By Bryan Charles
Pavement wrapped up at Easley Recording in Memphis. They combined the tracks and recorded overdubs in manhattan. They took a step again and assessed the fabric. It used to be a wild scene. they'd absolutely fleshed-out songs and whispers and rumors of half-formed ones. they'd songs that a hard-to-gauge inner common sense. that they had punk tunes and kingdom tunes and unhappy tunes and humorous ones. that they had fuzzy pop and angular new wave. that they had raunchy guitar solos and stoner blues. they'd pristine jangle and pedal metal. the ultimate tune checklist ran to eighteen songs and stuffed 3 facets of vinyl.
Released in 1995, at the heels of 2 immediate classics, Wowee Zowee confounded Pavement's viewers. but the list has grown in stature and lots of diehard lovers now think about it Pavement's most sensible. Weaving own background and reporting—including vast new interviews with the band—Bryan Charles is going trying to find the tale at the back of the checklist and unearths a bit of paintings as elusive, anarchic and transportive now because it was once then.
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Extra info for Pavement's Wowee Zowee (33 1/3 Series)
Stone Temple Pilots or some bullshit. Why can’t Pavement be the most popular band in the world? Funny he should mention those two bands. Maybe it was an intentional or unconscious allusion to Range Life — in which STP also takes a hit: Stone Temple Pilots, they’re elegant bachelors, they’re foxy to me, are they foxy to you? I will agree, they deserve absolutely nothing, nothing more than me. I smiled when Lombardi said this. I didn’t — couldn’t — tell him I love both bands. • 46 • WOWEE ZOWEE Smashing Pumpkins are one of my all-time faves.
A while after that he met Bob Nastanovich. Malkmus, Berman and Nastanovich were rock dudes. They went to shows and bought vinyl and jocked out on obscure bands. They were DJs at the college radio station, WTJU. They got turned on to all kinds of new shit. They formed a noise rock outfit called Ectoslavia. David eventually took control of the group. He gave Stephen and Bob the heave-ho. Stephen played in a couple other bands — Lake Speed and Potted Meat Product. He graduated college. He rolled back to Stockton.
I returned to my seat and popped a tablet. I phased in and out of consciousness. Now and then I looked around at the sleeping people. I wanted to keep everyone safe, even the nail ﬁle guy. Please let us land, I thought, please just let me get down from here. I didn’t know who or what I was addressing. A bright orange line formed on the black horizon. I glanced at my watch. Time was compressed up here. Time was fucked up. It was only midnight. It was already dawn. • 53 • B ob Nastanovich joined Pavement in a desperation move and became a band linchpin and secret weapon.