Entries tagged with: Pavement
Martin Courtney @ BVCMJ 2015 (more by Amanda Hatfield)
Real Estate's Martin Courtney has been covering Pavement's "Major Leagues" at some of his solo shows, like at the BrooklynVegan CMJ day party at Baby's All Right. He and his band -- which includes Woods' Jarvis Taveniere and Doug Keith of Sharon Van Etten's band -- performed it live for Sirius XMU session. It's pretty straightfoward but fits in perfectly with Courtney's great new album Many Moons, and you can watch video of that (and "Airport Bar" live on KCRW) below.
The first volume of Pavement's odd-and-ends compilations, The Secret History, is out August 11 but you can stream the whole thing right now via NPR. Drawing from the band's formative years, it includes b-sides, rarities, Peel Sessions -- most of which was on the Luxe & Reduxe double CD reissue of Slanted & Enchanted -- but also a live concert from London 1992. It's the first time all of this will appear on one vinyl set. Have a listen below...
The 2015 edition of Wilco's Solid Sound Festival happens June 26-28 at Mass MoCA in North Adams, Massachusetts, with performances from Real Estate, King Sunny Ade, Mac Demarco, Bill Frisell, Parquet Courts, Shabazz Palaces, Jessica Pratt, Wilco themselves and lots more. Tickets and festival passes are still available, and WFUV will be broadcasting Real Estate and Wilco's sets on Friday (6/26).
Meanwhile, a documentary about the festival, titled Every Other Summer, was just released today (6/19):
Directed by Christoph Green and Brendan Canty, Every Other Summer is a documentary about the Solid Sound Festival, Wilco's three day music and arts gathering that takes place once every two years at MASS MoCA. Shot in 2013 and featuring performances by Wilco, Neko Case, Yo La Tengo, The Dream Syndicate, Lucius, Foxygen, Sam Amidon, Sean Rowe, The Relatives and appearances from Reggie Watts, John Hodgman, Jen Kirkman and others, Every Other Summer offers a peek into the festival's utopian vibe, and the positive transformative impact it has had on the small rust belt town of North Adams, MA.You can rent or buy it digitally via Vimeo. Watch the trailer and a segment where Wilco covers Pavement's "Cut Your Hair" below.
by Bill Pearis
Pavement are going through their closets and junk drawers for a series of five rarities compilations due out via Matador Records. The first of those is titled The Secret History Vol 1 and will be out August 11, focusing on the band's formative years up through their debut album Slanted & Enchanted. It includes b-sides, rarities, Peel Sessions -- which was on the Luxe & Reduxe double CD reissue of Slanted -- but also a live concert from London 1992, and this will be the first time all of this has appeared on one vinyl set. The gatefold double-LP features new essays from Stephen Malkmus and Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannberg, as well as remembrances from relevant folks at Matador Records, booking agency Billions Corporation, and Drag City. Pre-orders are available and you can check out the artwork and tracklist below.
"There was a certain amount of science to it. An entire week of work experience students left the office thinking that cutting-edge music journalism in 2014 mostly involves calculating which bands have been mentioned most in NME in the past two years, then hunting out references to the bands that influenced those acts online and finally adding up the number of times each influence came up. This gave us a rough list which our editorial team - heads swimming with all of the bands that Wolf Alice (or whoever) have raved on about over 4am ciders - then took to the pub, tore into shreds, fought and shouted about and finally reconstructed in the rundown of 100 you see in the mag today. The Beatles didn't make it. Sorry." [NME[NME went ahead and listed who they think the 100 most influential musicians and bands are (their latest cover story). Radiohead topped the list. Read the rest with justifications at NME, or just look at their full list below...
