March 25, 1994, Toronto.
Pavement played the Palladium, Codeine opened.
There had been an intimate press conference earlier that I’d attended and and so following the gig, I found myself chatting yet again with Stephen West, Bob Nastanovich and Mark Ibold.
“I got stoned before the show,” said Ibold. “I haven’t ever done that. I forgot songs that I knew so well…”
Yeah, I suppose it is easy to forget songs that you know so well. But it is harder to forget your favourite bands.
It’s been about – oh – 10 years or so since I pulled Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain out of its sleeve, soit was time to go back. I went back to Pavement and Slanted and Enchanted and Wowee Zowee and Brighten The Corners, and what do you know? Still bonkers. And I haven’t forgotten the words to “Silence Kit”. Phew.
True, Pavement fans had other things to keep them busy over the years, like Malkmus and the Jicks. (Last last time I ran into him it was 2008 and he having a cigarette through a horrid mustache, outside a venue in Vancouver). But Pavement? Man, they were missed.
So it was with a great big indie rock non-committal and buttoned-down nod that I greeted the news late last year that the American oddballs were reuniting to celebrate their 20th Anniversary and bring the love back to the kids. I lie, I actually think I punched the air and said exclaimed something out-loud like “holy shit, really?”, but nevermind.
Last month, the newly reunited indie kings warmed up in Australia and will be hitting New York’s Central Park SummerStage, Coachella, Pitchfork and Sasquatch festivals in the US, Roskilde in Denmark, All Tomorrow’s Parties in the UK as well as a handful of other tourdates late-spring through to next autumn. Their best of, Quarantine the Past, is out now on Matador Records.
Which makes it high time to get a little nostalgic, throw back to those Gold Soundz and ask a Mr. Pavement- specifically, cheerleading percussionist Bob Nastanovich – to reflect on the things he loves.
And they would be what? Small, round, bits of pressed-vinyl, apparently. You can keep your iTunes vouchers and shove your high-falutin’ downloads where the sun don’t shine because PAVEMENT ARE ALL ABOUT THE LO-FI. Oh yes.
My Top 11 7″ Records by Bob Nastanovich:
“Touch Me I’m Sick”? Galaxie 500’s “Tugboat”? NICE. It IS easy to forget the songs you know so well, so it’s better when somebody cool reminds you of them.
But one here and now question remains: what’s the deal with the reunion, Bob? Why now? And what do you think about it all?
“I totally missed the excitement,” says the nice man. “And with some of the lads in the band having children and other bands, 2010 worked best for everyone in terms of timing. Plus, it’s nice that so many people still care about the band. Thanks!!”
Uh, no, thank you, Bob. We missed you.