When Pavement Sends You Running for Cover

21st July 2021

Did you see Pavement at Reading Festival?

It is the oldest popular music festival in existence today. In the last five decades, Reading Festival has hosted big bands and acts, such as Nirvana in 1992, Paramore in 2014, and Metallica in 1997.

If you want to listen to some nineteen nineties era rock that you could share with friends, you should have no problem finding Pavement’s discography. They are an unparalleled example of a fun, witty rock and roll band, that won accolades and a level of popularity that has helped their discography endure.

  1. What happened?

It was on 23 August 1991, during their two-week Europe tour with rock band Sonic Youth, that the band played at Reading, an approximately 40-minute set.

Pavement was a five-member band, although Stephen Malkmus, Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg, and Gary Young alone formed the band in 1989. Pavement recorded the music at Gary’s studio, Louder than you Think.

The song from those sessions includes Box Elder, seeming to be about leaving town in frustration, which enjoyed some interest. The Chicago record label Drag City handled it.

  1. Why it was so awesome

On 23 August, ’91, the band was playing on the strengths of a 7″ single, Summer Babe (Winter Version), and three earlier EPs. The first full-length LP was a big deal, as Matador Records was working to help make Pavement a name for themselves. Meanwhile, Geffen Records was getting Sonic Youth major success, Sonic Youth having previously been shoegazers best known for their song Death Valley ’69.

Both Sonic Youth and Pavement are influential music acts.

Death Valley ’69 (Sonic Youth, 1985) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G1zPOcllS9Q

Refute https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6C78dcy8-w

  1. What the crowd thought

Despite obscurity in 1991, Pavement was becoming a success. Pavement’s most recent album now is Quarantine the Past, and the time seems right for both old songs and unseen material.

The unreleased songs from Pavement won’t be hard to find. Bandcamp is making it available in different formats in April. Besides the reissue of Spit on a Stranger from 1999, there is a set of all their music.

You don’t need to hear the complete collection if Pavement interests you. You could begin with Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, which is their best-known release.

  1. What the band said about Reading

The members of Sonic Youth and Pavement became pretty good friends. When Malkmus turned his attention to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, he sold a lot of units, but not as much of Pavement’s music after that found the same popularity.

Certainly, it would have been more difficult to make videos that would have been more popular with MTV audiences, but the two videos Pavement released with Wowee Zowee in 1995 were, in one instance, simply a bathtub filled with water, and, the second one, the band appeared to be in a country-rock video, even though they were known for their straightforward rock music.

Perhaps Malkmus was being difficult. I like the Father to a Sister of Thought video, but Wowee Zowee obviously had little chance to break into the country music market, being an experimental rock album.

  1. You can’t see them, but they were great!

You can get an idea of what they were like with the second CD from Slanted and Enchanted Luxe and Reduxe, where, for example, the discs include the song Frontwards from the Watery, Domestic EP, in both its studio recording and also played live, at Brixton Academy, in December of 1992.

An MTV video from 1995 of Pavement talking at Reading can be seen on YouTube. You can watch how they handled themselves when they are talking somewhat candidly.

Pavement is a band that you might find interesting if only for the sake of hearing songs that are both unique and entertaining. Like Range Life, from Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, or In the Mouth a Desert, on Slanted and Enchanted. Artistically, Stephen Malkmus is very capable.

“Thanks for coming to Reading Festival this year. As you probably already know, we’ve got a few of our most interesting acts playing live on the Main Stage: Arctic Monkeys, Rage Against The Machine and Megan Thee Stallion. We also have some other great names, such as Bring Me The Horizon and Halsey.”

I’m joking, I’m not a Reading Festival emcee 😉 Those artists are apparently in for Reading this year, however.

Star Wars Celebration on YouTube: Where’d You Go? Chicago

It’s Good Friday, and I’m having browser issues.  Microsoft put up an alpha version of its Edge browser, and I tried, like a web developer, to surf it before it’s finished, and it lasted maybe three days.