Stephen Malkmus @ Bowery Ballroom in Feb. (more by PSquared)
Whether it's "Independence Street" from this year's Jicks release Wig Out at Jagbags, or a jam like "Range Life" written some twenty years ago during the Pavement days, you know a Stephen Malkmus song when you hear it. The songwriter's mellowed out bari-tenor vocals are just as unmistakable as the abstract lyrics he's been writing now for well over two decades. While his lyrics float in some abstract cross-section of bizarro Americana, Malkmus has always been able to ground the absurdity in the roots of rock 'n roll at its most memorably unadorned. With Pavement, that kind of offhanded simplicity was jarring to an audience of the early 90s who at the same time were already witnessing another revolutionary catalyst for both pop and punk music just a little further north in Seattle. Now six albums deep into his work with The Jicks, that same simplicity is just as relevant and applicable to a listening culture that's changed much more drastically than any music over the timespan of his career. At forty-seven, Malkmus is in no hurry to wax retrospective just yet. The man is not far removed from his music as our conversation finds him carefully gauging his own thoughts in short bursts of curious introspection and an earnest kind of self-doubt devoid of the sort of self-involvement one might expect from one of the most respected and enigmatic songwriters of the last quarter century. None of that really concerns Malkmus, and once we'd performed the awkward formalities of introducing ourselves, it didn't concern me all that much either with the topic of our conversation quickly lending itself to a mutual fascination with how time and age affects our perception of music and art in all its forms, and, perhaps more importantly, what we can hope to learn about ourselves along the way.
BV: From a creative standpoint, how have you seen your approach to songwriting and even music in general change since those high school punk band days, or has that kind of creative impetus largely stayed the same since then?
SM: It's hard to say. The original impetus, when I was doing the punk band, and I was writing our own songs, and having our own identity as a band - that's still there, I guess. I don't really know where it came from. It was fun like writing short stories when you were a kid or doing anything, just creating something. That still exists, but I suppose as time goes on, there's different achievements, and now it's like actually playing with a band or a little bit of working on textures and techniques and production and that kind of thing, I wouldn't have thought about that back then. It wasn't an issue. Those sort of style things - you don't really think about that when you're younger. You kind of just do it. Even in early Pavement stuff we had bands that we emulated, but we didn't really think about what it all meant quite as much when I was doing that. Things inevitably become more curatorial once you have the knowledge and the self-knowledge. It's inevitable and healthy as you get older.
What do you value most about creating music, and how have you seen that specifically evolve or change as you've gotten older?
Just to be surprised. Something may not seem surprising to the listener who's the critical one where it all makes sense how one thing's related to the thing that came before. It's not particularly radical changes, but for me it still is. When you have a germ of an idea that just starts in your house with you searching with the guitar, coming to believe in what you're doing, and then have it however it comes out at the end, and how you can alter that or make it go in a direction or the directions. You're led by what comes before all the time. The end result of making something - I still like that, or it still makes me happy to see it be successful. The process of doing it.
by Bill Pearis
Stephen Malkmus will release his sixth solo album, Wig Out at Jagbags, on January 7 via Matador. That's the cover art above. With the now Janet-Weiss-less Jicks, the album was produced by the band and Remko Schouten who Pavement nerds may know as that band's regular live sound man. As to what to expect from the new record, Malkmus offered:
Wig Out At Jagbags is inspired by Cologne, Germany, Mark Von Schlegell, Rosemarie Trockel, Von Spar and Jan Lankisch, Can and Gas; Stephen-Malkmus-imagined Weezer/Chili Peppers, Sic Alps, UVA in the late 80′s, NYRB, Aroma Charlottenburg, inactivity, Jamming, Indie guys trying to sound Memphis, Flipper, Pete Townshend, Pavement, The Joggers, The NBA and home life in the 2010′s...You can probably hear at least some of those things (and a reference to The Sweet) in the LP's first single, "Lariat," which the lyric video (in French, mind you) is below.
No word on a North American tour but European dates are listed, along with the LP tracklist and the video, below...
photos by PSquared Photography
Wilco w/ Tommy Stinson // Wilco w/ Yo La Tengo
Wilco have been pretty busy this year. After playing Bonnaroo on June 14, they made their way to North Adams, MA this past weekend (6/21-23) for their own Solid Sound Festival. Wilco themselves performed day 1 and day 2, and we caught them the first day when they did an all-covers set (except for "Kingpin") with a number of special guests.
