Tuesday, August 26, 2008

If I could settle down, then I would settle down

I had mentioned two albums I discovered while working that dead end job at Wow Video would make this list. The first was Television's Marquee Moon and the next one was harder to pinpoint which album. Really the credit should go to a DVD and not an album, but I must pick a record out of the five that I engulfed that first summer working at Wow. Before I go into the specifics of that record, I must make brief mention of the DVD. Slow Century, a two disc set of a band called Pavement's music videos, live concerts and a documentary was something that was played regularly throughout the working days in the summer of '02. As I like to claim, I like a lot of music of th 90s and not having heard anything about this band Pavement, I am super greatful that my first exposure to Malkmus, Spiral Stairs, Ibold and crew was this amazing collection of really bad, yet perfect music videos for a band of slackers. Genius slackers, but slackers nonetheless. When deciding which album I wanted to represent, I had to pick the one that probably hit me the most through this DVD and that is their seminole record, Crooked Rain Crooked Rain. Nothing but goodness attached to it.

The videos collected on the DVD were hilarious. I had never heard the songs and it was cool ot be exposed to a band by their music videos. Especially a band that seemed to have no care for making these videos. Imagine seeing and hearing this as your first exposure of an amazing band:

Being the fan of silly things and great 90s music, it was like a treasure trove finding out about Pavement in this manner. I immediately bought their albums and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain may have been the first that really clicked. Overall, the album is their most accessible. Songs like "Range Life" and "Cut Your Hair" are such perfect examples of what slacker life in the 90s was all about. I missed that culture by about 5 years as I was just a youngin' when this record came out, but listening to it ten years after the fact, I could see how it was such a perfect example of what I call "The Pete & Pete Culture." It really feels like suburban life wrapped in melody sometimes listening to this album and as a young man growing up in Suburbia, I totally feel where the sentiment behind these songs are comin' from. Beyond the songs that had videos for them on the Slow Century DVD, Crooked Rain boasts some of the best Pavement songs in their catalog. "Stop Breathin' " is just one of those gems that was tucked away on their. The amazingly strange arpeggio guitar structure that builds into one of my favorite song outros of all time. "Unfair" and "Elevate Me Later" are as good as any of the singles from the record and could easily be up there on my list of personal favorite Pavement tracks.

I still feel this entry should be sent to either the Slow Century DVD or maybe a smattering of all of Pavement's five albums. But it's the nature of the beast. Crooked Rain also stands as one of the albums that was in constant rotation at the infamous Sexional. I finally was able to find the album on vinyl and it was a constant rotation between that and many other records, but this was almost always a next day after party clean-up album. That and O.J. with E.J. Regardless, many a Saturday morning at a soul sucking job would not have been enjoyable without the slacker pop sounds of Pavement.

1. The Who - Tommy
2. Beck - Odelay
3. Television - Marquee Moon
4. Weezer - Pinkerton
5. Brian Eno - Before & After Science
6. Wilco - A Ghost is Born
7. The Beatles - Rubber Soul
8. Grand Funk Railroad - Closer to Home
9. Foo Fighters - The Colour & The Shape
10. Elton John - Tumbleweed Connection
11. Interpol - Turn On the Bright Lights
12. King Crimson - In the Court of the Crimson King
13. Jeff Buckley - Grace
14. Warren Zevon
15. Black Mountain - In The Future
16. XTC - Skylarking
17. Pavement - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

Up Next: Nick Drake's Pink Moon


Anonymous said...

Yeah, Crooked Rain is great. I actually bought the Pavement DVD before I got any Pavement albums because I thought it would be a good intro to them. Now I've got them all, and songs like "Range Life" and "Cut Your Hair" are some of my all time favourites.

Nathan said...

Yeah yeah, this album is awesome. I love it more than I love other things.

That being said, "Hit the Plane Down" is one of the worst, WORST songs I've ever heard. WORST.