Excerpt from Art of Noise blog about PavementPosted: August 10, 2011
I recently stumbled upon this beautiful blog post from a blog called “The Art of Noise.” I recommend checking it out. Here is an excerpt from a post I came across which is one author’s attempt to describe why he loves Pavement. This post made me smile the whole way through:
(Re-posted from The Art of Noise blog)
… Pavement (Jonathan)
Some random things I love about Pavement.
They were simultaneously perfect and perfectly flawed, and I listen to them every single day, still.
Unfinished sentences: the closing moments of Crooked Rain’s epic finale, ‘Fillmore Jive’; my god, when Steve croons: “When they pull out the plugs and they snort up the drugs…. They pull out the plugs and they snort up the drugs…. their throats are filled with…”. One more bass note and the record is complete. What? Filled with what? Or ‘Give It A Day’, where a lovely, rare moment of Malkmus directness is buried like an unpolished jewel at the close of this playful whimsy – one moment Steve is singing about Arab terrorists and the next he’s whining: “Your father, he’s another one of them, I don’t wanna mention him again cause I talked to him last night, he hates my guts, we had a fight and he called you a slut, girl, why’s that? What did you do to him to make him think…”. The sentence hangs unfinished in the air. So, yeah, unfinished sentences.
The jokes: “What about the voice of Geddy Lee?“, Steve asks on ‘Stereo’, “How did it get so high? I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?“. Suddenly Bob Nastonovich chips in, “I know him. And he does“, to which Steve replies: “Then you’re my fact checking cuz”.
Slow burners: Take ‘Fight This Generation’, for example; a first half of slow, half-formed indie rock with Malkmus whining “What you got to prove? Who you gonna screw?” before the song drifts into oblivion. And then all of a sudden a Sonic Youth-y riff and synthesiser squeal herald a stunning Krautrock finish with Steve sighing “Fight this generation” half-heartedly over the top. Totally unexpected and quite brilliant. Or the laid-back ‘Speak, See, Remember’, which meanders along like a nondescript Steely Dan / Creedence homage for a couple of minutes. There’s really nothing to it. And then it’s somehow, invisibly changed. “God loves you but what he could do?“, Malkmus asks, now so laid-back and non-committal he’s putting on a silly voice. A piano tinkles into silence. Then, wallop, the song, several minutes late, arrives fully formed. It’s gorgeous.
Not even bothering to work out the lyrics: Anyone tried to decipher “One of us is a cigar stand and one of us is a lovely blue incandescent guillotine”? No, me neither. Or how about “Like a docent’s lisp, like a damsel’s spit, like a dry gin’s twist (of lime)“, which the fifteen year Jonathan used to holler along with, while my parents exchanged strange looks. “Like a poor droll sir, like a pike’s dull spurs, like a pastor’s flock (of sheep)”.
They hate Billy Corgan: Who can forget the impossibly lovely and deliciously petulant ‘Range Life’s “out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins…” line? But even better was the way Malkmus used to start Terror Twilight’s ‘Billie’ when they played it live. “Billy my friend the saint“, he sang, “you’re perfect in so many ways. But you never wrote a song and you never lit a bong and you are just a motherfucking loser”. A while ago Malkmus played ‘Range Life’ on his acoustic at a solo gig. He forgot half the words and changed others. Everyone wondered if he’d let the Pumpkins line go. He sang it straight, although he amended the end to “…and I could really give a fuck, F.U.C.K FUCK YOU!“, proving he’s as winningly brattish as ever.
They just didn’t give a fuck: “She’s so lackadaisical“, Malkmus sighed over ‘Texas Never Whispers’s immaculate buzzsaw pop, “Should have been a West Coast bride”. They never even got round to living in the same state, never mind living in a house together or, y’know, rehearsing.
They gave a fuck: Malkmus did write from the heart sometimes, and when he did it was delightful; how about in ‘Spit On A Stranger’, when he sings “Honey I’m a prize and you’re a catch and we’re a perfect match. Like two bitter strangers. And now I’ve seen the long and short of it and I can make it last“.
Slanted And Enchanted: Which is a Swell Maps meets Fall lo-fi masterpiece in a league of it’s own.
Watery, Domestic EP: Four perfect, precise indie rock classics. “I’ve got style, miles and miles, so much style that it’s wasted”, Malkmus sings, truthfully.
Crooken Rain, Crooked Rain: Which is a near perfect, swooning blend of art-rock and AOR and probably my favourite album of all time.
Wowee Zowee: Which is the Trout Mask Replica of the 90s; confusing, strange, inconsistent, and peerless.
Pacific Trim EP: Four songs thrown away in a day, and frequently hilarious and gorgeous.
Terror Twilight: The record I learned to love; Pavement are all grown up, and then gone forever.
As you’ll have noted, it’s completely impossible for me to put together any coherent reasoning behind why I love Pavement. I love them for all the reasons above, and plenty more which are far more sensible and true. They will always be my band.