Jackals, False Grails: The Lonesome Era

So I didn’t win the “most imaginative” contest either, but whatever. If making the other list and posting it here taught me anything, it was that I needed to make another playlist with all the Pavement songs I wanted to include last time but couldn’t.

But first, I wanted to give a shout out to Chris Young, who “hipped” me to Pavement back in ’92. Thanks Chris, that was a good call.

Also, there are a few observations I made during my recent obsessive reevaluation of the Pavement music. One is that Steve Malkmus is a really great lead guitar player. His solos are up there with Neil Young and J Mascis, and if anything I think his playing is fresher and more inventive. He’s continued the guitar exploration on his solo records, which seem to get get better with each release.

The other thing is that I really like the Pavement lyrics. Even the ones that don’t make any sense. They got a lot of flack at the time for supposedly not caring or meaning what they sang about. But I think the emotion and meaning is there, it’s just coded in such a way that it doesn’t become dated. Would “Newark Wilder” be a better song if Malkmus had spelled out that he had a crush on his sister’s friend, or that he was involved in a love triangle? I doubt it. It’s the mystery of the lyrics that helps the song work today, as if he knew he wouldn’t be in his early 20s forever and didn’t want the songs to be frozen to that viewpoint. Also, “ride in on horses and break up divorces” just might be the greatest rhyme ever.

Without further ado, here is the REAL Pavement greatest hits, utilizing all those B-sides, Peel sessions, and album tracks that didn’t quite make the cut for whatever lame reason last time. If someone were to ask me why I think Pavement’s music has staying power, I might direct them to this compilation.

1. Fin
2. Texas Never Whispers
3. Nail Clinic
4. Circa 1762 (John Peel Session – June 23, 1992)
5. You’re Killing Me
6. So Stark (You’re A Skyscraper)
7. Elevate Me Later
8. Haunt You Down
9. Roll With The Wind
10. Angel Carver Blues / Mellow Jazz Docent
11. Newark Wilder
12. Kennel District
13. Kentucky Cocktail (John Peel Session – June 23, 1992)
14. The Hexx (BBC performance circa Terror Twilight)
15. Heckler Spray
16. Raft
17. Secret Knowledge Of Backroads (Peel Session – June 23, 1992)
18. Unfair
19. From Now On
20. Sue Me Jack
21. Unseen Power Of The Picket Fence
22. Loretta’s Scars
23. Westie Can Drum
24. Fight This Generation
25. Starlings of The Slipstream
26. Strings Of Nashville
27. Here (loud version)
28. We Dance

If anyone is aware of a good website or software for making playlists that can be embedded here, let me know.

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