23 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pavement were one of the most successful indie-rock bands of the ‘90s, an era dominated by groups that were never quite sure what to do with commercial success. Pavement’s “hits” add up to “Cut Your Hair” off 1994’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. The remaining choices are a random assortment of the band’s casual greatness. Singer Stephen Malkmus delivered an uncomfortable reluctance with singing that wasn’t sure of itself, while his lyrics mocked himself, his band, and the world that only became more absurd the more it paid attention to the band’s scattershot genius. There are few albums that better capture what the early- to mid-‘90s sounded like to young college grads. Rock music plays an important part in the band’s obsessions. “Range Life” wonders what to do with the “nature kids” in Smashing Pumpkins and the “elegant bachelors” in Stone Temple Pilots, “Stereo” questions how Geddy Lee of Rush gets his voice so high, while “Unseen Power of the Picket Fence” tributes R.E.M., infamously running through their songs until deciding that “Time After Time” is Malkmus’ least favorite. Pavement are filled with sly, fascinating moments.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Pavement were one of the most successful indie-rock bands of the ‘90s, an era dominated by groups that were never quite sure what to do with commercial success. Pavement’s “hits” add up to “Cut Your Hair” off 1994’s Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. The remaining choices are a random assortment of the band’s casual greatness. Singer Stephen Malkmus delivered an uncomfortable reluctance with singing that wasn’t sure of itself, while his lyrics mocked himself, his band, and the world that only became more absurd the more it paid attention to the band’s scattershot genius. There are few albums that better capture what the early- to mid-‘90s sounded like to young college grads. Rock music plays an important part in the band’s obsessions. “Range Life” wonders what to do with the “nature kids” in Smashing Pumpkins and the “elegant bachelors” in Stone Temple Pilots, “Stereo” questions how Geddy Lee of Rush gets his voice so high, while “Unseen Power of the Picket Fence” tributes R.E.M., infamously running through their songs until deciding that “Time After Time” is Malkmus’ least favorite. Pavement are filled with sly, fascinating moments.

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