstairs and checked my collection of clippings of all my old college newspaper articles to see if I had it, and it is not in there. My girlfriend at the time was the publicity manager for the college radio station and she set up several interviews I did with bands and artists that played the area our college was in, and now that I think about it, I believe we did that interview for the radio station, rather than the paper. I may have the interview on audio tape. I will check my memory box now.
posted by ND¢ at 5:30 AM on September 18, 2009


Um, there last couple albums do not suck. All their albums are very good.

But they suck live and always have.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:35 AM on September 18, 2009


This news is so, so exciting. Never saw them live the first time around, so this will fulfill one of my [many] indie rock fantasies.
posted by banjo_and_the_pork at 5:39 AM on September 18, 2009


If I had to live in Stockton again I'd be trying to get the fuck out, too.
posted by exogenous at 5:41 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


No audio tape and October 10, 1997.
posted by ND¢ at 5:44 AM on September 18, 2009


You Should See the Other Guy: Um, there last couple albums do not suck. All their albums are very good.

I can understand the other ones, but... Brighten The Corners, man? Am I just missing something - can you enlighten me on what I should be hearing in that record? I always thought Brighten The Corners was the whole reason they broke up - because SM was so unhappy in the studio and felt rushed through that record. Did he say something about deciding to do the whole reissues series precisely because he felt like the b-sides for Corners were so much better than the album tracks that people needed to hear that?
posted by koeselitz at 5:46 AM on September 18, 2009


ND¢: No audio tape and October 10, 1997.

What college? I feel like I should try to dig this up... it sounds quite fab.
posted by koeselitz at 5:47 AM on September 18, 2009


Thanks for checking, anyhow!
posted by koeselitz at 5:48 AM on September 18, 2009


By the way, ND¢, that drummer-guy you would've been interviewing was Bob Nastanovich. He's neat; very witty and weird. For the last ten years since the breakup, he's been an agent for horse-racing jockeys; he's always said the track was his first love.
posted by koeselitz at 5:51 AM on September 18, 2009


flapjax: I'm glad to see that it's not just the classic rock dinosaurs that do this 'reunite and tour' thing anymore, but also the "alternative" dinosaurs and the "post rock" dinosaurs and all the other "______" dinosaurs.

You mean the, uh... Dinosaur Juniors?
posted by koeselitz at 5:53 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Personally I find "Stereo" off Brighten the Corners to be fantastic, and "Shady Lane" is good as well. So it justifies itself well enough for me.
posted by haveanicesummer at 6:10 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


When they first started, and were putting out singles on Drag City (Demolition Plot J-7, Slay Tracks, etc), they had the best mailing list ever. Every so often, I'd get a hand-written personal postcard from one of them detailing what they were up to. When they came to town in those days, they were affable folk - I remember sitting in a booth with SM at a club in Dallas and having a nice conversation before their set.

As they got bigger and dropped Gary, the mailing list changed in subtle ways. First it was form letters that apologized for being form letters, and included stickers to make up for that fact. Then, as Wowee Zowee came out, it was a simple promotional postcard. Then it was nothing.

They had been my favoritest band ever, and I still listen to their earlier material with great joy and a degree of reverence, but man was Wowee Zowee a stinker of an album...and everything after that just seemed different somehow. I suspect egos, fatigue, and drugs were getting in the way, but that magic of their earlier material just never returned.

I may or may not check this tour out. We'll just have to see. But I do have a crapload of old Pavement vinyl that this tour may help me unload.
posted by kaseijin at 6:13 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Stephen Malkmus was my freshman year roommate when I went to college. He used to sing to me. It drove me crazy.
posted by procrastination at 6:19 AM on September 18, 2009 [7 favorites]


"Pavement to reunite..."

I hadn't noticed that they'd left.

They sound fine musically... just like lots of indie bands, with lots of songs about new hair cuts, sweaters, and their general floating through life behavior. Lots of generally pleasing songs about their petty issues, but not much to get worked up about, really.

