Articles Tagged: Pavement

Certain Songs #1495: Pavement – “Shady Lane / J vs S”

Album: Brighten The Corners
Year: 1997

You’ve been chosen as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequel to your life

Two decades after the fact, the conventional wisdom seems to be that Slanted and Enchanted is a low-fi milestone; Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain a classic-rock masterpiece; Wowee Zowie is too weird not to be great, but after that, forget about it.

WRONG!!

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Certain Songs #1494: Pavement – “Painted Soldiers”

Album: Brain Candy Original Soundtrack
Year: 1996

All my soldiers are painted

For reasons that I have no idea what they are to this day, I never really paid any attention to The Kids in the Hall when they were a thing — possibly because they were on the paywalled HBO — though I’ve really enjoyed a lot of their work since, especially Dave Foley in Newsradio and Color Me Obsessed, Scott Thompson in The Larry Sanders Show and Mark McKinney in Slings and Arrows and Superstore. Probably the other two guys, as well.

But of course, all of that happened after their 1996 film, Brain Candy, which was actually so far off of my radar that I didn’t even know that Pavement had contributed a song to it until I got the Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition in 2006.

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Certain Songs #1493: Pavement – “Grave Architecture”

Album: Wowee Zowee
Year: 1995

It takes a lot

Yet another Wowee Zowee song with a weird structure and cryptic lyrics — which start with a disarmingly friendly Stephen Malkmus asking us to “come on in –“Grave Architecture” ended up grabbing me for a pretty weird reason, even for me: the rhythm guitar on the choruses (I guess) reminded me of some the mid-1960s Rolling Stones produced by Andrew Loog Oldham, circa The Rolling Stones Now!, Out of Our Heads or Aftermath

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Certain Songs #1492: Pavement – “Grounded”

Album: Wowee Zowee
Year: 1995

Boys are dying on these … streets

While I was doing research on Wowee Zowee, I saw more than one comparison to The Beatles, that eclectic follow up to Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band that also confused the hell out of people when it came out, and is now held up as a precursor to sprawling experimental indie rock albums like Wowee Zowee.

And that does make some sense. While the other four Pavement albums tapped out between 11-14 songs, Wowee Zowee came in at a massive 18 songs, and was wildly divergent from track to track, even for a band that stuck a 5/4 “jazz” workout in between a pair of folk-rock singles, so it never quite got the momentum the previous two records ended up with.

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Certain Songs #1491: Pavement – “We Dance”

Album: Wowee Zowee
Year: 1995

Check that expiration date, man

It was March of 1995, and I was living in Oakland and flying down to L.A. to visit Rox, who was living on an apartment on Hollywood Blvd. And, of course, during that spring/summer, there was always loads of CD shopping, as there was still a plethora of what we used to call “record stores” in Hollywood.

It was during one of those trips where I bought the first taste of the follow-up to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, the Rattled by La Rush EP. And I was puzzled: unlike the three singles from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain — “Cut Your Hair,” “Gold Soundz” and “Range Life” — for those of you keeping score at home, “Rattled by The Rush” was far less pop and far more difficult, and as such was the perfect lead single for Wowee Zowee, perhaps the most difficult of all of the difficult third albums ever released.

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