Review ·

Here's where the Pavement reissue train starts to look like a silly amusement park ride. Wowee Zowee (1995) was already a sprawling mess (which, of course, means some Pavement fans hold it dearest to their hearts, like a sloppy drunk boyfriend who you love despite his antics). Its original eighteen tracks were already too packed with ephemera like "Best Friend's Arm." "Brinx Job," "Serpentine Pad," "Flux=Rad" and "Western Homes" all clocked in at less than two minutes and were more random ideas than completely thought-through songs. Following that nomenclature, it's anyone's guess what exactly we should call "Sordid" and "Sentinel," which are among the first-disc's eleven bonus tracks and measure twenty-eight and fourteen seconds, respectively.

 

Adding all this fluff creates two diametrically opposed effects. On one side, it's a sad story that out of a now total of fifty tracks, only a handful stand out. On the other, those highlights now shine brighter than ever. "Rattled by the Rush" still may be the most glorious example of slack rock ever recorded. (Remember when, in a moment of irony that almost made the universe fold over on itself and implode, Beavis and Butthead watched the video for it and implored Pavement to try harder?) "Grounded" is about as genuinely pretty as Pavement ever got. "Father to a Sister of Thought" deserves an award for the best use of slide guitar in indiedom. And "Grave Architecture" sounds like Talking Heads circa More Songs About Buildings and Food covering Spandau Ballet's "True."

 

The bonus material on the twenty-one song second disc doesn't get much more essential than the teeny tiny tracks mentioned above. There's both the original and a live version of "Painted Soldiers"; sure the song is great, but the concert take isn't different from the studio one in any recognizable way. "We Dance" also shows up twice, once under the name "Dancing with the Elders." A live version of "Fight This Generation" sprawls out annoyingly to over eight minutes. But on the brighter side, a live version of "Box Elder," after a honky-tonk start, settles into a typically fantastic run-through.

 

It almost burns me in blasphemy to write this. Pavement was a pillar in my musical maturation (I have a cat named Malkmus). I just don't believe every little whim a band records necessarily needs to see the light of day. Even those Beatles Anthologies contained some pretty shitty moments. That's not to say some of Pavement's brain farts didn't come out as perfect pop perfection: "I Love Perth" might be the band's best minute and five seconds. Too bad moments like that are the exception rather than the rule on this reissue.

 

***

Band: http://www.matadorrecords.com/pavement/

Label: http://www.matadorrecords.com/

MP3s: http://www.matadorrecords.com/pavement/music.html

Audio: http://myspace.com/pavement

  • We Dance
  • We Dance
  • Rattled by the Rush
  • Rattled by the Rush
  • Black Out
  • Black Out
  • Brinx Job
  • Brinx Job
  • Grounded
  • Grounded
  • Serpentine Pad
  • Serpentine Pad
  • Motion Suggests Itself
  • Motion Suggests Itself
  • Father to a Sister Of Thought
  • Father to a Sister Of Thought
  • Extradition
  • Extradition
  • Best Friend's Arm
  • Best Friend's Arm
  • Grave Architecture
  • Grave Architecture
  • AT & T
  • AT & T
  • Flux = Rad
  • Flux = Rad
  • Fight This Generation
  • Fight This Generation
  • Kennel District
  • Kennel District
  • Pueblo
  • Pueblo
  • Half a Canyon
  • Half a Canyon
  • Western Homes
  • Western Homes
  • Sordid [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
  • Sordid [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
  • Brink of the Clouds [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
  • Brink of the Clouds [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
  • False Skorpion [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
  • False Skorpion [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
  • Easily Fooled [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
  • Easily Fooled [Rattled by the Rush b-side]
  • Kris Kraft [Father to a Sister of Thought b-side]
  • Kris Kraft [Father to a Sister of Thought b-side]
  • Mussle Rock [Father to a Sister of Thought b-side]
  • Mussle Rock [Father to a Sister of Thought b-side]
  • Give It a Day [Pacific Trim EP]
  • Give It a Day [Pacific Trim EP]
  • Gangsters & Pranksters [Pacific Trim EP]
  • Gangsters & Pranksters [Pacific Trim EP]
  • Saganaw [Pacific Trim EP]
  • Saganaw [Pacific Trim EP]
  • I Love Perth [Pacific Trim EP]
  • I Love Perth [Pacific Trim EP]
  • Sentinel [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
  • Sentinel [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
  • Sensitive Euro Man [I Shot Andy Warhol soundtrack]
  • Sensitive Euro Man [I Shot Andy Warhol soundtrack]
  • Stray Fire [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
  • Stray Fire [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
  • Fight This Generation [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
  • Fight This Generation [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
  • Easily Fooled [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
  • Easily Fooled [recorded March 3, 1994 at Hilversum, Holland]
  • Soul Food [Wowee Zowee jam session w/Doug Easley on piano]
  • Soul Food [Wowee Zowee jam session w/Doug Easley on piano]
  • It's a Hectic World [from Homage to Descendents tribute album]
  • It's a Hectic World [from Homage to Descendents tribute album]
  • Kris Kraft [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • Kris Kraft [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • Golden Boys/Serpentine Pad [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • Golden Boys/Serpentine Pad [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • Painted Soldiers [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • Painted Soldiers [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • I Love Perth [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • I Love Perth [BBC in-studio; Steve Lamacq Evening Session, March 15, 1995]
  • Dancing With the Elders [from Medusa Cyclone/Pavement split 7"]
  • Dancing With the Elders [from Medusa Cyclone/Pavement split 7"]
  • Half a Canyon [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Half a Canyon [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Best Friend's Arm [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Best Friend's Arm [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Brink of the Clouds/Candylad [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Brink of the Clouds/Candylad [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Unfair [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Unfair [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Eaily Fooled [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Eaily Fooled [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Heaven Is a Truck [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Heaven Is a Truck [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Box Elder [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • Box Elder [live; Wireless JJJ Radio, Australia, July 7, 1994]
  • No More Kings [from Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks comp]
  • No More Kings [from Schoolhouse Rock! Rocks comp]
  • Painted Soldiers [from Kids in the Hall in Brain Candy soundtrack]
  • Painted Soldiers [from Kids in the Hall in Brain Candy soundtrack]
  • We Dance (alternate mix) [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
  • We Dance (alternate mix) [previously unreleased Wowee Zowee session outtake]
Doily Chic & the Precious Moments - Eight Places At Once Bebel Gilberto Bebel Gilberto Remixed

Find us on Facebook

Latest Comments

    Recommended