Articles Tagged: Pavement

Certain Songs #1500: Pavement – “The Killing Moon”

Album: Major Leagues EP
Year: 1999

Fate, up against your will

So, way back in 2015, I pointed out that Echo & The Bunnymen’s original version of “The Killing Moon” wasn’t just Echo & The Bunnymen’s greatest song, but an absolutely enduring classic that will forever be counted among the greatest rock songs of not just the 1980s, but all-time.

And as such, should be totally uncoverable. Especially by Pavement, who you would think would automatically rob “The Killing Moon” of the epic, er, epicness that made it so epochally epic.

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Certain Songs #1499: Pavement – “Carrot Rope”

Album: Terror Twilight
Year: 1999

Simmer, simmer, simmer down

Here’s the thing about Terror Twilight: it’s fine. It’s perfectly fine. That said, I saw Pavement for the second time on that tour — at the Fillmore, which was much preferable to the Warfield — and enjoyed them very much even as they focused the set on Terror Twilight material, all of which was perfectly fine live as well.

Problem is, that “fine” wasn’t what I wanted from Pavement; I wanted some combination of weird, funny, noisy and melodic. I never got those vibes from Terror Twilight, except for the final two tracks: the ominous jam “The Hexx” and the final almost too silly “Carrot Rope,” helpfully called “… And Carrot Rope” on the album cover because why not.

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Certain Songs #1498: Pavement – “Fin”

Album: Brighten The Corners
Year: 1997

No more absolutes

It was so subtle that I literally didn’t realize it until the morning I’m writing this, but Pavement had at least one long Stephen Malkmus guitar jam near the end of every album from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain forward.

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain had “Fillmore Jive” closing it off, but both Wowee Zowee and Terror Twilight stuck their long jams as the penultimate tunes, the former’s “Half a Canyon” somewhat obscured by the vocal shredding screams that accompanied it, and the latter’s “The Hexx” somewhat obscured for being near the end of Terror Twilight.

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Certain Songs #1497: Pavement – “Starlings of the Slipstream”

Album: Brighten The Corners
Year: 1997

Darlings on the split screen

We’ve already discussed the circumstances under which I didn’t get to see Pavement play Lollapalooza in 1994 — Billy Corgan backlash for “Range Life” — but during that post I neglected to mention that I also somehow totally missed seeing them on the Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain tour not once but twice, though there were mitigating circumstances.

I moved from Fresno to the Bay Area in June of 1994, and because of that, I missed them at the Great American Music Hall in April of 1994 — I was basically living on savings, credit cards and unemployment checks at that point — and then I missed them in Fresno in September, 1994. I’m pretty sure I didn’t even know about that Fresno show until after it happened.

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Certain Songs #1496: Pavement – “We Are Underused”

Album: Brighten The Corners
Year: 1997

It wasn’t anything new for Pavement, but a good chunk of the best songs on Brighten The Corners started off in one place and ended in a completely different place, so if you didn’t like the relatively quiet beginnings and/or slow tempos, if you had any kind of patience at all, songs like “Transport Is Arranged,” “Old To Begin” and “Type Slowly” totally and completely paid off by their ends.

But probably no song had a weirder journey that “We Are Underused,” which I think is both a generational observation as well as a song about accepting that you’re aging. Alternating stop-and-go verses with anthemic choruses, “We Are Underused” ends up a long way from the lone harpsichord (I think) that opens it.

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