Yo La Tengo joined them on a cover of YLT's "Tom Courtenay" and during the encore for The Modern Lovers' "Roadrunner." Replacements/Guns N Roses bassist Tommy Stinson joined them on a cover of The Replacements' "Color Me Impressed." And Brooklyn indie pop band Lucius appeared for covers of of The Kinks' "Waterloo Sunset," Abba's "Waterloo," (there's a transition) and The Band's "The Weight." They also did a couple Big Star covers, Pavement's "Cut Your Hair," Grateful Dead's "Ripple," Velvet Underground's "Who Loves the Sun," Neil Young's "Cinnamon Girl," Daft Punk's "Get Lucky," and many more. Pictures from the show are in this post. The full setlist and some videos are below, and you can also download audio of the entire set at NYC Taper.
Wilco have no plans to slow down this summer. They're about to kick off a tour with Bob Dylan (who they also covered at Solid Sound), which comes to the NYC-area for four shows in July. Most of the tour (and three of those NYC-area dates) are with My Morning Jacket, except the Jones Beach (7/27) show, which is with Beck (who also plays Prospect Park in August).
On day 1 of Solid Sound, we also caught a set from the reunited legendary gospel funk group The Relatives. Pictures of their set, more of Wilco's, and the Wilco setlist/videos, below...
by Bill Pearis and Andrew Sacher
Ex Cops DJing at Other Music, RSD 2012 (more)
We're about a week out from Record Store Day 2013. When it began in 2008, RSD was a celebration of brick-and-mortar stores in the face of digital downloads, offering up exclusive releases to get people out to stores. It's blown up considerably since then, with hundreds of RSD-only releases. (Many of which fall into the hands of folks who turn it around on Ebay that same day, but what can you do?) While it is a mob scene these days, there is no doubt it helps what record stores there are left -- though not enough, as Record Store Day will be the last day for Williamsburg's Sound Fix. Participating stores around the country are listed here.
There are always some pretty cool exclusives too, items that may have never seen the light of day without RSD. With that in mind we've gone through the list of North American RSD exclusives to highlight a few things to keep an eye out. This isn't comprehensive, just stuff we wanna get. What records are you trying to get this year?
DOWNLOAD: Silver Jews - Secret Knowledge of Back Roads (MP3)
by Bill Pearis
Silver Jews fans get happy (if that's possible): Drag City is releasing Early Times, which collects the band's early Dime Map of the Reef and The Arizona Record singles, both of which are about 20 years old, out of print, and date from the days when more people thought of Silver Jews as a Pavement side project (Stephen Malkmus and Bob Nastanovich were members then) and not an outlet for songwriter David Berman. The LP/CD will be out June 19.
You can download "Secret Knowledge of Back Roads" from Early Times at the top of this post. It's raw and barely recorded just like it should be (and was) and will sound just fine next to that Ohsees tour casette you bought that one time at a show. Early Times art and tracklist are below.
photos by Graeme Flagenheimer, words by Nick Dierl
No Age kicked off the night's festivities at the Hollywood Bowl Thursday night (9/30); playing in front of a hometown crowd with the confidence and humility that has gained Dean Spunt and Randy Randall such great acclaim in both Los Angeles and worldwide. With the addition of third live member William Kai Strangeland-Menchaca their sound has been fleshed out enough to fill the entirety of the outdoor theater. Burning through both old favorites and songs from their brand new album Everything In Between, they were an energizing start to the evening.
