[personal profile] joshthevegan
In a further attempt to keep me more active on here, I am going to post some thoughts that pop into my head during my Sunday runs, which are our long ones. These thoughts often involve over-evaluating the music I happen to be listening to, and so one can expect that to be the subject of these (when I remember / have the motivation to do them).

Today's spacy Sunday-morning-long-run thoughts:

My soundtrack today was the two disc deluxe edition of what is undoubtedly Pavement's masterpiece, "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain". That album (among other things) is a testament to the importance of a great rhythm section. The appearance of drummer Steve West and bassist Mark Ibold were the catalyst for the reigning in of Steve and Scott's wild imaginations. "Slanted and Enchanted" and their early singles are great (and I know some hipster-esque Pavement fans would kill me for this opinion), but it wasn't until "Crooked Rain" that they released a truly enduring classic. West and Ibold might not be the most virtuosic players in the game, but what they lack in chops they more than make up for with style and personality. And, besides, it's not like Pavement was known for the precision of their guitar work. Slightly sloppy is their trademark, and songs like "Stop Breathin'" and "Fillmore Jive" would sound simply wrong if they weren't a little rough around the edges.

Speaking of "Fillmore Jive", one of the finest moments on the entire record is found on that track. It's very interesting that Malkmus offhandedly bids farewell to "the rock and roll era", since, on the one hand, the rock-music-as-massive-cultural-bohemoth thing was certainly fading away (and goodnight, indeed), but at the same time that very song and the album it is a piece of were a part of the vanguard for the new artistic face of rock in which an everyman could be an important factor in the genre, and taking oneself and career too seriously was no longer the norm.

Which leads me to my next (tangential) point: this "interview" with Gene Simmons that is getting circulated over the last few days (can a conversation with one's son in which you spout your opinions be called an interview?) in which he declares rock "dead". His evidence? The fact that he (and, apparently, his son) can't name a band since ~1983 that is "enduring" or something like that. The only name they can come up with is Nirvana. Apparently they never heard of Fugazi, Foo Fighters, Flaming Lips, Pearl Jam, R.E.M., and countless others. Hell, if KISS is considered a legendary band that is "enduring" or whatever, than surely some pompous band like Green Day surely counts as well. Just because you can't be bothered to keep up with culture in the last three decades, Gene, that doesn't mean that rock music is dead. You are just a relic of an old age when making comic books, action figures, and hokey made-for-TV movies was considered a "rock" move, and as Malkmus would say, "they don't need you anymore".

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September 2014


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