Thursday, August 27, 2009

Rock of Ages: Pavement - "Carrot Rope" (1999)

Approaching the new millennium, the end of the 90s saw a strange turn for the worse in alt. rock. Post Grunge like Nickelback and Godsmack were taking over, bubblegum pop from Britney Spears and the copious amount of boy bands flooded the airwaves and nu-metal was stinking it up big time. Bands like Pearl Jam, Stone Temple Pilots and Weezer all changed into more bloated versions of themselves. It was a strange era. One of the eras most important bands, Pavement, was finishing their tour of duty as a band and breaking up. Just like the Refused in a way, they left us on a high note. Pavement's final album, Terror Twilight is now 10 years old and feels as contemporary as ever. It's indie rock at it's purest state and if anything, was a sign post to the churning underground rock movement that would soon be launched into the forefront with bands like The Shins, Arcade Fire and Death Cab for Cutie coming to popularity in the 00's. They left us with the classic "Carrot Rope", a lazy summers day of a song that gives nothing but sheer joy to the listener.

"Carrot Rope" is a song that encapsulates a time for me. It was the transition from high school to college. The transition to kid to young adult. It's a song that bridged the era of my days as someone who just liked rock music to someone who loved it. It's a fairly simple song with the usual strange poetics of Stephen Malkmus driving the song. I equate this song to ELO's "Mr. Blue Sky" as it's a panacea for the broken hearted or just downright mopey person. It's guitar line is sunny and bright, it's easy to dance to rhythm keeps it moving and it's a perfect closer on an album that saw the end of a transcendent band. Usually when a band you love is done, you are left asking for more, but Terror Twilight is nothing short of a perfect finale to a band whose career took many creative turns and left us with five solid albums of perfectly crafted rock.

Up Next: Built to Spill finalize the 90's

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