Sonic Youth took the stage next and opened their set with the calm poise one would expect from such tried and true veterans. Despite their elder status in the rock community they still rocked with the best of them, with Steve Shelley's bombastic drumming and Kim Gordon's bass accompanying the guitar heroics of Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore. Their experience showed through most obviously during the noise interludes and outros of the songs as they meticulously built a swarm of dissonant feedback, with Gordon scraping her bass across the stage at one point, only to snap harmoniously back into unison with everyone else a moment later. Sonic Youth continued to prove that, despite their age, they are still in the prime of their live career.
Pavement opened their headlining set with crowd pleaser "Cut Your Hair" with exuberance and energy, as if they had never taken an eleven-year break. Stephen Malkmus' jangly guitar bravado and playful banter with the crowd from the show's start set the mood for what would turn out to be a wonderful set. After Watery, Domestic cut "Frontwards", they moved into what Malkmus referred to as "the California diptych" of "Gold Soundz" and "Shady Lane" (supposedly Irvine and Silverlake, respectively). This made their intention to play crowd favorites clear early. Selecting songs from the breadth of their catalog, they kept mostly to the raucous tunes, rarely breaking out the slower numbers (save for set highlights "Grounded" and "Spit on a Stranger").
The band was congenial and grateful toward the crowd at the Bowl, exactly as one would hope a group in their position to be on one of the final American dates of their reunion tour (that included five NYC shows). Malkmus seemed sincere later in the set as he delivered the chorus of "Stereo", another of the night's highlights, singing excitedly "I'm on the stereo!", almost as if he was legitimately still surprised that people care about his songs. Bob Nastanovich brought great energy to the show the whole night, getting right into the thick of the people at the front of the crowd during Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain gem "Unfair". The swagger and personability of the whole band throughout the night made for a spectacular evening worth waiting the last eleven years for - a successful victory lap for one of indie rock's greats that will hopefully be repeated soon.
Due to time constraints, Pavement didn't get to do an encore though Graeme got a peak at the written setlist which did have "Two States" and "AT&T" listed. The LA crowd still got 17 songs.
Both Sonic Youth and Pavement move on to Vegas for the weekend (where both of their sets will be streamed online from). More pictures and the full Pavement setlist from Hollywood Bowl, and a few videos, below..
photos by Matt Karp, words by BBG
Jenny Lewis of Jenny & Johnny @ Williamsburg Waterfront
Flipping through the channels the other night, I came upon Inside The Actor's Studio with guest Betty White. They cut to a Golden Girls clip and guess who was holding Rose's teddy bear hostage with a squirtgun filled with red ink? The one and only Jenny Lewis.
Jenny graduated from stick-up kid to professional musician long ago. Rilo Kiley released their first album in 1999, she went solo in 2006, and most recently she teamed up with her boyfriend "Johnny" Rice to write and record I'm Having Fun Now. That album has been out since August 31st, and Jenny and Johnny will hit the road for more shows in October and November. Those now include a CMJ show at Irving Plaza on 10/19. Tickets for the NYC show go on sale NOW (at 10am).
Jenny & Johnny have already passed through these parts, and recently. The band played Maxwell's on 9/21 and two days before, supported Pavement alongside Endless Boogie at Williamsburg Waterfront (where Belle & Sebastian play the last show of the season tonight). We now have pictures from that Brooklyn show.
More of those pictures, all tour dates, and the video of Jenny on the Golden Girls, below....
photos by Greg Cristman
Pavement @ Summerstage Friday
After six nights in gotham that included one show in a bonafide downpour, two TV appearances (Colbert and Fallon), and thousands of tickets sold to five live shows, Pavement moved on to Marland Saturday to play the free Virgin Mobile FreeFest that went down at Merriweather Post Pavilion...