Star Wars Celebration went on from April 11 to April 15 in Chicago.  The celebration is an army of devotees sharing a love of Star Wars.  This year Star Wars Celebration premiered a teaser for Episode IX, a preview of Star Wars series The Mandalorian, the cinema for Jedi:  Fallen Order, and a trailer for S7 of The Clone Wars.  It is all interesting.

Being that this year is 2019 and that Lucasfilm put The Phantom Menace, a prequel film to Star Wars, in the cinema in 1999, the twenty-year anniversary of Phantom Menace was observed.


Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace score
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Five days is a long time to spend with Star Wars, but between Thursday and Monday a viewer watching the events on the Star Wars YouTube channel got to see the panel discussions each day at 12:00 and 4:00 Chicago time.  Celebration, which I think is nine years running, moves around the US, but this year they put it on in Chicago.  Given the audience’s enthusiasm, it seems like that worked well for them.


Photographer:
donterase

Jedi:  Fallen Order is the name of the EA game that is the first new Star Wars game since Battlefront II.  EA is a notoriously difficult game company.  The decisions EA makes are known to send gamers away.

I suspect Disney needs Episode IX in December to be a sensation if they want their investment in Disney+ to succeed.  Disney+ is the streaming service available this fall, in November, when Disney is making available their animated features, along with the Marvel Cinematic Universe films, the Star Wars films, and The Mandalorian.  Disney+ could rival Netflix, and it is expensive for Disney in the short term, so it is reasonable to think that if Episode IX is a major success, it is an indication Disney+ will do well.

It is hard to anticipate what Netflix is planning in response to its rival.  If there is already talk about what Netflix is going to do, I haven’t caught it.

I believe that Lucasfilm CEO Kathleen Kennedy is leading Lucasfilm for the next ten years, and her decisions to put a lot of roles that are empowering for girls affect her hold on the Star Wars fanbase, because a large number of male fans of Star Wars have made a backlash owing to the perception that they are “toxic.”  A space opera such as Star Wars has a lot of male fans, so the response has been loud about how Star Wars has met its “demise” in the sense that there will never again be a great trilogy.  The next trilogy of Star Wars films is going to be directed by Last Jedi director Rian Johnson.

The Last Jedi was the film that divided the fanbase, perhaps deliberately.  That said, there was a backlash to the Star Wars Prequels, which subsided, so the same may be true of the problems facing the Star Wars Sequels, the films The Force Awakens, The Last Jedi and now Episode IX, concluding the Saga.  Be that as it may, The Mandalorian, continuing Return of the Jedi from 1983, looks fantastic.  Some of the success of Disney+ is probably going to be affected by whether Episode IX proves to be a giant.

Good luck to Lucasfilm.

You’re welcome to “like” this, to follow, and/or to comment.  The inspiration for Where’d You Go? is from the Medium publication newsletter Publishous, 11,000 strong and available every week or two.

Earth

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Today is Earth Day in 2019.  I have done an update on a post which I’ve worked on a couple of times that might be the closest thing I have to a reflection on the day we’re celebrating the Earth.

Thinking about Earth, in a photograph, I saw the bank of a creek and realized it was a little like how Earth serves in its glory as a point of origin for life. I snapped a quick photo because this week’s WordPress photo challenge is to symbolize Earth with a photo, and I felt I was on the right track to doing this.

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change.” Charles Darwin

Earth resounds with life, as with shells awash on a beach, water gurgling through valleys, or flowers bursting from the soil. Looking at it from a point where running water meets the sand, it is a little reflective of life on Earth and its big picture.

Resources like oil and transportation and computer technology run cities and nations. These would be nothing if not for the ingredients which comprise life, the basics from which the world springs. There is never anything which the Earth does not contain in its grassy plains and rolling hillsides.

In the deserts and in the oceans, in the tundra and in the mountains, life is full of complexity. That being said, in the smallest of places you can find the elegance of simplicity, which is what I hoped to show with my photograph of running water reaching rocks.

If you like my photograph, and my thoughts about this week’s WordPress Challenge, feel free to comment, “like” and/or follow. Although the Photo Challenges came to an end quite some time ago, I hope to continue taking photographs. Thank you for visiting my blog, and have a great week! All the best to you.