Saturday, April 17, 2010

Continued Pavement-mania (Crooked Rain edition)

It doesn't take very much for me to go on a Pavement jag. They tend to happen about every year or so--usually in the spring or early summer. That said, I think there has been a distinct reason for this particular jag. All the Pavement news of the last month or so has swept me up in the Pavement-mania. A full-on swoon has swept the music journalism world. There have been fawning stories everywhere you look for weeks and weeks.  Last month there was widespread coverage all over the place (NPR here, The Japan Times here, etc.)  More recently, here is a report from a reunion tour Tokyo show.  Some data-driven analysis of reunion tour clips from the NYT here, etc. I am sure that in the wake of the band's appearance tonight at Coachella we are going to get back to the full-scale Pavement-frenzy in the music blogs and press.

So, I have joined the virtual Pavement party and have played the band's albums over the course of the last month. I have all of their main releases and a few EPs here and there as well. Right now as I type this, I am listening to the 2nd disc of outtakes and assorted gems from the Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain 10th anniversary re-release. Very fun.

Pavement are a band that we always knew would reunion tour. Malkmus has been active throughout the post-Pavement years. There had been consistent reports over the course of the last decade suggesting that it was a matter of when, not if. But nonetheless, it will be fun to have them around for old times sake. I saw them twice--in Albuquerque and in Atlanta--back in the day (the mid-1990s). I sure hope I can manage to get to one of their shows later in the summer.

They weren't the best live act in the world as they often played shambolic and sloppy sets on a consistent basis. But on this point I buy-in to the greater narrative as well--the sloppiness and shambles adds to the charm in some weird way. Plus it will be fun to be transported back to a simpler period--the 90s lo-fi scene. Guided by Voices, Pavement, Sebadoh, New Radiant Storm King, the original Spoon, etc. Life was simpler then... [In related news, Superchunk is about to release a new album and play some shows.]

Pave out the jams, mofos!

P.S. I would steer clear of the new "bargain-priced" Pavement re-releases on vinyl. They look and feel like cheap pressings and I wouldn't be surpised if they popped and skipped right out of the sleeve the first time you drop the needle. As with most things, when it comes to vinyl, you get what you pay for. When the retail price is about $10 for a vinyl record in this day and age, you are likely getting a low-quality pressing.

Here is a link to the two-disc (49 track) Crooked Rain re-release from 2004:

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