"False starts, aimless guitar-noodling, and Stephen Malkmus' sloppy 'do: Yup, it was a perfect Pavement set. Now several months into its reunion, the legendary indie-rock quintet cycled through every song but "Box Elder" that's essential to a Pavement show, often with heavy audience accompaniment. Some of the crowd's favorite singalong lines: "No big hair!" in "Cut Your Hair"; "Not here, babe!" in "Summer Babe"; "Don't worry, we're in no hurry!" in "Range Life." It was uncharacteristically unslackerish, which is to say Bob Nastanovich wasn't the only member rocking out. Malkmus was in particularly good spirits. After the band ended "Spit On a Stranger," he joked that he'd auditioned with the song for American Idol. "I couldn't hit the high notes," he said." [Spin]Pavement's NYC victory lap ended one day earlier with their fourth show at Summerstage/Rumsey Playfield. We previously posted the set list and promised more pictures from the show. Here they are (though none of opener The Beets unfortunately).
On Sunday Pavement played Atlanta, and the band has five more dates to go before they hang it up again (or will they?) (should they?). Those dates include Hollywood Bowl in LA with Sonic Youth and No Age, and the Matador 21 Festival.
Setlists from Maryland and Georgia, along with the rest of the pictures from Summerstage Friday, below...
Pavement @ Central Park Summerstage - Sept 24, 2010 (pic by Greg Cristman)
That's a picture of the setlist from Friday night's Pavement show in Central Park, the fourth of four Summerstage shows, and the fifth of five NYC shows that kicked off Sunday night at Williamsburg Waterfront. They substituted 'Heaven Is A Truck' for 'Fight Generation', and those hands reportedly belong to the woman who gave birth to Mark Ibold. More later.
Pictures from Thursday night's show, and their remaining reunion tour dates, HERE.
photos by Matthew Eisman
Pavement @ Summerstage, Thursday, 9/23/10
Jacob Ganz: Hi Matthew. How was the show [Thursday night]?Who else is going to all five NYC shows? Counting Matthew, I know of at least two. I knew three, but one of them sold their tickets to the rainy night after scoring some tickets to see Yeah Yeah Yeahs at Monster Island. They could have actually done both but didn't want to take the chance (Jen Pelly did take the chance and saw both shows that night) (not that four out of the five shows isn't impressive).
Matthew Perpetua: This was the weird night.
MP: The night in Williamsburg was good, but kind of an off night. The first Central Park show was just wonderful, they were as on as they possibly could be: Great moods, playing as well as you could hope for. Dream Pavement show. The second show was the rainy night, and was kinda dramatic and I think there was a real intensity to the audience because of the weather conditions. Tonight was the one where they were kinda tired, odd moods, a bit sloppier, definitely just kinda weird and goofy.
MP: I've liked that all the shows have been different types of Pavement shows, and I'm glad one of them was like this.
JG: How many times have you seen them play now?
MP: I saw six shows in the original run, and I'll see six in the reunion tour.
MP: So as of tonight, it's 11. And I've seen Malkmus solo or with the Jicks many times over, and I've heard dozens of live bootlegs.
After NYC, Pavement heads down to play the free Virgin Fest at Merriweather Post Pavillion, stops in Atlanta, Texas and LA, and then ends it all (or do they?) at the Matador 21 Festival in Vegas. (and actually, are there any scheduled shows after that? I can't find any, but thought I maybe saw one announced for overseas).
UPDATE: I knew I saw other dates get announced. They are in Brazil and Argentina and happening in November (thanks Hiro).
All dates and more pictures from last night's Rumsey Playfield show (including the setlist again), below...
As Jimmy Fallon blogger Sara Schaefer points out, "Pavement!!! The indie rock legends took over Late Night last night, and brought along our Play Guitar with Pavement contest winner, Steve Goss. On air, they performed "Unfair", and they stuck around to do a special performance of "Stereo" exclusively for our site. Steve Goss fit right in and the band rocked it." If you went to the Central Park show last night, you could have watched this after you got home. Videos below...
