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Author Topic: Pavement, I dont get it.  (Read 4633 times)

Mobius_Logic

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« on: 25 Aug 2006, 22:21 »

Why exactly are they so worshiped?

I have listened to both Terror Twilight, and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, and neither CD seemed that special. In fact they both came off as rather mediocre. The guitar work was just bland and the lyrics were kind of clumsy and boring.

Can someone please explain why they are so beloved? Am I just missing something?
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mysteriousbriefcase

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #1 on: 25 Aug 2006, 22:40 »

i dunno man, don't consider me a spokesperson for pavement or these forums, i'm not the most knowledgable on music, but i just like their sound.  it might just be a matter of personal taste.
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jcknbl

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #2 on: 25 Aug 2006, 22:50 »

Well, where are you coming from musically? If you're into wanky guitar solos and twelve-string techincal perfection than you're gonna hate Pavement. But if you just want nice songs, Pavement is pretty damn good.
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Mobius_Logic

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #3 on: 25 Aug 2006, 22:57 »

No, I don't really care for like insane shreddin and shit. Like I'm not saying Pavement are absolute crap, I'm just wondering why every band that calls itself indie lists them as an influence, none of there songs really sound ground breaking or super innovative or anything. They just seem like another mellow poppy alternative band.

What really gets me are the lyrics, for me if the band is just so-so musically if they have really good lyrics, I'll still like em, but with Pavement, they just seem kind of clumsy.
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jcknbl

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #4 on: 25 Aug 2006, 23:07 »

One might argue they created noisy, mellow, alternative pop.
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Mobius_Logic

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #5 on: 25 Aug 2006, 23:28 »

theres a good chance thats the case, like I just am so used to hearing their imitators, that they just dont seem special.
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schimmy

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #6 on: 26 Aug 2006, 05:12 »

Only album I've got of theirs is Slanted and Enchanted. At first, I found the album to be a rather boring Nirvana (of whom I'm no great fan) rip-off. But I recently listened to the album a whole bunch, and read the lyrics to the songs while listening, and it's been a revelation. They grew on me very quickly, and now listening to them, they are exactly as kcjnbl said, and I love them for it.;
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space_oddity

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #7 on: 26 Aug 2006, 07:44 »

For me, Pavement is wonderful because the band manages to write simple pop songs but maintain the scrawly guitars and indirect, imagery-heavy lyricism of indie snob fame. It's a gorgeous balance, but one really needs to shuttle back and forth between Slanted and CRCR to get the complete feel of it.
Also, I love Pavement (and Galaxie 500 and Guided by Voices, for that matter) because their songs sound so epic without being 13 minutes long or using string sections and mellotrons. "Summer Babe" is as heartrending and powerful a song I have ever encountered, and it does so without flashy solos, Robert Plant-esque warbling, or obvious sentimentality. The song is incredible because of the gorgeous fuzziness of the guitar, the brilliant and aching bass line, and SM's usual bewitchingly vague lyrics. Somehow, that appeals to me in a way that "Stairway to Heaven" doesn't.
Maybe that's the whole point of indie rock--to appeal to you in an odd, unfamiliar, but still addictive way. No one does that better than Pavement in my book.
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tommydski

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #8 on: 26 Aug 2006, 08:26 »

took me ages to understand the appeal of this band.
literally years.

they still aren't as good as everyone makes out. i mean, you'd be better to spend your time tracking down the IRS era REM albums or silkworm or something.
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charlesegabel

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #9 on: 26 Aug 2006, 08:34 »

There isn't really much to be getting with Pavement, which is really part of the point. They're just nice pop/rock songs. Wowee Zowee showcases some serious talent though.
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Slick

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #10 on: 26 Aug 2006, 09:58 »

Maybe it had something to do with the place Pavement was in their lives?
Pavement isn't high on my list of things to listen to, but there is always the chance they were important when the artists were developing. I would easily put pre-warning green day as one of my influences, but I've found people who are in their mid-teens now and consider that stuff just kind of boring and bland.

Maybe it was because they pioneered the genre?
I'm not familiar with their place in 'indie' history, but they might have invented a lot of the style that is used by modern 'indie' bands. If you listen to Hendrix and compare him to some modern technical masters, he's easily been surpassed in skill. That doesn't change the fact that he was on the forefront of modern music, that doesn't change the fact that he was influential to all those guitarists that are 'better' than him.

Maybe I'm a cynic and it's easy for the pretentious to like pavement?
Pavement has a bunch of good, enjoyable rock songs, with the odd 'artsy' hooks. You've probably noticed a bit of dissonance or odd parts of the song that don't seem to flow well. At first, this will throw you off, but it does grow on you and after a few listens through, they get a lot better. But this is enough to dissuade the casual 'mainstream' ear, so Pavement becomes a great rock band that those 'pop fans' will never really get interested in.

For the record, I'm very tongue-in-cheek when I'm referring to groups/styles/genre. I don't think any of that stuff really exist, but that's irrelevant to Pavement, and it let's me simplify things.

