MCMXCVII #badglowup

For Jim Adams’ blog bounce, for Sunday, January 10, 2021, Jim has requested MA, meaning a tune with a title that begins with either the letter M or with the letter A.

https://jimadamsauthordotcom.wordpress.com/2021/01/09/mature-audience/

I thought of a song with an unusual title, that begins with A.

“And Then (The Hexx)” is a song by Pavement, a b-side on Pavement’s “Spit on a Stranger” single in May 1999, I read somewhere. It sort of provides a conclusion to the 1997 Pavement album Brighten the Corners. Quietly now, that’s the Pavement record where the entire quintet is performing–it’s sometimes known as “dream pop.”

A second version of the song “And Then (The Hexx)” is again the conclusion to the next, and last, Pavement album, Terror Twilight. Strictly speaking, to the best of my understanding, the song is “And Then (The Hexx)” for the Brighten the Corners b-side, and simply “The Hexx” for Terror Twilight.

Rock musician Steve Malkmus, who around the year 1990 put together ideas for what became a classic all-American rock record, Slanted & Enchanted, while the young man was in high school in Stockton, California. Nice work if you can get it.

“And Then (The Hexx)” is eerie, and it has happiness to it as well.

Malkmus has reinvented himself twice since Pavement folded. First he played as Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, and more recently, since 2018, just Stephen Malkmus. I’ve seen video of Malkmus performing his songs by himself for the groove denied tour.

Terror Twilight producer Nigel Godrich was keeping active on Twitter in December 2020, when he tweeted on the thirteenth of December, 2020, that, despite what Godrich called “the dark” of December, Godrich preferred the advice,”get your SAD lamp out and party!” SAD indicates seasonal affective disorder, mild depression brought about by lack of sunlight, in a cold climate.

Just updated my @stationrotatio1 December Vibes…… dark and beautiful month… I’m looking forward to the new year and new times with salivation. Stare at a wall and enjoy…. or get your SAD lamp out and party! #stationrotation https://t.co/nslwbKGr5v https://t.co/gcbQXFs5el— nigel godrich ?? (@nigelgod) December 13, 2020

The feeling echoes what Steve Malkmus said for the 2002 documentary Slow Century. Godrich’s observation is certainly deliberate.

“Get your handkerchiefs out,” Malkmus says, “and party.”

Writing for a Chicago online mag highlighting music, motion pictures, and TV, consequence of sound’s DAN CAFFREY says, “‘Spit on a Stranger’ looks back on a relationship that’s gone kaput — maybe a relationship with a band.”

I have the impression that, of the five band members in the band in 1999, that other than Steve Malkmus, they wanted to hang it up.

When touring the Terror Twilight record, Malkmus often hung a pair of handcuffs on stage, from his mic stand, to illustrate how he felt making a living in a rock band.

Dissected: Pavement
BY DAN CAFFREY
ON AUGUST 11, 2015, 3:00PM

https://consequenceofsound.net/2015/08/dissected-pavement/full-post/

“Terror Twilight,” Caffrey writes, “has a reputation of being Pavement’s tamest album, and that’s true, musically speaking — the tempos are sturdier and there’s much less yowling, despite a ripping harmonica solo (?!) from Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood.” Wikipedia says Jonny Greenwood, from Radiohead, played harmonica both for “Platform Blues,” and for “Billie,” both of which are Terror Twilight songs, Billie penned about Billy Graham.

Whether the various elements of Terror Twilight, Caffrey says for consequence of sound, scare the shit out of you or not, the lyrics prove that, even when they had run out of momentum and had to be practically forced by Godrich to come up with new material (the band reportedly was more concerned with playing Scrabble than recording) — even when music didn’t sound quite like itself, Pavement was still Pavement.

I saw in a more recent interview, it is somewhat eluding me where I heard this (I think it was organized by Vanity Fair for Seattle radio not too long ago), when Malkmus was talking about getting ready to play shows with Pavement, Malkmus said that to this day he enjoys the game of Scrabble.

I presume that’s Pavement fandom knowledge. Malkmus has said publicly he got really quite good. In a round of Scrabble, you make words on the game board utilizing letters, which add to the score.

Anyway, some fans consider “And Then (The Hexx)” to be a Brighten the Corners song, because of the 2009 rerelease of Brighten the Corners with the second CD with “And Then (The Hexx).” It is also the conclusion to Terror Twilight, which when discussed is usually just called “The Hexx.”

I still like to think of “The Hexx” as “And Then (The Hexx),” and that’s why it fits into Jim’s MA prompt challenge. However, the true release date of “And Then (The Hexx)” should be 1997, not 1999.

Pavement
And Then (the Hexx)
Composed by
Stephen Malkmus

Release Year
1997

The Hexx

WordPress Discover: Orchestrate

social distancing

Today’s Discover challenge, by Michelle Weber, is about the word “orchestrate.” The last piece of music which moved me is the song battle born by The Killers.


The Killers

Up against the wall (Up against the wall) There’s something dying on the street When they knock you down (Up against the wall) You’re gonna get back on your feet Cause you can’t stop now (Cause you can’t stop now) Did they break your heart? (Did they break your heart?) And did they cause your soul to mourn Remember what I said Boy you was battle born

While The Killers are a great band, I didn’t initially have a strong positive reaction to this song of theirs.  Eventually, though, it began to move me the way a piece of music does, giving me the odd moment of pause while relevance in the song hits home with me.

What would it be that is “dying on the street?” I wonder briefly when I hear it.  There is a Pavement song from 1995, Grounded, that has a similar lyric. Both are interesting songs.

Everything Is Nice: The Matador Records 10th Anniversary Anthology