No wonder I find music from the 1930s more interesting.
posted by markkraft at 6:22 AM on September 18, 2009


If they can pull a Dinosaur Jr., I will be very very very excited.
posted by Theta States at 6:46 AM on September 18, 2009


Brighten The Corners

I was a huge Slanted & Enchanted/Crooked Rain fan when those came out and wore them out. I also saw them live a few times and they were f***ing great. But for some reason, Brighten the Corners has been on heavy iPod rotation for me for about the last 6 months, here in 2009. And it's grown on me a lot, maybe because I needed some Pavement songs I *hadn't* heard 10000000 times. I mean, "Cut Your Hair" has pretty much become Stairway to Heaven in that I kinda don't want to listen to it if I hear it, although I do anyway. Luckily (?) we live in a world where most radio is so horrible that I'd never have to worry about Pavement being actually played. The hipster in me is proud that if someone came to me and said "I'll give you a million dollars if you can name or hum 5 seconds of any Kayne West song", I'd be s*** out of luck.

So, uh, where was I? Oh right, I'll totally go see this even if the new album sucks.
posted by freecellwizard at 6:48 AM on September 18, 2009


No wonder I find music from the 1930s more interesting.
posted by markkraft


Yeah I heard George Gershwin and Irving Berlin are teaming up for a new international tour this year. Thus making your comparison incredibly apt, relevant, and useful.
posted by haveanicesummer at 6:51 AM on September 18, 2009


You don't post your address (even ROT-13'd).

—le morte de bea arthur
Yes. That is true.
posted by krilli at 6:56 AM on September 18, 2009


The same thing happened with the Pixies. I saw Frank Black many times over the years and then, Pixies songs started to creep into every show. More and more each time. I was still surprised when they announced a reunion.
posted by JBennett at 6:59 AM on September 18, 2009


markkraft: Why would you presume that anyone in this thread would care about the fact that you prefer music from the 1930s? I just don't understand people sometimes. Are we supposed to ask you or challenge you so you can tell us all about music from this period and how it's superior and dealt with weightier issues than what these slacker ragamuffins, Pavement, wrote about? Then perhaps you'll regale us with the story of how you, an audiophile of singular vision, had the insight and ear to rediscover this music from the '30s? What are people reading your comment supposed to do with the information you've just provided?
posted by picea at 7:01 AM on September 18, 2009 [6 favorites]


Pavement didn't appeal to me back when they were around, even though I listened to a lot of stuff of the same ilk back then. But then I was in the Amherst Newbury Comics on the day that Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe came out and somebody had already bought it and resold it so it was available cheap in the used section and I decided to buy it. When I put it on at first it didn't really appeal to me but then Conduit for Sale!* came on and BOOM right there they finally clicked for me.

That was an important lesson to learn that sometimes for some reason great things just don't appeal until you're ready.


* Confidential to markkraft: The lyrics to Conduit for Sale! are quite interesting and not about the singer, his haircut or his friends at all.
posted by Kattullus at 7:09 AM on September 18, 2009


"What are people reading your comment supposed to do with the information you've just provided?"

They could wonder whether news of a Pavement reunion is somehow "best of the web"... or at least not take the band too seriously.
posted by markkraft at 7:11 AM on September 18, 2009


I prefer the internet from the 1930s. Fewer trolls. When is Bing Crosby going to go back on tour???
posted by spicynuts at 7:13 AM on September 18, 2009


Kattullus, I hope you are right. I got Slanted and Enchanted when it came out and all my friends were raving. I didn't get it. I tried again a few years ago, and, well, I still didn't get it. Perhaps it's time to throw it on again and see if my tastes have changed.
posted by josher71 at 7:39 AM on September 18, 2009


They could wonder whether news of a Pavement reunion is somehow "best of the web"... or at least not take the band too seriously.

Yes because where 8 years of snarky comments along the same lines have failed, your pithy one will end the tyranny!!
posted by spicynuts at 7:42 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


Well, I only listen to Tuvan throat singing from the 1790s. Of course, recording devices didn't exist back then, so I am forced to make do with listening to the stories passed down the generations between father and son regarding the great throat songs of that lofty hay-day.