Pavement @ Summerstage (more by Dominick Mastrangelo)
today in NYC
* Demetri Martin @ Town Hall
* Mark Olson @ Joe's Pub
* Vince Neil @ Irving Plaza
* Jaymay @ Rockwood Music Hall
* Lichens @ Factory Fresh
* Hank Roberts @ The Stone
* Gordon Voidwell @ BAM Cafe
* Abigail Washburn @ Joe's Pub
* Yeah Yeah Yeahs @ Mercury Lounge
* Stars, Wild Nothing @ Terminal 5
* The Acorn, Basia Bulat @ Littlefield
* Porcupine Tree @ Radio City Music Hall
* ZO2, Sweet Cyanide @ Gramercy Theatre
* Vitalic, Annie Mac @ Webster Hall
* Electric Six, Fall On Your Sword @ Maxwell's
* David Bazan, The Mynabirds @ Brooklyn Bowl
* Joey Baron, Robyn Schulkowsky @ The Stone
* Mighty Tiny, Thy Burden, Victory Gin @ Zebulon
* Mazing Vids, Soft Metals, Innergaze @ Bruar Falls
* Pavement, The Beets @ Central Park Summerstage
* Sloan Wainwright, Pearl & the Beard @ the Living Room
* Laurie Spiegel, Joseph Kubera @ Issue Project Room
* The National, Owen Pallett @ The Wellmont Theatre
* Ra Ra Riot, Anamanaguchi @ Music Hall of Williamsburg
* Murder By Death, Ninja Gun, Samantha Crain @ Union Pool
* Garotas Suecas, The Babies, Sundelles, Holger @ Cake Shop
* Workout, Super Mirage, Hey Stranger, Hello Nurse @ Pianos
* Alice in Chains, Deftones, Mastodon @ Madison Square Garden
* Big Head Todd & The Monsters, Carbon Leaf @ Best Buy Theatre
* Laurie Anderson (performing Delusion) @ Brooklyn Academy of Music
* The Hundred in the Hands, Blood Orange, Blondes (DJ set) @ Coco 66
* Le Sphinxx, Psycho Wipeout, Koko Ono (Showpaper Benefit) @ Silent Barn
* Japanther, This Runs On Blood, Math The Band, Mirrors & Wires @ Shea Stadium
* Avey Tare, Crocodiles, Kria Brekkan, Headless Horseman (RSVP here) @ Glasslands
* Blank Dogs, Snakes Say Hisss, I'm Turning Into, Sweet Bulbs @ Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos
* Red Wire Black Wire, Infrastructure, Swoon, Novae, Peculiar Gentlemen @ The Studio at Webster Hall
* Escort (live), Mister Saturday Night, Darshan, Midnight Magic, Rub and Tug DJ's @ Highline Ballroom
Blank Dogs are playing a show tonight.
Bettie Serveert and The Art of Shooting @ Maxwell's is rescheduled for Wednesday, November 3rd.
Tickets went on sale for Crime In Stereo's final Brooklyn show.
Pavement week is coming to an end. The fifth of five NYC shows happens tonight at Summerstage. A couple of videos from Thursday night, and one of the rainy Wednesday show where the crowd is going nuts, below...
photos by Diana Wong
you can see the rain in the light
Considering the band split apart in 1999 and most everybody in attendance bought tickets to the show a full year ago, there wasn't going to be anything keeping hardcore Pavement fans from Wednesday night's (September 22) concert at Rumsey Playfield in New York's Central Park. The weather certainly tried though, as a thick fog of humidity gave way to steady rain and a spectacular display of lightning (so spectacular, in fact, that the producers actually pulled the band off stage for 15 minutes half way through the set, for fear of lightning strikes).The band played most, if not all, of their setlist last night (in the rain).
With the weather threatening to derail the entire evening, Pavement found a completely new gear. Eschewing the sharp between-song banter that colored earlier shows on this reunion tour, the band tore through their set mostly in an effort to cram in all their songs but also because they remain clearly thrilled by the aspect of playing these tunes together again. ...Something clearly lit a fire under the asses of Stephen Malkmus, Bob Nastanovich, Scott "Spiral Stairs" Kannberg, Steve West and Mark Ibold, as they were feisty, firey and tight (despite a few false starts)...
