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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Crooked Brain, Crooked Brain

posted by on April 16 at 0:24 AM

Tonight at Linda’s somebody put the entire Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain album by Pavement on the jukebox. My reaction: “Awesome! I love this album!” My friend’s reaction: “Meh.” I was shocked to find out that my associate, who likes most of the same music as me, doesn’t care about Pavement, one of the best bands of the nineties. Even if he didn’t celebrate their entire catalog I figured that he at least would appreciate their finest album. “They’re like Modest Mouse to me,” he said. “Everybody else likes them but I just don’t get it.”


I never thought of Pavement as a band that someone just “wouldn’t get.” Do a lot of people feel this way? Who doesn’t love Crooked Rain?

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your friend is a dick

Posted by Brian | April 16, 2008 1:44 AM

yeah, i was never into those bands either. i probably hear them all the time on kexp but they don't stand out for me.

Posted by zfdbz | April 16, 2008 2:39 AM

"meh?" really? "MEH?" granted, wowee zowee is my favorite pavement album, but come on. slanted and enchanted invented the term "indie-rock," then crooked rain totally defined it. i mean, even if you didn't like "cut your hair" [inarguably the greatest shoulda-been-a-hit-single of the 1990's], you can't deny the beauty of "heaven is a truck" or the smarts of "stop breathing."

meh. wow, dude.

Posted by douglas martin | April 16, 2008 3:13 AM

You need new friends.

Posted by Nick | April 16, 2008 7:24 AM

The Pixies work about the same way for me as Pavement does with your friend.

Posted by Agreed | April 16, 2008 7:58 AM

What 1 & 4 said.

Posted by Mr. Poe | April 16, 2008 8:13 AM

I don't know - somehow I've never really sat down with a Pavement album (I'm not sure how I made it to the ripe old age of 31 without that happening, but there you have it), but whenever I hear them in passing it doesn't really grab me.

Posted by Levislade | April 16, 2008 8:42 AM

I like cut your hair and heaven is a truck, but I agree w/ comment 5. I would lump modest mouse in there, too. I still dont get MM, though.

Posted by jerry falls well | April 16, 2008 8:51 AM

Your friend doesn't get Pavement or Modest Mouse?

Ditto 1, 4 and 6.

Posted by rk | April 16, 2008 8:52 AM

playing an entire album on a jukebox is a dick move, even if it is the best album ever made.

Posted by cosby | April 16, 2008 8:56 AM

For me, Pavement had a few good tracks on each album and the rest was forgettable generic indie rock. Really overrated, yet without completely sucking. See also: Smashing Pumpkins.

Posted by Tiktok | April 16, 2008 9:48 AM
Posted by Levislade | April 16, 2008 9:48 AM

I have to concur with "meh," though I've come to understand what makes Pavement and Modest Mouse "important," if not (for me) enjoyable or striking.

Well, let me qualify that a little. There's some striking songwriting on both bands' parts. To me, though, they illustrate why so much indie rock feels so lightweight: great lyrics and solid melodies aside, if you drop the self-conscious sloppiness--if they actually tuned their guitars, practiced, sang in their actual ranges (and stopped acting like singing on pitch makes you some kind of bourgeois sellout)--what you're left with is just, well, rock & roll, and not all that different from the rock & roll our parents listened to. Which is fine, I guess, if you're into that sort of thing.

Posted by thelyamhound | April 16, 2008 9:58 AM

I can't say I listen to them as much as Erasure.

Posted by Abby | April 16, 2008 10:07 AM

i'm going to start doing that. that entire album is brilliant.

Posted by highfives | April 16, 2008 10:10 AM

great band, though i occasionally get grief for the opinion that their finest work came at the end of their career. i'd rate my personal enjoyment of their albums in parallel to their reverse chronological order with Terror Twilight being my favorite and Slanted and Enchanted rarely getting any play on my stereo.

Posted by brian cook | April 16, 2008 10:10 AM

It took me a while to fully come around to Pavement, but yeah, they're a pretty brilliant band.

Although I would probably say that CR, CR is my least favorite Pavement album, even though it's still chock full of solid to great moments.

Posted by Captain Underpants | April 16, 2008 10:45 AM

a friend of mine can't get into pavement because he demands higher production values. i say he's missing out.

Posted by donte | April 16, 2008 10:54 AM

hilarious article. i'm guilty of jukebox terrorism ('sister ray', 'cop shoot cop', 'washing machine'), but 2 hours of brian eno is the next level.

the WORST jukebox dick move that i'm aware of was someone playing 'the end' by the doors over and over again. bartender tip: those new mp3 jukeboxes typically have a skip button, always keep your thumb hovering just in case the new radicals come one.

Posted by cosby | April 16, 2008 11:14 AM

It seems a bit dated when I listen to it now. Like a time-capsule message from the exact moment that indie-rock became College Rock.

Oddly, I like the Jicks better.

Posted by flamingbanjo | April 16, 2008 11:34 AM

The Fall kills Pavement dead.

Posted by Cog Sinister | April 16, 2008 12:49 PM

Pavement is a total snore-fest. If you want good music from the 90's, go listen to Weezer.

Posted by Dade Murphy | April 16, 2008 1:12 PM

sweet sad pavement...boring boring boring...never understood their greatness either, they were a crappy/safe "college" group, must be a generational thing.

@3 pavement did NOT invent the term 'indie rock'

Posted by nipper | April 16, 2008 1:17 PM

We should also add Dinosaur Jr to this bonfire, as I believe Dinosaur Jr, the Pixies and Pavement can all be credited with helping to create today's misnomered genre of "indie rock"....and I never got it.

Posted by Agreed | April 16, 2008 3:08 PM

Weezer is actually one of the worst bands of the 90s. Annoying as shit. It must be a generational thing--I always thought they existed for our siblings in junior high to piss us oldsters off.

Pavement is a mixed bag, but Crooked Rain is a great album. I mean, top 100 great, not top 10.

Posted by MattyDread | April 16, 2008 3:37 PM

Pavement pretty much defined the soundtrack of my youth.

Posted by kid icarus | April 16, 2008 3:59 PM

hmmm, I dunno if I've even ever heard Weezer. seriously.

Posted by nipper | April 16, 2008 4:48 PM

I hate how much this place is a music snob haven.

Posted by Morgan | April 16, 2008 6:54 PM

When irony went sour right before the turn of the century the date was on the carton for this band, but they sounded SO fresh at the beginning of the 90s, it was impossible not to get swept up - even if, as Malkmus said, they just thought there should be a version of The Fall from "Sacto, Northern Cal". Crooked Rain is kind of their perfect flowering for me. The non-sequiturs line up gorgeously and swirl into an undertow of unassignable emotion. They're still a little fey, which is just a problem they have as a band - I remember the Jicks played an instore on Capitol Hill on the day the Iraq war started and you could have thought it was any other day for them (maybe they were feeling the hurt, but they were sure keeping it to themselves, I mean, the country doesn't start bombing people EVERY day). But no shame on Crooked Rain, that shit is immaculate in my opinion.

Posted by Grant Cogswell | April 16, 2008 9:04 PM

Excellent Band. Excellent Album. Best album of the 90s? Perhaps....though B2M was doing some pretty incredible harmonizing in the largest city in Pennsylvania round the same time. Back again.

Posted by Joe R | April 16, 2008 10:09 PM

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