I took a trip to southern Siberia to here the Tuvan throat songs of today and was discouraged to find that most modern throat songs are about haircuts and the sweaters made post-haircut.

So, as you can see, my musical taste is extremely rarefied and I'm happy to report that my wife has already purchased tickets to the first Pavement reunion show.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 7:44 AM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I wonder whether news of a Pavement reunion is "best of the web"? I'm not sure, but I at least don't take the band too seriously.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:01 AM on September 18, 2009


I saw them once, during the Terror Twilight touring. SM was just clearly so sick of it all. Playing Date with Ikea, (not one of his songs), it was as if he was mocking SS for writing such a lame, simple song. Pretty obvious the end was near.

Have seen SM with the Jicks twice, and at the last one, was just blown away that four people could put out that much sound. I think quite a bit of his solo material has been pretty darn good, once you get past the pop of the first release. Pig Lib is great, and I'd put 1% of 1 and Elmo Delmo up against most Pavement stuff.

If they come to Seattle, I'll be there...
posted by Windopaene at 8:18 AM on September 18, 2009


One amusing thing about markkraft's comment is that I'm fairly sure there's a not insignificant segment of Pavement's fanbase that would make similar comments towards '09 music in general or pop music or whatever, only with Pavement as their focal point of unassailable goodness instead of the nebulous "1930s music".
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:22 AM on September 18, 2009


Hand me the drumstick, snare kick

I was a hardcore Slanted & Enchanted fan back in 1992, but I don't think S&E has dated very well. The 'Watery, Domestic' EP and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain still sound fantastic, and "Gold Soundz" is their best track ever.
posted by porn in the woods at 8:41 AM on September 18, 2009


Oh the 1930s, if only Pavement were covering such wonderfully important topics as fishies, floogies (not lacking in floy floy), and darkies.
posted by haveanicesummer at 8:46 AM on September 18, 2009


But they suck live and always have.

Oh, yes. It's not a Pavement show unless Malkmus stops the band at least twice to correct their tempo. And acts like a spited prima donna during Kannberg's songs.

I'll probably go see them anyway.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:49 AM on September 18, 2009


One way you know Pavement's great is that there's almost no part of their recorded output, including Terror Twilight, that's not, in somebody's fervently held view, the apex of their career.

Career! Career! Career! Career!
posted by escabeche at 8:51 AM on September 18, 2009


I've never really gotten into the solo SM, but I have seen him with the Jicks. The Jicks are rock super group made up of superlative musicians, and the prog-rocky songs give them ample opportunity to shine. The contrast between Jicks music and Pavement's sloppy psychadelia is marked. I wonder how neo-Pavement will sound in light of that.
posted by chrchr at 8:53 AM on September 18, 2009


It is possible to be at least a little objective about such things; and while I don't agree that 'their last few albums were shit' (well, yeah, the albums were shit, but the b-sides were always great, and the albums sucked only because SM couldn't get it up in studio) I have to say: I don't know anybody who thinks that SM's solo work (or Scott's, for that matter; Preston School of Industry was better than expected, but still not superlative) was anywhere near the excellent standard he'd set in Pavement.

I say this as a huge long-time Pavement fan and someone who (in my opinion, anyway) knows about songwriting, production, etc.: Terror Twilight is Pavement's best album, and SM's post-Pavement bands have been, without exception, better than Pavement. His first solo album after Terror Twilight was unbelievably amazing. The only metric by which one could reasonably measure earlier Pavement albums as being better than Terror Twilight and the first Malkmus solo album is the "I heard it before the other ones and fell in love with the album and I can never betray it" metric. Saying that Pavement's last two albums are not superior to the previous ones is like saying that Hard Day's Night is the best Beatles album, and that everything after Revolver is crap.

Of course, I didn't see them live, so maybe the Brighten The Corners and Terror Twilight-era live shows ruined the albums for people who saw the shows. My take since the earliest Pavement allbums has been that the people who love the early stuff and hate the later stuff were tired of music that is played competently and produced well, and were really happy to hear great songs played very badly. Then, when they heard Pavement actually produced well and played competently (especially on the first Malkmus album), they couldn't handle it.

