Pavement – Brighten the Corners
Acquired: Love Garden, Used, 2008
I always cited this as my favorite Pavement record because I was never a Pavement geek and this had the catchiest songs. Later on, after GBV had taught me to appreciate the tender ways of the lo-fi persuasion, I learned to love Slanted & Enchanted and Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. I still think I might like this one the best though. I also realized that I have had this misfiled, and that it comes AFTER Wowee Zowee! I do not know how I overlooked this. Sonically it makes sense but HOW DID I OVERLOOK THIS. Ok, now that that is out of the way, this has so many jams on it. The one-two of “Stereo” and “Shady Lane” (which I had an obsession with for a good year and a half in the mid 00s). Then there's the one great song Spiral Stairs wrote, “Date W/ Ikea,” which yes, is an utter jam and a welcome reprieve from Malkmus. Not that I don't like Malkmus, that would be stupid. In fact, I'm wearing a Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks T-shirt as I type this, but yeah, I like that song. Ok. “Type Slowly” is great too, and that's really where this line gets drawn and I can't remember the rest of the record so maybe I don't like this one that much. I do, just yeah, I don't know. I'm not a Pavement nut. Tom K could tell you all about this record, and I like that. I just think it sounds nice, which actually might come off as kind of damnit. Not as adventurous as previous endeavors, but you know, it has “Shady Lane” on it which is one of the best songs ever so there...although with this listen, it does sound just a LITTLE slight. MAN I'm feeling disaffected tonight! Basically, this is a great record by anyone else's standards but since it's Pavement this has to seem a little SLIGHT because they're known for being great and you have to rank records by a particular great band so you know which ones to give to people when you're going to get them into a band. I'd probably just make a mix, although I'd pry tell someone to start with Crooked Rain just cuz it's considered their masterpiece and for good reason, cuz it balances the lo-fi with the hi-fi, etc. Anyway. It's not even considered a lesser work though, I don't think any of their records are. Maybe Terror Twilight, which I've never listened to, but just because it was last. It happens with every great band pretty much. Their last record is always not as great as anything else they put out, or maybe people just think that so it doesn't hurt so bad. At least it's better than Wowee Zowee!
Also, one of the best music videos ever: