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David Viecelli

Out of the spring break sunshine of Stockton California and on to the pinball rhythms of Brooklyn; taking you in by charm, choruses and their good looks Pavement made five masterpieces then split, having taught the globe how to dress, drink and laugh at themselves. Slanted & Enchanted the classic debut cast a shadow miles wider than its modest tape width. Officially cute: SM, Spiral Stairs, Mark Ibold, MC Bob Nastanovitch and Steve West, laid down the follow up, the hook-heavy Crooked Rain Crooked Rain with the detached confidence of heirs apparent. Pedal steel and social commentary in a shiny pop whole. MTV rotation and world tours beckoned, the A list made it backstage and the band could talk up any football game. Wowee Zowee was their undisputed classic, a stoned and emotional mess just like the people who made it. It's the 90s White Album. MTV got the fuck out the way but the Pavement live spectacle was now both elegiac and psychotic; 'fight this generation' few could want more from their favourite band. Forever the coolest name to drop Pavement turned into gentleman ambassadors of a beautifully non-indexed modus operandi. Career musicians wanted in. The kids just loved them. The last two LPs Brighten The Corners and Terror Twilight are stately showboats, intelligent, warm and cool. Their last ever show at the Brixton Academy felt like the Fillmore must have on a cold night, and the glow will always remain. Try watching the Slow Century DVD without stopping and sighing. So next time you find yourself staring at all the people walking round with coffee in their hands, remember it wasn't always this way.


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