That said, I am possibly more excited about seeing Pavement now than I have been about any previous band. So that's something.

Brighten The Corners, man? Am I just missing something - can you enlighten me on what I should be hearing in that record?

The guitar tone on Embassy Row alone justifies an unlimited amount of hype as to that album.
posted by The World Famous at 9:12 AM on September 18, 2009


Terror Twilight is Pavement's best album

Grow some ears
posted by dydecker at 10:28 AM on September 18, 2009


Grow some ears

A well-reasoned and well-supported retort.
posted by The World Famous at 10:35 AM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


You can't compare Early Beatles to Late Beatles and arrive at anything remotely useful as a result, because they are essentially two very different bands both using the same name.

Sorry - my intent was not to compare early and late Beatles to early and late Pavement. My intent was to compare the "validity" of the comparative statements about the merits of one versus the other.

not musically incorrect to prefer Early Beatles over Late Beatles, and it's not incorrect to prefer Early Pavement to Late Pavement.

Exactly.

The production on early works (which while not pristine) PERfectly complements the playing, which perfectly matches the slidely looseness of the melodies, etcetcetc.

Yes, the crap production matches the crap playing (particularly the crap drum playing, which somehow was endearing and perfect in spite of being crap). And in the context of the popular music of the time, was refreshing when matched up with the great songwriting, which contrasted with popular songwriting just as much as the crap production and crap playing contrasted with the slick production and playing on popular stuff at the time.

The collective set of things that make Early Pavement sound different from Late Pavement: it's a feature, not a bug.

I agree. Good production and playing on the early Pavement songs would have made the songs sound worse.
posted by The World Famous at 11:01 AM on September 18, 2009


"Stephen Malkmus was my freshman year roommate when I went to college. He used to sing to me. It drove me crazy."

Is the falling asleep in the library and writing his first song true or bullhit?

Serious question.
posted by bardic at 11:38 AM on September 18, 2009


bullshit, even
posted by bardic at 11:39 AM on September 18, 2009


I think I was like in a band with Stephen Malkmus or something.
posted by danny the boy at 2:56 PM on September 18, 2009


Not really.
posted by danny the boy at 2:57 PM on September 18, 2009


but man was Wowee Zowee a stinker of an album

To you perhaps. To me it's their best album.
posted by furtive at 3:06 PM on September 18, 2009 [2 favorites]


I saw Pavement at Barrister's in Memphis while they were recording Wowee Zowee, and then again about a year later. They were really good both times. I remember I spoke to Malkmus the first time (he was really nice) and they covered the Velvet Underground's "What Goes On?" the second time.
posted by vibrotronica at 3:50 PM on September 18, 2009


I got into them with Brighten the Corners, then delved into their back catalogue. Wowee Zowee and Crooked Rain are both my favourites. Never really got into anything they did after Brighten the Corners.

I do hope they make it to Sydney. When I saw them live before (at Summersault around 1994?) I didn't know who they were but really enjoyed the show - plus I was trying to impress a girl who was into them.
posted by robotot at 4:28 PM on September 18, 2009


"I've heard a theory that says that when you get into a particular band, you'll always consider their peak to be the album that was out around that time. After that, they're in decline. Before that, they were just finding their sound. Which rings true when I think about the Flaming Lips. I loved Transmissions from the Satellite Heart and Clouds Taste Metallic, and I still feel The Soft Bulletin was a disappointing change of direction."

I can believe that, though there are some obvious problems (like getting into bands that have broken up, or how sometimes things don't hit at once and you need to work backwards).

I saw Pavement on their final tour after years of kinda sorta meaning to check them out. I liked indie rock, but everyone around me was already into Pavement, and I was already into not getting into stuff just because everyone else around me was already into it. Still, they're one of the rare bands whose shirts I've bought, and still get compliments on it (brown shirt, with sackbutt). I remember being surrounded by Pavement vets saying things like, "They never play 'Summer Babe!'"

