Tag Archives: Pavement

New Music Tuesday: PJ Harvey, Surf City, Tune-Yards, Drive-By Truckers, and Mogwai

Occasionally, we post on the week’s new music released on Tuesdays. You’d think, given the name, that it was a weekly feature: you’d be wrong.

PJ Harvey, Let England Shake

I wasn’t enthralled by Harvey’s White Chalk, which articulated itself in a sustained whisper. And the first time I heard Let England Shake on NPR’s preview feed, I questioned its worth. But what a difference fidelity makes. As soon as I started streaming it on MOG and its beautiful 320kbps ($5/month for 8 million tracks; Try MOG free!), I was enthralled. Layers of weirdness. An album about war that is chilling and beautiful. Standout track is “The Words That Maketh Murder:” pedaled high-tone guitar, punchy brass, a singsongy refrain, and lyrics about war’s horrors… all yielding to an (ironic? contrapuntal? pleading?) query “What if I took my problem to the United Nations?” borrowed from Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues.”

PJ_Harvey, “The Words That Maketh Murder”
Eddie Cochran, “Summertime Blues”

Surf City, Kudos

The last time we tuned into New Zealand’s Surf City, we were trying to start a continental shelf war with Australia via their “Icy Lakes”. With an album’s worth of 90s haze, New Zealand has some good ammunition. None of it measures up to the heights of “Icy Lakes,” but it’s a solid effort, and they’re at close to their best when they don their Pavement hat in “Teachers.”

Surf City, “Teachers”

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Ticket Giveaway: Pavement @ Mann Center, Philly, Friday, 9/17

In the last 36 hours I’ve listened to all the Pavement on my iPod in chronological order, albums, EPs, B-sides. 122 songs, seems both like a lot and not enough. Conclusions? Fewer low points than I had expected: Pavement hits relentlessly off the sweet spot in the bat. (Speaking off sports, did you know that Stephen Malkmus is a huge fantasy sports guy? Who knew? Chuck Klausterman, that’s who; his Pavement piece in GQ is worth a read.)

I have an extra Pavement ticket for tomorrow’s show at the Mann in Philadelphia, with Noise Narc favorite Kurt Vile opening. Section A, Row Q: 21 rows from the stage (and yes, you can use it to go sit on the lawn with your friends). And I’m giving it away.

Join our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter and then tweet/post on our wall/write on a postcard: “Dad, they broke me.” Winner will be chosen tomorrow by noon, and we’ll figure some way to get you the ticket.

Three song picks, a forgotten B-side reworking favorite proving that Pavement could country barnstorm, a song about listening to your grandmother’s advice about Ezra, and a Kurt Vile tent revival.

Pavement, “Slowly Typed” [Buy]
Pavement, “Silence Kit” [Buy]
Kurt Vile, “I Know I Got Religion” [Buy]

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Hot Tub Rock Show: Top 5 in Their Prime

Ever since I found out Pavement was reuniting for a tour and I realized I’d never again rue missing them live, I’ve had a favorite bar question: name the top five acts you’d waste a time machine trip on seeing in their prime. It gets a passionate response, if only because there are so many ways to qualify what counts as a bad answer. “The Beatles?!? You gotta be kidding me: screaming girls in giant stadiums.” “Nina Simone? You’re gonna take a chance on one of her notorious flipouts?” “ZZ Top? Okay. That’s a great answer.”

So in honor of bar questions everywhere, in the upcoming weeks starting August 30th, with some help with some friends we’ll be releasing our desert island Hot Tub Rock Show* picks for live shows. And since I’ll be seeing them in September, you can bet I won’t waste one of my slots on Pavement. And, I’m gonna bet that, despite her recent lack of Nina Simone-level flipouts, no one will choose Cat Power either.

Pavement, “Stop Breathing (Live, Hollywood, CA 4/24/1994)” [via Cause=Time] [Buy]

Cat Power, “Lived in Bars (Live, Berlin, 6/11/2006)” [via Captain’s Dead] [Buy]

* No relation to the movie. Especially that laugh-free second half.

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