"Thanks for sticking with us," Malkmus said at the end of the set. He was probably talking about the rain, but he could have been talking about the 10 years in between appearances that gave his quirky songs a new energy that he clearly enjoyed. Will Pavement make another album? It seems doubtful. But they sure do seem to like being in Pavement again. -[MTV]
Pavement round four kicks off tonight (9/23) at the also-sold-out Summerstage (but you can get a ticket for cheap outside) with Endless Boogie (who was one of the openers at the first show at Williamsburg Waterfront).
Times New Viking opened last night, and will be playing another show at the Meat Locker in Montclair, NJ TONIGHT (9/23). Times New Viking's other upcoming shows include a stint with the reunited Guided By Voices.
More pictures from last night's Summerstage show (including another of the setlist), below...
"Ready to relive tonight's Pavement concert in the pouring rain. Can you make that happen? Kind of night that keeps me in love with my NYC." - Jenna Schnuer
"Pavement in the pouring, pouring rain. Best show ever." - Cara McDonough
Pavement @ Central Park Summerstage - Sept 22, 2010 (via Keith G)
Those who braved the weather Wednesday night ended up getting a still-great Pavement show, but a slightly shorter and much wetter one than the one the night before at the same Central Park venue. Lightning caused an unplanned intermission, but the show did go on after the break, even though the rain didn't stop.
Keith, who sent in the setlist (thanks!), reports that despite the break, "I'm pretty sure they played everything on the list. During the end of the show they played Linden, then Here, then Conduit to close out the show." More, including a full set of pics,
coming later HERE.
Times New Viking opened what was the third of five Pavement reunion shows happening in NYC. Thee Oh Sees opened the night before. The first NYC show was Sunday night at Williamsburg Waterfront with Jenny and Johnny and Endless Boogie. Endless Boogie open again tonight (9/23). The final NYC show is Friday with The Beets.
Download the first show at NYC Taper.
Check out a 15 minute Big Ass Lens video from the first show, below...
"Welcome," Stephen Malkmus greeted the crowd at Summerstage. "So, these are the real shows. The first shows. The others were just warm-ups."
The two-hour, 27-song set Pavement played did nothing to dispute that statement. It's true what everybody's said about this reunion tour. They were never this good, never this fun during their original '90s incarnation. At least the three times I saw them. The last time -- Irving Plaza, 1999 -- the band were clearly sick of each other and only percussionist Bob Nastanovich, ever the cheerleader, seemed to be carrying the torch.
Not so tonight though, at the first of four consecutive Pavement shows at Summerstage (aka Central Park's Rumsey Playfield). Malkmus, Nastanovich, Scott Kannberg, Mark Ibold and Steve West seemed to be genuinely having a blast. After "Range Life," Malkmus quipped, "That was a really good version of that one, and I've heard them all."
Opening with "Shady Lane," the set ran through most all the hits, with a few surprises like "Infinite Spark" and "Perfect Depth" -- the latter wasn't on the setlist. (They also swapped out the setlist's "Spizzle Trunk" for "Heaven is a Truck.") "Summer Babe," "Here" and "Spit on a Stranger" (we got nothing from Terror Twilight) were the only songs notably absent but we got "Shoot the Singer" (one of my favorites), plus "Debris Slide" and "Conduit for Sale" both of which featured Nastanovich on the mic, pacing the stage and working the crowd like one of the Beastie Boys.
You get the feeling that Nastanovich, who comes up with the setlists every night, is probably Pavement's #1 Fan. When he wasn't playing tambourine, keyboards, or the drums, he had the crowd cracking up with a stream of non sequiturs ("Did I ever tell you about the time Sun Ra fixed my car in Lexington, Virginia?"). A giant smile was on his face the entire time.
Mine too. For me at least, tonight's show transcended nostalgia. Ten years is a while to be away, but not too long. The guys somewhat shockingly all still look pretty much the same -- yet are playing better than ever. It's enough time to mellow egos, iron out differences and, you know, get better as musicians.. And make us to realize how much we missed them.