I've missed seeing the Pixies and the Stooges as reunions; I've got a constitutional aversion to having my concert fantasies deflated. I saw Dinosaur Jr. and finally got them. I think I'll go see Pavement because now I'm 30 and uncool and isn't that what people who are 30 and uncool go do? At the very least, it'll help me stave off the false nostalgia for other bands I always wanted to see while they were awesome (REM, Flaming Lips) but now never will (aneurysm, Sponge Bob). I've tried to make it up by seeing great bands coming up, but none of them ever get famous enough for me to get asked if I've seen them.

I do hope they tour worldwide—the whole time I was visiting my brother in Seoul, where he's slipped into teaching as a vocation, the refrain of "career" slipping into "Korea" was in my head, and I hope he gets a chance to see why that's funny.
posted by klangklangston at 4:53 PM on September 18, 2009 [1 favorite]


We'll I'm psyched.

I've seen Pavement live and it remains one of my favorite shows. They do great, earnest, non-ironic covers.
posted by Divine_Wino at 4:55 PM on September 18, 2009


Is the falling asleep in the library and writing his first song true or bullshit?

Honestly, I couldn't tell you. We weren't really friends and didn't keep in touch after we moved out. I ran into him from time to time on campus, but we just kind of said hi and moved on. Last I ever heard from him he was headed for law school. I didn't even know he was a rock star until maybe ten years later Google was new and cool and I was searching for people who had unusual names and saw he was in Pavement.

I can say that he made up songs all the time while messing around on his guitar in our room. They were really annoying, like "You are trying to study, but I am singiniiiiiing" type things. He'd also sing a bunch of REM, Violent Femmes, and Jet Boy, Jet Girl. I kinda can't stand any of his music now as it brings back flashes of annoyance from those days.
posted by procrastination at 5:30 PM on September 18, 2009 [4 favorites]


>I took a trip to southern Siberia to here the Tuvan throat songs of today and was discouraged to find that most modern throat songs are about haircuts and the sweaters made post-haircut.

This makes me long for a Tuvan throat-sung rendition of any/some Pavement song(s), perhaps in a Weird-Al-esque medley format.
posted by cobwebberies at 10:25 PM on September 18, 2009


A Pavement tour would also mean that Sonic Youth would lose one of their bass players for a little while.
posted by bardic at 11:28 PM on September 18, 2009


Brighten The Corners, man? Am I just missing something - can you enlighten me on what I should be hearing in that record?

Absolutely not. How technically admirable or "good" is irrelevant if it doesn't do anything for you. I put it at the top of their output.

Think of something you really like and others don't. It's as simple as that, but in reverse.
posted by juiceCake at 8:36 AM on September 19, 2009


I would like to make mention of a thing;

I have seen Bob Nastanovich mentioned as Pavement's drummer on many occasions in this thread.

I thought Steve West was the post-gary drummer, and Bob was the keyboard/cowbell/various yelling and jumping dude.
posted by sunimplodes at 1:19 PM on September 19, 2009


I thought Steve West was the post-gary drummer, and Bob was the keyboard/cowbell/various yelling and jumping dude.

Yes. At least when I've seen them play, Steve West sits behind a proper drum kit; Nastanovich is sort of a jack-of-all-trades (percussion, keyboards, screaming etc) on stage.
posted by scatter gather at 11:38 PM on September 20, 2009


But Bob was brought in before Steve in order to help Gary keep time.
posted by bardic at 8:57 PM on September 21, 2009


So Bob was the... metronome?
posted by scatter gather at 12:10 AM on September 22, 2009


sunimplodes:
I have seen Bob Nastanovich mentioned as Pavement's drummer on many occasions in this thread.

I thought Steve West was the post-gary drummer, and Bob was the keyboard/cowbell/various yelling and jumping dude.


steve + bob = drummer.
posted by koeselitz at 4:36 AM on September 22, 2009


juiceCake: I put it at the top of their output.

