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Dare I Dream of Future Ecstasy? - De File
Does Collecting Make You Feel Dirty?
cbertsch
cbertsch
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.

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Comments
masoo From: masoo Date: September 15th, 2006 02:24 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I'm not much for reunions ... I don't count when Bruce got back with the E Street Band, since it was always, before, during, and after, Bruce Springsteen that mattered, despite how well he works with the E Street Band. So I'm the wrong person to talk. But my closest approximation to what you describe here, and the one band where I told myself if they ever got back together, I would go see them, was the Velvet Underground. And then they did get back together, and toured Europe a bit, and put out a CD and a DVD, and Lou and John didn't get along just like before, and the reunion ended before they made it to America, and I felt and feel kinda bad, but the truth is, I don't play the live album from that reunion. Not only do I prefer the studio work, if I want to listen to live Velvets, I'd listen to 1969, or those Robert Quine tapes, or even Max's KC, before I'd listen to the reunion. It just wasn't the same.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 15th, 2006 02:37 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)
I know. I'm almost always disappointed with reunions. The major exceptions I can think of are The Buzzcocks, who have been pretty darned good since getting back together in the early 1990s, though perhaps not great, and Mission of Burma, which has made two tremendous albums of new material that are probably stronger than the stuff they made in their first incarnation. Nevertheless, I still believe that Pavement would at least follow in the former's footsteps, if not the latter. Malkmus has become an even better songwriter. And his bandmates have more to offer than before. If they could manage to get along, the results could be pretty impressive. Of course, it has only been seven years -- hard to believe it's that many, actually -- since they broke up, so the metal is still malleable.

If you don't know those Mission of Burma albums, you should check them out, BTW. They really call the law of diminishing returns into question. I'm not the biggest fan of their work, but I can't find any weaknesses -- "weaknesses" in terms of my own subjective preferences, that is -- in the reunion material that weren't already there in their pre-break-up records.
jstgerma From: jstgerma Date: September 15th, 2006 10:06 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Phillips ...

I'm willing to cut Amy Phillips slack on that gaffe just because she's written about half of the Pitchfork reviews I've liked this year (which isn't many). She tends toward ... um, whatever the opposite of snarkiness is ... and usually forgoes the three-paragraph, first-person intro in favor of actually discussing the album.

Unfortunately, she doesn't seem to write many reviews.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 16th, 2006 01:19 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Phillips ...

Fair enough. She's been pretty good on Pitchfork. But I've seen her snarky in the Voice in the way that Christgau remarks. Really, I should be writing for Pitchfork. That's what I think. . . :-)
jstgerma From: jstgerma Date: September 16th, 2006 07:21 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Phillips ...

Indeed you should. You could write concert reviews about all the great bands that come to Tucson. I hear the post-Lane Staley version of Alice in Chains is playing the Rialto soon ... I've got to get tickets to that!
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 17th, 2006 01:29 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Phillips ...

Hey, man: check your irony. I went to that Congress 21st Anniversary thing and it was really good. Seriously. So what if we miss out on the major touring acts. I'd rather see smaller acts in a better environment.
jstgerma From: jstgerma Date: September 17th, 2006 04:30 am (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Phillips ...

Ha ... yeah, I was being overly harsh. Plush and Solar Culture have really surprised me a handful of times in the last year or so with great bands for such relatively small venues.

The Rialto's choice of shows since re-opening still leaves something to be desired, though. The upcoming Del show notwithstanding (and I'm serious about that -- Del's awesome).

You should try to come out to Friday bball one of these weeks, if you're free. We're starting to get a decent turnout in Bear Down, and the scanner is broken, so you can get in as long as you have a CatCard.
cbertsch From: cbertsch Date: September 17th, 2006 12:03 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Phillips ...

But Andrew Bird and M. Ward are going to be at the Rialto back-to-back in the next two weeks, so things are looking up. And lest you think I'm a softie, bear in mind that I frantically, if unsuccessfully, tried to force my way into the Red Bull-and-vodka-enahnced pit at Neumu's in Seattle during last Monday's Melvins concert. The experience reminded me of trying to defend you in the low post.

And I will try to come to Bear Down. This week will be hard, because Kim has to do the IAS talk at 7pm and we may not have childcare. But someday soon I'll make it. 5pm on Friday is very hard.
jstgerma From: jstgerma Date: September 17th, 2006 07:38 pm (UTC) (LINK TO SPECIFIC ENTRY)

Re: Phillips ...

I've seen you set picks, so it's hard to think of you as a softie.

No biggie if the time is bad for you -- I just thought I'd re-extend the invite.
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