Friday, April 13, 2018

Weekend Mix/Uneven Pavement Ahead

"This Malkmus idiot is a complete songwriting genius" said Gary Young, original Pavement drummer, and owner of Louder Than You Think, the Stockton California recording studio they first recorded, upon hearing their early material. 

Pavement formed in 1989 and seemed to be unaware they had a career until it was nearly over. They broke up in 1999 after an unplanned hiatus. Stephen Malkmus was done with the band and left it to  co-founder Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannberg to call the others. Drummer Steve West never even got a call. He found out the band broke up via the internet.

During the tour for "Wowee Zowee", Pavement often took the stage without a set-list, opting instead for substance fueled jams in avoidance of playing "hits". Some of these occurrences took place during the 1995 Lollapalooza festival, where the hostile audience response included pelting the band with mud and rocks. They later dubbed themselves "The band that ruined Lollapalooza".

In spite of it all they managed to make at least one great record, and a bunch of good ones, leading some prominent critics to call them "the best band of the 1990's".

I must have read a review, probably by Robert Christgau, in the Village Voice when I bought "Slanted And Enchanted" in 1992.
I heard a bit of Velvet Lou and Television which predisposed me to like it. "Home" was the song, atypically quiet and pretty, that really got me. I loved about half the album, which was enough for me to keep listening. The first 5 tracks on the mix are from this period.
As recently posted, the next one, "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain"(1994) knocked me out. Indie Classic Rock. An oxymoron if there ever was one.
All of it except one grating composition by Scott Kannberg appear in their original order as tracks 6 thru 15. "Fillmore Jive" the closer, does the same here after a handful of tracks from  "Wowee Zowee"(1995), "Pacific Trim"(1996), "Brighten The Corners"(1997), and "Terror Twilight"(1999).

There was a reunion in 2010, and could be again in 2019, however don't expect any new material. 
Stephen Malkmus has moved on. His seventh album with The Jicks, "Sparkle Hard" will be out any minute.
Tickets are available for their Brooklyn shows in June. They are scheduled to appear tomorrow (April 14) at Town Hall for WNYC's "Live From Here".

Uneven Pavement, too




Thanks BBJ,

When you mentioned Pavement after the 10 Albums discussion I thought that was a band I should know better.

Now I have a specially curated introduction.

Thanks! And have a great weekend.

JD Seid said...

Thanks - great mix for a Spring weekend.

Ken D said...

Another band that somehow escaped me. Guess I wasn't paying attention, so this will be a good intro.
(Although from what you wrote, I might not need any more than what's here.)

Anonymous said...

I'll give it a try. all my friends adored them in that early period, but I thought they were a weak take on The Fall (probably after one of those unscripted shows).

buzzbabyjesus said...

I don't hear the Fall in them, but I know others have said that. "Two States", however is pretty Fall-ish.

A walk in the woods said...

Nice! This is a band I really SHOULD know more about - I "grew up" when they were big, love the bands you referenced that they were inspired by, but to this day, I only know their one radio hit, "Cut Your Hair."

So thanks for this, it will be fun to get to know them well after the fact!

Dr Wu said...

I can’t think of a more noble pursuit in life than bringing Pavement to the masses. Thanks, BBJ!
P.S. Their early E.P.s are stand-alone mini-albums and as solid as the early albums.

GeorgeKramer said...

Thanks BBJ. I never really got into Pavement beyond Slanted & Enchanted so will try again using this.

dogbreath said...

I don't think Pavement received an awful lot of exposure on my side of the Atlantic although I recall hearing one or two songs which slipped through on late night radio shows. And I used to have a Stephen Malkmus solo LP at one time. Anyway, what I'm trying to say in my verbose, long-winded, pedestrian way (Get on with it - Ed) is many thanks for the compilation job. Cheers!