PAVEMENT – ” Crooked Rain Crooked Rain ” Classic Albums Released 1994

Posted: February 14, 2019 in CLASSIC ALBUMS, MUSIC
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Pavement disbanded before the turn of the millennium. Still, the impact of the Stockton, Californian. band’s music still echoes, due to its independent ethos, occasional disregard for melody, and progressive view of art rock and punk. Even setting aside all the bands clearly influenced by Pavement, the group’s five-LP output makes them one of the most important alternative rock bands of the ‘90s. Here then are the best songs from indie rock legends, Pavement second album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

“Unfair”
This is one of the angriest sounding Pavement songs. It’s one of the band’s variations on a theme of “Northern California rules / Southern California drools,” which likely exacerbates that ferocious guitar riff. Malkmus first rallies to, “burn the hills of Beverly!” before howling at his state’s southern residents, “I’m not your neighbour, you Bakersfield trash!”

“Elevate Me Later”
Malkmus is an amazing guitarist, but some songs just stick out above others. On top of that, though, this is also one of Malkmus’ best vocal performances. And here on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, there’s something in the way his voice sounds in “Elevate Me Later” that is perfectly in sync with the tone of the instrumentation.

“Silence Kid”
“Silence Kid” kicks off Pavement’s second album Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. The sound of Crooked Rain is more polished and lusher than Slanted and Enchanted, and this is clear right from the start of “Silence Kid.” It squeals strangely and slowly during its intro, but kicks into high gear by the time the vocals start. Also, note that cowbell.

“Cut Your Hair”
If you only know one Pavement song, it’s probably this one. The closest thing Pavement ever got to a hit appeared on 1994’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, and was later featured in Beavis & Butthead and one of those campy Brady Bunch movies. The song seems to be about appearance mattering for musicians in terms of being popular and successful, but it’s Pavement so we can’t be entirely sure. The music video for Pavement’s “Cut Your Hair,” released in 1994, remains a ridiculous romp. In it, the gang pays a visit to the barbershop, each member costumed in their own low-budget getup—Scott Kannberg in a gorilla suit, Stephen Malkmus crowned a weepy king. It’s both utterly pointless and splendidly on-brand for the most chilled-out players in ’90s indie-rock. “Cut Your Hair” is a bad music video, but that’s why it’s so great. Pavement made indifference look impossibly cool.

“Gold Soundz”
The second single off Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain tops this list because it’s a rocker with a decidedly indie flavor. Although “Cut Your Hair” charted much better than “Gold Soundz,” the latter more fully encapsulates the essence of Pavement—messy but melodic, retro, yet still relevant. Plus, the lyrics include the phrase “quarantine the past,” which, of course, is the title of Pavement’s aforementioned greatest hits compilation. Therefore the song has to be great.

The album that elevated Pavement to a new level of slacker-rock stardom is turning 25 years old today. “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” arrived on February. 14th, 1994, and alternative rock arguably hasn’t been the same since. The band’s more jittery debut, Slanted & Enchanted, had dropped two years earlier in 1992, but it was Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain—a record they made in some guy’s NYC apartment-slash-studio that broke the band. MTV played their awful music videos; people fell hard for their affably effortless songs like the aforementioned “Cut Your Hair,” the mindlessly nostalgic “Gold Soundz” and the quasi-country banger “Range Life.” Pavement had arrived.

After the band’s eventual break-up, but before their 2010 reunion, Malkmus went out on his own and started making music with his other band, The Jicks, plus a few solo endeavors.

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