Pavement – The Secret History (The 405, 2015)

Published in August 2015. Read the full article.

From the piece:

Recorded in the garage of the band’s first drummer Gary Young, the album was concocted among home-barbequed chicken, some of the band’s “Stockton buddies [who] would come over to drink our beer,” and a set up of “a few small amps, no bass, with just the guitar played through a bass amp.”

When Pavement needed to play together during recording, Young would have to start the tape machine – in an adjacent laundry room – and then run into the garage to play, before going back out again to stop the tape machine between takes.

“It got to the point,” writes Stairs, “where Gary got so tired from running back and forth that we started settling for the first or second takes.”

This is a beautiful way for listeners to imagine Pavement; to hold in mind the image of innocent, garage-dwelling indie rockers and weight it against the actual sound of each recording. Because that image is there, but so is the sound of a set of thoughtful, obsessive, original and – above all, perhaps – precise musicians.

You’ll find the beauty of Pavement in that uneasy combination, and it’s evident as much on The Secret History, Vol. 1 as anywhere else: which is why it’s such a shame that the compilation doesn’t need to exist…

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