Articles by Jim Connelly

Jim Connelly has been eye-deep in media of all kinds ever since he can remember, and probably prior to that. Over the past quarter-century he has worked in the radio, film, music, and internet industries, and has been writing about popular culture and technology the entire time. Prior to co-founding Medialoper, Jim's work appeared both online and off in publications such as Wired, The Village Voice, Neumu and Websight Magazine . . . Jim at Facebook . . . Jim on Twitter . . .

Certain Songs #1489: Pavement – “Gold Soundz”

Album: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Year: 1994

So drunk in the August sun

I’ve never owned Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain on vinyl, but how much fun would it have been to be able to turn the record and have a second to recover from the frenzy of “Unfair” before the gorgeous opening of “Gold Soundz” kicks in. Instead, on the CD, it’s weirdly jarring, like if you had one of those multi-disc carousel changers and it somehow started playing a totally different CD.

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Certain Songs #1488: Pavement – “Unfair”

Album: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Year: 1994

The last psychedelic band from Sacto, Northern Cal!

Somehow, despite all of the stone classics surrounding it, “Unfair” turned out to be my favorite song from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain — meaning that it’s my favorite Pavement song, period — as it’s a near-perfect combination of screeching rage, wild guitars, hilarious lyrics and a candy-sweet melody.

To to be honest, melody does take a bit of a backset in this case, but not so much that they don’t get away with producing a song that doesn’t have any chorus at all. Instead, “Unfair” starts at about an intensity level of 9.5 and ends up going to 11. At least.

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Certain Songs #1487: Pavement – “Cut Your Hair”

Album: Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
Year: 1994

Did you see the drummer’s hair?

Holy shit, this song. I mean, holy fucking shit, this song.

First off, it’s always given me flashbacks to Pete Townshend singing in first person character “Why should I care / If I have to cut my hair” but that’s on me, as Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair” isn’t anything at all like The Who’s “Cut My Hair,” a song which instantly pivots to Jimmy’s issues fitting in with his peers and his parents.

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Certain Songs #1486: Pavement – “Silence Kid”

Album: Crooked Rain Crooked Rain
Year: 1994

This is the city life

Most great albums announce their greatness within just a few seconds: the synth that opens “Baba O’ Riley,” the guitar riff of “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” the stolen drumbeat of “Just Like Honey.”

Others? Well others take a bit to get going. Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain falls into the latter camp. You put it in the CD changer, and it acts like its surprised that you chose it, so it stumbles around a bit gather itself together — random bass notes from Mark Ibold, new drummer Steve West hitting various toms like he’s doing a sound check, Stephen Malkmus trying to get his squawking guitar under control, and you can be excused if you want to ask them if you should come back later when they’re ready to play.

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Certain Songs #1485: Pavement – “Unseen Power of the Picket Fence”

Album: No Alternative
Year: 1993

And there stands R.E.M.

As it turned out, the first song that anybody heard from the Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain sessions was kind of a goof that was on a compilation album called No Alternative.

Part of the early 90s Red Hot AIDS Benefit series of albums, No Alternative featured a killer line of alt-rock stars — Matthew Sweet, The Breeders, Soul Asylum, Beastie Boys & Smashing Pumpkins to name a few — doing original songs, covers and live versions. These days, it’s probably most remembered for having a killer Nirvana hidden track that was rumoured to be called “I Hate Myself and Want to Die,” but was named “Verse Chorus Verse” at the time, and is now known as “Sappy.”

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