Posted by: Dave on September 29, 2006 at 12:32 pm

Pavement WoweeOn November 7th, Matador Records will be reissuing Pavement’s 1995 album Wowee Zowee as an expanded edition. The original release had 18 tracks on one disc. This Sordid Sentinel’s Edition will contain 32 additional songs and spread out over two discs. For my money, if there’s an album in the Pavement catalogue that didn’t need to be longer, it’s Wowee Zowee. There are four great Pavement albums: Slanted and Enchanted (1992), Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain (1994), Brighten the Corners (1997) and Terror Twilight (1999). The first two have already been re-mastered and re-released, and they have similar plans for the last two. So why not do them all, I guess?

I guess. Getting through the jumbled mess of Wowee Zowee has always been a challenge for me. The idea of sifting through a bunch of outtakes and b-sides from that era doesn’t sound that exciting. But who knows, maybe the stuff that missed the cut is better than the tracks that made the album. It can happen.

For the record, I am a big fan of Pavement and frontman Stephen Malkmus’ solo career. In fact, his album Face The Truth was my #1 last year and his self-titled debut was my #8 of 2001.

Shortly after Pavement broke up, I made a best-of mix (on cassette…since it was early 2000). This was the track listing of Side A (essentially in best-of order):

1. Stereo Brighten the Corners
2. Embassy Row Brighten the Corners
3. Carrot Rope Terror Twilight
4. Trigger Cut Slanted & Enchanted
5. Gold Soundz Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
6. Shady Lane Brighten the Corners
7. Spit On A Stranger Terror Twilight
8. Blue Hawaiian Brighten the Corners
9. Major Leagues Terror Twilight
10. Perfume V Slanted & Enchanted
11. Counduit for Sale Slanted & Enchanted
12. Rattled By the Rush Wowee Zowee
13. Range Life Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain
14. My First Mine Westing (by musket and sextant)

6 Responses to “Pavement’s Wowee Zowee Goes Deluxe”

  1. Ben Says:

    This band. Everywhere. I tried to go back and listen to CR, CR and S&E this past month. Give them another shot, I thought. One million indie dudes can’t be wrong, can they?

    Yes, yes they can. Pavement is, without a doubt, the most overrated band after 1980. Granted still puts them like 8000 stars below even a lesser light of the ridiculously hyped classic rock period like, say, Ram Jam. The only thing for their era even close though is that yawner by Neutral Milk Hotel. Or maybe the first DJ Shadow record. Why I should be excited about this stuff, I’ve never understood. Like most indie rock, I feel like I’m being asked to enjoy it for things it’s not (“corporate,” tightly crafted, catchy, fun, melodic, danceable).

    Sure, yeah, whatever, Ben doesn’t like indie rock so his opinion is crap. Well, maybe, but — for real — Archers of Loaf put out two singles better than anything this band ever released. Why can’t that be acknowledged?

    Though I wouldn’t listen to your mix. Looks enjoyable. Could use maybe “Loretta’s Scars” yet. Interesting that you put TT above WZ. Most Pavement fans I know do that in the reverse. And why didn’t you include “Cut Your Hair?” Seems like a natural inclusion on a best of.

  2. Ben Says:

    Err, I mean I would listen to your mix. I type about as well as I dance.

  3. Matt Says:

    Before I ever listened to Pavement I got into a fight with a girl over them. We were talking about her favorite artists, and she said Chris Cornell (ugh) and Pavement. I was intrigued by Pavement and asked her what they sounded like. She insisted that they didn’t sound like ANYBODY and it was impossible to describe their sound. Hmmm, a band whose stunning originality resists any attempt to capture it in words, a band with no antecedents in the whole of pop music history. That DOES sound intriguing. Seriously, though, what do they sound like? She continued to insist they didn’t sound like anybody. Not that SHE couldn’t or didn’t feel like comparing them, mind you, but rather that any such act of comparison was impossible. For some reason I couldn’t let this go, and continued to hector her until the conversation petered out in tense silence. So much for our would-be date, although the Cornell probably would’ve been a deal breaker. Still in my mid-twenties, not yet at the peak of my looks, no way could I compete with his handsomely anguished poses or wispy moustache.

    I did end up borrowing some Pavement CDs, and Wowee Zowee was the first I listened to. I wonder why you don’t include “We Dance” on your mix.

  4. Dave Says:

    Pavement/Malkmus isn’t for everyone, Ben. It’s ok. I was first introduced them when Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain came out, and I didn’t get ’em at first, either. Then Wowee Zowee did nothing to change my mind. It was Brighten the Corners and Terror Twilight that got me hooked. Yeah, I know the die-hards say TT is too slick, too tight, too good or something. It is the slickest, tightest thing they did, and it’s great. Have you spent much time with their final 2 albums? If not, it may be worth your time.

    As for “Cut Your Hair,” it kicks off side B of said mix. Feels like a good opener to the second half.

  5. Ben Says:

    Fair play. Love the date story.

    Also, best SM solo song = ‘Dynamic Calories.’ Anyone who tells you otherwise is a liar.

  6. Dave Says:

    Chris Cornell does have a hell of a voice.

    My vote for best Malkmus solo song: “Pencil Rot”

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