“What Have I Missed?” Pavement Edition.
There are many critically acclaimed artists whose appeal has escaped me over the years, but for this first installment I’d like to discuss the music of Pavement. I’ve listened to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, and Wowee Zowee and their swansong, Terror Twilight. These are the albums I initially chose to listen to first and, unfortunately, I didn’t think very highly of them so I didn’t pursue anything else. Before you ask I’ll tell you that I gave these albums every opportunity to reveal their charms. As a matter of fact I probably listened to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain at least 15 times and, actually, the songs Cut My Hair and Range Life almost made a positive impact. To me, Pavement were the most popular indie band nobody listened to.
I find their music boring and devoid of enthusiasm. When I have explained this to fans of the band they scowl and tell me that’s the point of Pavement; to appear like they don’t care, an ironic statement about the youth of the ‘90’s. To appear not to care is to identify with your audience, the consequence of which is to end up the house band of a generation and to be lauded as groundbreaking for all eternity. The Replacements did “I don’t care” so much better than Pavement and, as a matter of fact, so did Grandaddy, both far superior bands in my humble opinion.
Now that I got that off my chest, let me tell you that I have felt this way about other bands and, over time, have been persuaded to join the fold. For example, I used to think the Velvet Underground was badly overrated until I got stuck in a car for 2 hours with a super fan that played the debut 3 times in a row. I now regard I’m Waiting For The Man and Heroin very highly, and all 4 proper Velvet albums now sit very comfortably in my top 150.
So convince me. Tell me why I need to go back and listen to the debut, Slanted and Enchanted. Tell me tales of how Pavement changed your life; how they remain the little band that done good, etc, in the comments below. Or, if you feel the way I do as well, please feel free to tell me that, too.