Yeah - but SM hates that album. He says that the producer rushed them so much that he had to put all kinds of material on it before it was ready, and he just about fired Steve halfway through for stupid reasons. Of course, turmoil has produced good stuff before, I guess.

The thing that I think really bugs me about Corners is that to me it's sort of where the lyrical mystery dies; the songs suddenly are clearly not about any defined subject, they're just jumbles of interesting words and thoughts. While that's okay, compared with the sort of initiatory rite that is the lyrics of Wowee Zowee; the hush of the "Dancing With The Elders," the rising sports metaphors of "Rattled" (I hadn't connected "I don't need a minister / To call me a groom" to horse racing until a few months ago - love those delayed connections) on through the breezy dual natures of "Grave Architecture," the spoken outro on "AT&T" about thanking Jacob primarily for his glass house... hell, every word of "Father To A Sister Of Thought," every moment, all of that one is perfect, especially "Goodbye to the ugly steeple fear" and "Angel of Corpus Christi / You're so mystic, tell me what I want to hear..." Steve's a genius at refining the way he throws words together whilst balancing on just the right amount of meaning so that you feel as though there are hidden layers behind what you've already discovered.

Whereas there isn't a single song on Corners where I feel that. The ones I like most - "Blue Hawaiian," "Type Slowly" - are mostly interesting and great because of the sound, because of what the band's doing, which is just fine, but I still feel pretty strongly that SM is off on that disc in a way he wasn't before or after. The big hits, "Shady Lane" and "Stereo," certainly are lacking lyrically - neither even seem to be about anything at all - and maybe me thinking that automatically kills what's supposed to be there, maybe I'm supposed to hold onto the mystery until I see something, but it never comes together for me.

"Harness Your Hopes" and "Roll With The Wind (Roxy)" are so much better than anything on the record that I can't help but feel like the eps & singles saw the better of Corners



(Frankly, I love listening to my Pacific Trim ep a whole lot more than Corners, but that's probably just because I like the pretty cover.)
posted by koeselitz at 5:11 AM on September 22, 2009


-- and how could I forget! - "No Tan Lines!" One of the best Pavement songs period. How can you pass up sexy San Tropez chicks + "convalescent enema essence?"

I think a lot of us dis Brighten just because, no matter how great all their songs were, it was the first Pavement record where you could listen to it and never have a clue how awesome the b-sides were - the b-sides were that much better than the album.
posted by koeselitz at 5:19 AM on September 22, 2009


I am familiar with all the songs you cite.

I really don't care what Malkmus thinks of the album or any of his songs.

I like Harness and Roll but don't find them any better, and indeed, find them worse, than anything off of Corners but all these things are subjective. Love the lyrics on Corners.

No Tan Lines I quite like my favourites include Strings of Nashville, Greenlander, Easily Fooled, Debris Slide. Sometimes Terror Twilight stands out, sometimes Wowee Zowee. Depends on what mood one is in.
posted by juiceCake at 9:26 AM on September 22, 2009


open up your purses / for the boys to reimburse us is a great goddamn line.
posted by porn in the woods at 5:02 PM on September 22, 2009 [1 favorite]


juiceCake: I really don't care what Malkmus thinks of the album or any of his songs.

Yeah, I think you're right; it doesn't matter. He can be moody, anyhow; he's at his best just writing, and sometimes people don't realize what cool stuff they've put together. And Brighten The Corners is like any Pavement album; the more I listen, the more I realize there are all kinds of cool things I'm missing; shouldn't make snap judgments.

"Strings Of Nashville" makes me very happy. What a great single overall; "Gold Soundz" is such a good complement, I think.

porn in the woods: open up your purses / for the boys to reimburse us is a great goddamn line.

It is good. Personally, that's my favorite work of theirs - Watery, Domestic and the other two four-song eps from the reconstruction period after Slanted. But, er... isn't it 'open up your purses / for the boys who reimburse us (with a goal-line stand of 4th and 2)'?

Doesn't really matter, anyway. Song is brilliant. All four on there are. I really like "Some one took... in... these pants..."
posted by koeselitz at 3:36 AM on September 23, 2009


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