Showing 4 posts tagged pavement
The Natural Bridge is the first Silver Jews album without Stephen Malkmus. In many, many interviews, people in and around the Silver Jews note that Malkmus is a gifted musician (duh), a great guitarist (duh), and just adds this general aristocratic sheen to any recordings he’s on (duh?).
There is, however, something of an antipathy between Malkmus and Berman. You can see it in the quote above, for instance. I can picture Berman and Malkmus talking on the phone one night, maybe right after the S/T album or maybe after Wowee Zowee.
Berman: Steve, what the fuck are you even singing about? It doesn’t make any sense.
Malkmus: I just pick random words. It doesn’t matter.
Berman: But, Steve. Lyrics are half of what a song is. Just pay the five hundred or whatever… God knows you’ve got enough money. Just fly me out to the studio and I’ll tell you when your shit sucks, and -
Malkmus: I’ve gotta go fuck Justine Frischmann. Good bye.
Hah, I don’t know. Probably uncharitable. But it seems somewhat obvious 1) that Malkmus didn’t set out to be a rock star, but 2) he did, and was fine with it, and 3) Berman, by mental hook or chemical crook, did not become a rock star. It’s not like Pavement lyrics are stupid or Malkmus isn’t a brilliant songwriter. But there’s a definite difference in style and approach Berman and Malkmus. And it’s a definite fact that the whole “Silver Jews are a Pavement/Malkmus side project” stuck in Berman’s craw for many years. I’d be bitter.
- The title for Pavement’s celebrated debut, Slanted and Enchanted came from a strange cartoon thing-y that Dave Berman drew and hung up in the apartment.
- Malkmus and Berman actually became friends with each other sharing a ride in college to see The Cure in concert. (Though how great of friends they are is debatable.)
- From that same piece linked above (and elsewhere), the Joos got Sonic Youth’s phone number from a record store clerk, and they’d call up their answering machine and leave ten minute-long songs on it.
- Berman saw a picture of Cassie Marrett playing music in a magazine, got a “heavy feeling”, set out to meet her, and married her. Cassie Berman is an A+ Gold Level Silver Jew now.
- The father of Dave Berman (noted liberal artist type) is Richard Berman, a reviled lobbyist, about whom Dave sez, “My father is a despicable man. My father is a sort of human molestor. An exploiter. A scoundrel. A world historical motherfucking son of a bitch. (sorry grandma)”.
- One of Dave Berman’s dream projects was to record with Dave Matthews Band.
- It’s true: Berman’s analyst was a place kicker for the Falcons.
- The original title for American Water was The Late, Great Silver Jews. The present title occurred to Berman when he was sitting in a veterinary shop and he saw a poster with an American water spaniel on it; he loved the phrase “American water”, and wanted it to be his.
- Back stage in London, Berman went to Frank Black’s dressing room and asked him to produce his next album. When Black reacted like a “total bitch”, Berman threw a CD at his head. This got him arrested for assault. (But only British assault, so who knows.)
- When Berman tried to commit suicide, he put on his nicest suit, and ended up at the Loews Vanderbilt, the nicest hotel in Nashville, where Al Gore sweated out the Florida recount in 2000. He shambled up to the desk and said, “Give me the Al Gore suite,” where he proceeded to die.
- In 27 years, David Berman drank 50,000 beers.
- In 1984, David Berman was hospitalized for approaching perfection.
- 17 doctors couldn’t decide if David Berman should be allowed in the game.
- David Berman passed out on the 14th floor, and the CPR was so erotic.
- David Berman knew a puppy who walked from Kentucky to east Virginia by dawn.
Pavement - ‘Unseen Power of the Picket Fence’
Not only a song about Reckoning, but one that makes ‘harborcoat’ sound like a common aside and shares my own conclusion on the album - “‘Time After Time’ was my least favorite song/’Time After Time’ was my least favourite song”. Not most worst, but least favourite of a list of favourites.