Somebody Likes It Ep 6 – Pavement: “Slanted and Enchanted”

So… some people have called me out because in our last installment I teased this week’s show with the wrong artist. I said it was gonna be Father John Misty, when in fact it is Pavement. Ok, let’s just say that I was that somebody…nobody but me actually knew about that snafu, cause this show hadn’t been posted yet. But credit where credit is due I think! Shout out to Shane Bartell for not continuing to ignore his fuck-up. Well, you’re welcome, Shane, getting a little too comfortable with picking up the pieces for you by now… please quit screwing up so we don’t have to do this one again.

Ok! Now that this embarrassing incident is behind us, let’s get on to the story.

For some of us that came of age in the 90’s, Pavement pretty much defined the middle part of that decade ( for a whole hell of a lot of people it defined the whole decade.) I fall somewhere in the middle of that line of thinking…Pavement was everywhere but always in the background. I have many fond memories set to their soundtrack.

For this episode, Ryan just had to pick the one Pavement record I don’t love. However, I truly believe it set the tone for what was to come for a large segment of indie rock for years…and that includes Pavement’s subsequent records. After listening to, and talking about “Slanted and Enchanted”, I’ve arrived at the conclusion that this record is both the weakest in the Pavement canon, and valuable mostly as a place-marker in the history of American rock music. I think anyone listening will see how ambivalent the 3 of us were about it…

Actually, let me turn it over to Ryan for a minute and see what he has to say…

After an agonizing 12 minute wait, Ryan says:
“Thanks, Shane. I take full responsibility. Not for the content of Slanted and Enchanted, as I did not write it or perform on it. But I did, in fact, select this record for our latest installment of the meeting of the minds (and drinks) that is “Somebody Likes It.” And in fact, “ambivalent” does go a long way to describe my feelings for this particular slice o’ wax. At the risk of sounding like a newlywed who picked the highly-touted restaurant for an anniversary dinner and found it lacking (and then took to Yelp to let the world know), I really wanted to like this more. Even more than that, I wish that that each and every rock critic in the free world at that time had liked it less. Perhaps then we’d have all been saved from a decade of smug, lazy wielders of Tascam cassette recorder “bedroom prodigies”. Laden with down-tuned guitars and a distaste for song structure, they pretty much convinced the hipsterati at the time that they were the next big thing. I, much like Shane, very much appreciate Pavement’s subsequent output, but had some trouble digesting what sounded to these ears like nothing so much as some really talented dudes just screwing around and barely trying. Ryan Newsum

Couldn’t have summed it up any better than that.


Next Week—Father John Misty. This time for real…

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