Everything is Ending Here : a Tribute to Pavement
/homesleep; 2003/



more info:


Celebrating Pavement was not SEB WOOd’s idea but he agreed to help out and so he wrote a little speech. According to Blacklisted Igor, it was a good opportunity to educate the teen masses filled with nu-metal fans sorted out with Korn and Slipknot shirts.

Seb Wood clears his throat and approaches the microphone with a slight look of despair in his left eye. He knows that these grey persons who sit in the dark room in front of him are getting bored by the ceremony which began 3 hours ago in the blizzard of February.

He gathers several sheets of paper and adjust his ear-plugged-wire-connection with Angus Anderson who is sitting in the back of a 1979 GM van a few blocks away from the Gary Young Center where the ceremony is taking place. He is eating a cheeseburger with French fries.

Angus : Ok, Seb. Nice and slow, just like a little bird flapping for the first time in a winter chill.

Seb Wood : Good evening ladies and gentlemen. Pavement has been one of the most influential indie bands in the 90’s and Homesleep decided to pay them homage by working on a tribute album, which is highly deserved since not only they played terrific idiosyncratic noise-pop but they have had a nice laid-back attitude right from the start. On Terror Twilight tour, they played once a show with Muse and while the latter band was acting as rock-stars, Pavement arrived on stage joking with their guitars up the shoulder… Spiral Stairs supervised the album himself. Since they announced their project, Homesleep has apparently been flooded with requests for cover songs, that is why the result is a double cd containing 36 tracks.

Angus : Keep breathing, you are doing great. You must keep in mind that we are too much fans of Pavement to be truly objective about these songs and they know that, but you must not sound as a musical terrorist because they won’t listen to you then.

Seb Wood : Tributes are usually rather boring except for 2 or 3 songs but this 2cd tribute to Pavement released by Italian label Homesleep is really pleasant. The intrinsic quality of Pavement’s original songs has undeniably something to do with it. As Daniele from Homesleep explains in the cd booklet, “some Pavement songs are directly bound to exact moments in my life”… That’s the theme Spearmint chose to their contribution to the compilation which is an original indie pop-song whose lyrics are composed of many Pavement’s song titles. We did a similar thing reviewing Pavement’s dvd (LINK), I guess it’s a fan thing…

Angus : ok, enough for the introduction, I think you got their attention now. Forget your papers and get in the ring. If you fight this generation correctly I’ll never say again that we are underused.

Seb Wood : The choice of the covers is great because there are not just Pavement’s famous songs but b-sides as well and they are taken from all albums. Sure, one can be disappointed if their favourite song is not here but you know, heaven is a truck ! The only drawback concerning the covers is that there are 3 versions of ‘Here’. I know this song is most people’s favourite Pavement number (it’s mine too actually), I know the tribute’s title comes from the song, I know if you’d have to choose a song to represent Pavement’s attitude, it would be this one, I know the music is brilliant and the lyrics are outstandingly awesome (‘I was dressed for success but success it never comes’), but why 3 times ? Number one Cup’s version is nice but it is so similar to the original. Lunchbox’s version adds brass and a female voice which give the song a 60’s aspect. Tinderstick plays the song with their own touch and turns it into a late-night depressed crooner complaint.

Angus : Don’t get so carried away mate, Here is not my favourite, Slanted and Enchanted is not my favourite Album. I’ve always preferred Brighten the Corners and Crooked Rain. My favourite songs are Type Slowly and Stop Breathing. The latter is covered by Boxstep and I must admit that it is a courageous try. The two voices singing add different harmonies to Malkmus’s style and the music does not rely on the tension the original does but I like it.

During this moment when SEB WOOd carefully listens to Angus’ advices, the masses has no leader to follow. One teenager named Dave R stands up to go to the toilets but the masses mistake him for a leader and follow him. SEB tries to carry on while the atmosphere becomes slightly boisterous.

Seb Wood : Sorrrry mate. Anyway, a lot of the songs are faithful covers, which becomes sometimes a little dull because one is tempted by playing the original versions. These are not of much interest (Magoo’s version of ‘Perfume V’ is really nice though), so we might concentrate on the bands who succeeded in appropriating the songs.

Angus: say this: when the music is almost the same as on the original, we are tempted to concentrate on the singing and we must admit that it is never as good as on the original. Indeed, Fonda 500’s version of ‘Box Elder’ is falsely shambolic, as if they only had made a remix of the original song. Garlic plays ‘Gold Soundz’ without changing a note, so as Lenola with ‘Kennel District’ or El Goodo with ‘Trigger Cut’. What a pity, these bands respect Pavement and the song they have chosen too much to be able to transfigure their admiration into something personal enough to be interesting.

SEB WOOd: hmm so let’s concentrate on…

Nu-metal fans are getting itchy while Seb decides to remove his ear-plugged connection. They probably thought Terror Twilight was a nu-metal title but they were mistaken. The masses start to howl and soon become a black mob. At this very moment Seb wood waves the audience goodbye and leaves the stage quickly. He throws away his tuxedo that made him look like a thin Italian gangster going to a dinner at The Russian Time and gets out in the street, searching Angus and the van and thinking “I wish someone would have dared cover Pavement’s hip-hop try entitled ‘Robin turns 26’ (from the boring Groovebox compilation)”. He climbs in the passenger’s seat and the van slowly leaves the gloomy alley to reach Murray Street, heading homewards.

The rest of the review is made from the papers Seb Wood left on stage that night.

Solex introduced their own style in ‘Shady Lane’ which becomes a catchy amusing song with a fidgety childlike aspect. They did not bother to respect the chord progression strictly and offer an amusing version of this already catchy hit single. Bardo Pond suffused ‘Home’ with their slow noisy style. Italian band Julie’s Haircut offers a nice power-pop version of ‘Summer Babe’ enhanced by the addition of efficient guitar gimmicks. Saloon’s cover of ‘Shoot the Singer’ is a catchy pop song guided by a pleasant female voice. Fuck’s version of ‘Heaven is a Truck’ resembles a Sparklehorse ballad with its slow mellow drive and fragile singing. The song surprisingly introduces a reference to ‘Conduit for sale!’ which is unfortunately not covered: someone keeps repeating ‘I’m trying’ over the phone at the end of the song. Yuppie Flu makes a real touching acoustic melodrama out of ‘Give it a Day’ which reminds me of Vic Chestnutt. Appendix Out ‘s clumsy folk version of ‘Frontwards’ is close and yet personal.

C-kid and Future Pilot Aka are playing down-tempo versions of respectively ‘In the mouth a desert’ and ‘Range Life’. The latter is here a dreamy track that makes it a nocturne song while the original conveys a diurnal pastoral melancholy and you imagine a slacker settle down in an open country farm. On the contrary ‘In The Mouth a Desert’ strangely verges on trip-hop sounds in which the guitar melody is played by a xylophone.

We’ll stop here. It becomes boring when the reviewer discusses all the songs. In addition, SEB’s notes were heavily trampled by this nu-metal angry teen mob.

Let’s say that this tribute is a nice one and that it is mostly constituted with interesting versions of Pavement songs.

-SEB WOOd & Angus Anderson

/mar 1st 2003/