Senior year in high school I thought Pavement was the next coming of Christ. It was 1989 and my favorite record store (Pier Platters in Hoboken) had introduced me to their music via a few singles. I was a buyer at a different record store and in no time, we were carrying anything they did; starting with the 10" on Drag City. Like any devotee, owning their music wasn't enough, I needed to spread the good word.
I moved to Hoboken, NJ the Summer I graduated from high school and found myself in a social circle that overlapped with many of the bands who shared a practice a few blocks from my apartment there. The bands being Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo, and Bewitched. I can't remember if Pavement also shared that same space but the band members always seemed to be around town between the venue Maxwell's, Pier, and various parties held by employees of both of those places. This was my first understanding of the barrier being more like a speed bump between band members and audience in underground music. These weren't untouchable characters, they sat on the floors at a crowded apartment party when their weren't any more chairs available. They accidentally spilled dip on their shirts and knocked over glasses when they were too tipsy just like the rest of us non rockers. I never stopped loving any of these bands but they incidentally offered a nice reality check to a star struck teen who quickly learned they were just like everyone else but they made music I happened to love too.
I moved to Seattle a few years later and a co-worker at C/Z Records played the Fall nearly every single day. This was the first time I really understood what is now the theme of this weekly show. Somehow I managed to go years without a proper introduction to the Fall and once I took in their catalog in bulk, I realized that Pavement borrowed heavily from them. I couldn't believe this signature sound existed in other bands! It sounds ridiculous to say that now but when you are kid, you truly believe you are the first man on the moon for every life experience, and Pavement's music was like that for me from 1989 to 1993.
Alex and I spent two week's working on this week's show. We have read books on the band, watched documentaries, browsed a ridiculous number of interviews and articles on them to bring you the best possible C & E this evening from 7PM to 9PM. We opted for a set list heavy on the influences and peer groups because we had so many fantastic tracks by that point, there wasn't enough time to play all the bands who have looked up to Pavement or followed in their shoes since.
The influencing bands we picked for this show follow many of Pavement's favorites and you will get to hear the more obvious choices like the Velvets or the Fall but then we throw in groups like Creedence, Guru Guru, The Swell Maps, Faust, and Pere Ubu for good measure. It's a solid line up of some terrific off kilter rock celebrating guitars and vocalists who have helped prove that you don't need to carry a perfect tune to make a damn fine song.
Listen to us on the dial in RVA at 97.3 FM or on line at www.wrir.org tonight from 7pm to 9pm.