20 April 2009
In "Slow Century", a rad movie about the epically awesome Pavement, there is this one part where Stephen Malkmus is talking about the group's third album Wowee Zowee and how it kind of got mixed reviews from fans and critics and during this one particular interview he says that he thinks the reason the album was off was because he was smoking a ton of grass when it came time to get a track list figured out and decide which songs would be the singles for the album and what have you. I always found this to be a kind of funny admission, especially when coupled with a line found in the liner notes of the deluxe reissue of the album when SM says, "A lot of my friends like this Pavement album the best. For instance, it blew Christoff's mind. But wait, I think he was tripping. How's that for an endorsement?" I guess if you didn't know too much about the album, and you just saw those two quotes you would assume that it is some sort of druggie album. But its not. I mean, if hypothetically you were to smoke a bunch of grass and listen to this album then yeah you would like it a whole lot. And yeah, if you were hypothetically tripping and you listened to this album then yeah it would blow your mind. But, it works just as well at other instances. Once, many seasons ago and like a million blog years ago, I got kind of sad and while I don't want to turn this into one of those blogs I will just leave it at the fact that I was unhappy. But anyway, during that time this album was re-released in all its deluxe glory with a slew of extra tracks and out-takes and things of that ilk. In need of a pick-me-up I bought the album and then I went back to my apartment and I put it on. I listened to the entire thing in one sitting, and when it ended I went outside and I smoked a cigarette. Then I came back inside, and I started the album over again. I repeated this process several times that day. I was just so undecided about this album, but it was much more then that. I liked the album. I liked the album a lot, but that wasn't the problem. I couldn't understand why I liked the album the way I did. At this point, I was basically a Pavement newb in the sense that I only owned Slanted and Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. But I kept listening and listening. I thought that "Rattled by the Rush" was one of the better modern rock songs I had ever heard, and I couldn't understand how this did not dominate the radio landscape at the time and how it still does not. "Grounded" is one of my all-time favorite songs period to the point where I had to hijack a line in order to name this blog. "Motion Suggests Itself" into "Father to a Sister of Thought" into "Extradition" into "Best Friend's Arm" to me rivals just about any medley except for maybe the Grateful Dead's (Help on the Way)>Slipknot>Franklin's Tower and that is supposed to go together but with Pavement it just works. Kind of like vegetarian chicken nuggets in the sense that I would rather not try and understand how and why it works, but rather I would just like to enjoy the end result. In a weird, twisted way I kind of think of the entire album as like this one big jam although I'm pretty sure the reason for that is because back when I worked as a pizza delivery driver I recorded the album onto tape so that I could listen to it while I was at work and then by doing so I ended up listening to it over and over and over again to the point where I knew when the drum breaks were coming up and when B0b Nastanovich would be contributing. Alas, I digress. But the thing is, all I can do is digress when I think about this album. I can't narrow it down and pinpoint it. I feel as though I have a better grasp as to what Kid A is about then I do when it comes to why I truly enjoy this album so. On the plus side, today is exactly the kind of day for contemplating such things.