EDIT: Shoot, I just re-listened to 'Brighten the Corners' for the first time in a year or more. I'm totally in love with pavement now.
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Skittish

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #11 on: 26 Aug 2006, 10:16 »

They were innovators more than anything. I personally think they're a bit overrated musically but they were one of the first bands to take the lo-fi indie approach to rock and that spawned an entire genre of new music. They did something different when grunge was the flavor of the week. I think that's why they tend to be considered legends.
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Mobius_Logic

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #12 on: 26 Aug 2006, 10:23 »

Ah alright thanks everyone, I think I'll devout a bit of time to  Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, and see if it grows on me, cause it was the same way with me with the Pixies way back when I first listened to them.

Quote
they still aren't as good as everyone makes out. i mean, you'd be better to spend your time tracking down the IRS era REM albums or silkworm or something.


Quoted for fucking truthery, Murmur and Reckoning are some of my favorite albums ever.
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Spinless

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #13 on: 26 Aug 2006, 10:44 »

Skittish? They were by no means one of the first 'lo-fi indie rock' bands.
Even the sound wasn't original.
Infact, nothing about pavement was original.
They were just in the right place at the right time and they got lucky.
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Skittish

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #14 on: 26 Aug 2006, 10:50 »

Quote from: Spinless
Skittish? They were by no means one of the first 'lo-fi indie rock' bands.
Even the sound wasn't original.
Infact, nothing about pavement was original.
They were just in the right place at the right time and they got lucky.


Yes, they were one of the first bands to make that sound popular.
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Spinless

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #15 on: 26 Aug 2006, 11:29 »

Paul Westerberg would disagree with you.
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tommydski

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #16 on: 26 Aug 2006, 11:40 »

he's agreeing with you darryl.

they were the ones to make it popular.
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schimmy

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #17 on: 26 Aug 2006, 11:51 »

Lies and betrayals, fruit covered nails, eeeeelectricity.
'nuff said.
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El Opium

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #18 on: 26 Aug 2006, 12:12 »

Pavement have this slacker vibe inherent in pretty much all of their music that can turn a lot of people away, and they did indeed rip off a lot of bands in order to get were they did. I'll add the Fall and the Swell Maps to the list.
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TrueNeutral

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #19 on: 26 Aug 2006, 12:23 »

Quote from: schimmy
Only album I've got of theirs is Slanted and Enchanted. At first, I found the album to be a rather boring Nirvana (of whom I'm no great fan) rip-off. But I recently listened to the album a whole bunch, and read the lyrics to the songs while listening, and it's been a revelation. They grew on me very quickly, and now listening to them, they are exactly as kcjnbl said, and I love them for it.;


I don't see the resemblance between them and Nirvana at all.
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greenMonkey

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #20 on: 26 Aug 2006, 12:31 »

Quote from: TrueNeutral
I don't see the resemblance between them and Nirvana at all.


QFT.

I didn't really like Pavement the first time I heard them.  But after a while they grew on me, and now I really enjoy them.  The only albums I've really listened to in depth are Slanted & Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, but I really like both.
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space_oddity

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #21 on: 26 Aug 2006, 12:40 »

While it's true that Pavement owes a great debt to the Fall, etc. listeners that would be put off by the Fall's sound (quite the acquired taste) may find it easier to warm up to Malkmus and Co. Pavement makes a better introduction to this type of rock, and to one who's never heard/gotten into Pavement's influences, the band sounds strikingly original.
I think that matters far more than whether or not Pavement actually was a pioneer band.
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Spinless

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #22 on: 26 Aug 2006, 15:15 »

My bad! I'm not too bright. Skittish, we're cool right?
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Skittish

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #23 on: 26 Aug 2006, 15:26 »

Quote from: Spinless
My bad! I'm not too bright. Skittish, we're cool right?


Of course. No problem at all.
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silencekit

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #24 on: 26 Aug 2006, 18:16 »

I don't know what it is about Pavement, but they're definitely one of my favorite bands. I think it's just because their melodies are just so brilliantly catchy, and they strike some sort of innate familiarity in some people. It's indescribable.
I guess my username kind of pegs me as someone who's obviously gonna defend Pavement, huh? oh well.
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logosmonkey

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #25 on: 26 Aug 2006, 18:50 »

Hmm, I don't know that I can add much more than what others have said but I first heard Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain in 95 when I was 15; it was a breath of fresh air that pushed me into a lot of music I wouldn't have otherwise heard. Maybe that's why it's so near and dear to a lot of people, the singles were so damn catchy that it would easily pull you into the album and from there open you up to more and more. That album was like a gateway drug to more and more "indie" music.

In the end though I think a lot of their appeal and cult status is simply the time and place they were at and the fact that they were able to write some outstandingly catchy pop songs.
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Rather Confused

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Pavement, I dont get it.
« Reply #26 on: 26 Aug 2006, 23:18 »

Same here logosmonkey. They were the first good band I really got into, which in turn led me to finding plenty of other good ones (including a fair few that predate pavement considerably).

I've always gone for a "greatest band that really aren't anything special" mentality. They're just another rock band but serve as a pretty good anchor point in a lot of comparisons.
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