If you've been on the fence about trying to get tickets -- there were no shortage of people selling tickets outside the venue -- you should just go. One of the best times I've had at a show this year.
Thee Oh Sees
Openers Thee Oh Sees aren't really suited to such a big stage but made the most of it by packing into a ten foot square of the stage and treating it like it was Death by Audio. They sounded great for their ripping 30-minute set. "I could tell you a million stories about listening to Pavement," frontman John Dwyer said. "But you've all got 'em. They did save me one time on acid, so thanks for that."
There was lots of good between-song banter. Some highlights:
"Thanks for not losing your tickets over the last year." -- Kannberg
"I hear tickets weren't so hard to get this week, anyway. Face value...that's what we like to hear. Less than that...that's not good." -- Malkmus
"That song always reminds me of fondue." -- Nastanovich on "In the Mouth a Desert."
"'Grounded' is my Dad's favorite song. Couldn't you have picked one of mine?" -- Kannberg, who's dad was in the audience.
"I didn't realize they had such good weed on the Upper East Side" -- Nastanovich
"That was the Superchunk version of 'Gold Soundz.' In a good way, obviously." - Malkmus
"The real truth is 'Babtist Blacktick' is too fast for this age group." -- Nastanovich
Pictures continue, with the full setlist, below...
Stephen Malkmus awkwardly sort-of-answered Stephen Colbert's questions last night on the Colbert Report, right before playing "Gold Soundz" (the "top track of the 1990's").
Their next TV appearance is Thurday night on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon. Videos from Colbert below...
"i really wish superchunk would tour more often. one of the best shows of the year tonight at mhow." - jarid maged
"It was unclear just who was throwing the water balloons at last night's Superchunk show at the Music Hall of Williamsburg, but the band, back in town with Majesty Shredding, their ninth full-length record and first since 2001, were clearly tickled that their fans still had it in them.If you were feeling nostalgic last night (9/19) in Brooklyn, where would you go? You had at least two choices. Pavement was playing the Williamsburg Waterfront (one of their five area shows) and Superchunk was at the considerably smaller Music Hall of Williamsburg (their third of three NYC shows) with openers Toddy Barry and Wild Nothing. Well, if you didn't have an advanced tickets to Superchunk, and couldn't get one at the door, at least after your choice was made for you, you could just walk a couple more blocks where Pavement had plenty of room (Pavement also ended early enough to see the headliners of both shows).
"You guys are rowdy tonight," singer-guitarist Mac McCaughan told the packed house of former teenagers halfway through the set, by way of congratulations. "Good for you."" [Capital]
Superchunk started their NYC run at Bowery Ballroom on Saturday, also played a free in-store at Other Music earlier on Sunday and will play Late Night with Jimmy Fallon TONIGHT (9/20), so set your DVRs if you'll be out too late dancing to tunes chosen by Pavement's Bob Nastanovich at the Living Room. Set Colbert to tape too because that's the TV show Pavement will be on tonight.
Comedian and Music Hall opener Todd Barry, who took part in the Eugene Mirman Comedy Fest earlier in the weekend (and later Sunday night), sat in on drums with Superchunk for a Misfits song. Pics and video of that below.
More pictures, the Superchunk setlist, and video from both OM and MHOW (including one of Todd Barry playing "Horror Business" with the band), below...
"Just returned from tonight's Pavement show. When I grow up, I want to be Bob Nastanovich." - Eric Weaver
Pavement setlist - September 19, 2010 (michaeldayers)
"Pavement were amazing. They went on 8:10, done by 9:50. Endless Boogie were cool. Other opening band (jenny and something) was awful. Pavement did 25 songs and all 25 of them were among the best 100 songs ever written." [Anonymous]One down, four to go.
Also, Bob Nastanovich is DJing the Living Room Monday night. Flyer below...