September 15th, 2006

A Calling

I get to call Germany today. I probably won't speak much German. But the fact that I'm calling over there has me excited. I always miss the place. Now that I'm thinking hard about the future in a way that I normally don't, however, the urge to return is particularly strong. I was happy there, even when I was alone.

I've never gotten over the feeling of freedom I had during my year there. I know it's ironic to associate Germany with freedom, but it worked that way for me. Freedom from school. Freedom from the reflexes that I'd developed in the bad years. Freedom, finally, from language itself. The exhilaration I felt when I was suddenly unable to communicate in words made me into a better person.

I need to recall that transformation now and figure out a way to revive its effects without going completely mute. Or maybe going mute is what I require. Time will tell. At any rate, I'm looking forward to that distinctive ring on the other end of the line.

Dare I Dream of Future Ecstasy?

So the lead story on Pitchfork right now is about the forthcoming reissue of Pavement's third album Wowee Zowee, which was my favorite of their records in the form of their initial release -- the reissues have redrawn the map of my love -- and the possibility that the band might one day reunite:
So, Spiral, is there going to be a Pavement reunion?

"I guess, yeah, we'll see."

Um, what?

"[Laughs] I mean, I can't tell you. I don't know. I mean, yeah there's been some talk over the last year about kind of getting together eventually. But I think it makes more sense to let more time go past, you know? It would probably work well for a 20 year anniversary or something like that. But I don't know. I'm going to Steve [Malkmus]'s wedding, I think, so we'll see, maybe we'll have a reunion there."

And there you have it. Unless you've got an invite to the Malkmus nuptials, the chances of witnessing a Pavement reunion anytime before 2019 are slim.
Please note that Amy Phillips, in addition to running afoul of the unceremoniously dismissed Robert Christgau at The Village Voice, has some trouble doing the math. A 20th-anniversary Pavement show would be in 2009, not 2019.

I know I'm biased, but my instincts tell me that a reformed Pavement would still be pretty great. Stephen Malkmus's solo records have all been musically and lyrically rewarding, if at times deliberately alienating. Scott Kannberg's Preston School of Industry albums have both been excellent, serving as confirmation that he deserved more songwriting slots on Pavement records. And drummer Steve West's post-Pavement work, to which cpratt recently reminded me to listen, is also strong.

I'm still floating on the musical high of seeing Malkmus play "Trigger Cut" and half of the Watery, Domestic EP solo in his set opening for the Silver Jews last Friday -- was it really only a week? -- and then go on to collaborate with the Jews' David Berman on three awkwardly beautiful numbers. Then came the confirmation of the Wowee, Zowee reissue. And now this, a mini-interview with Kannberg, who has to be one of the nicest, least pretentious people I've ever encountered in the music business.

I should add, by way of a helpful hint to the boys from Stockton, that it's possible to drive from Seattle to Portland and back running on nothing more than Frito-Lay's new semi-organic "natural" Cheetos, XM Satellite Radio's classic rock offerings, a sugar-free Monster energy drink, and the fumes of a counterfactuality so rich with barred bliss that it could light the sign for the Sleater-Kinney off-ramp for a few decades.

Looking For a Friend

I'm going to be free from roughly 6pm to 9pm this evening. I can amuse myself, I suppose, but would also love to get together with anyone who wants to get together in that window of time. Does this sound like a pathetic plea for companionship? Well, it is. Send me an e-mail -- my LJ user name at gmail dot com -- if you're interested, so that I don't have to be publicly humiliated by the absence of comments to this entry.