Unheard Cuts Bolster Pavement's 'Crooked' Reissue
Eleven never-before-heard tracks will be unveiled on Matador's 10th anniversary edition of seminal indie rock act Pavement's sophomore album, "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain." Due Oct. 26, the double-discEleven never-before-heard tracks will be unveiled on Matador's 10th anniversary edition of seminal indie rock act Pavement's sophomore album, "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain." Due Oct. 26, the double-disc set sports 14 additional unreleased versions of songs from the album, including a 1994 Peel Session on BBC Radio. The package will include a 40-page booklet with essays, rare Pavement photos and memorabilia.
"There's some things I would veto now and then, but Matador more than anything has been the driving force in digging up stuff and making these records into '90s classics," Pavement frontman Stephen Malkmus tells Billboard.com with a chuckle. "I mean, they're doing a 40-page booklet! I didn't even know there was that much stuff that you could use for this!"
Thanks to such infectious cuts as "Range Life," "Gold Soundz" and "Cut Your Hair," "Crooked Rain" exposed Pavement to listeners well beyond the confines of indie rock. The set is the band's top-selling to date, having shifted more than 234,000 copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan.
"There are some extras that I guess just failed," Malkmus says of unreleased tracks like "All My Friends," "Hands off the Bayou" and "Flood Victim." "There are some full songs that are pretty cool; they sound just like 'Crooked Rain.' They maybe have not as good mixes or bad singing, or are just slightly inferior. But they're still pretty good."
Malkmus says he never listens to old Pavement albums, but was pleased to hear "Crooked Rain" recently in a bar in his Portland, Ore., home base. "I made an effort to record it and mix it in a way that was not completely '90s," he says of the album. "In the end, if you listened to it a lot when it came out, it will take you back to that time. It's just a little more fleshed out than [the 1992 debut album] 'Slanted and Enchanted.' It's not necessarily more ambitious, but just by making a second album, it's more ambitious. On a first album, you don't know what you're doing."
Pavement split after 1999's "Terror Twilight," with Malkmus going on to a solo career leading the band the Jicks. He says there's no fundamental obstacle to a Pavement reunion some day, but it's not something he's anticipating in the near future.
"It doesn't feel exactly right yet for me to do it," he admits. "I mean, it could. I guess you just know when it's right, just like so many other things in your life. Or, you force it due to financial reasons or someone telling you how much you could make. No one has told us that, so that's not an issue at all. But we all get along; no one is like a lawyer with a huge caseload or has lost an arm."
As for the possibility of future expanded editions of other Pavement albums, Malkmus says, "they might run out of B-sides and stuff at [1995's] 'Wowee Zowee.' But they could go up to [1997's] 'Brighten the Corners.' There's a million extra songs from that one. That's a case where there are songs that were undoubtedly better than the ones on the album. Ultimately, it depends on how special Matador think the records are and if other people do too."
Here is the track list for "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain":
Disc one: "Back to the Gold Soundz" (Phantom Power Parable)
"Elevate Me Later"
"Cut Your Hair"
"Heaven Is a Truck"
"Hit the Plane Down"
"Camera" ("Cut Your Hair" B-side)
"Stare" ("Cut Your Hair" B-side)
"Raft" ("Range Life" B-side)
"Coolin' by Sound" ("Range Life" B-side)
"Kneeling Bus" ("Gold Soundz" B-side)
"Strings of Nashville" ("Gold Soundz" B-side)
"Exit Theory" ("Gold Soundz" B-side)
"5-4 Vocal" ("Gold Soundz" B-side)
"Jam Kids" ("Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" bonus 7-inch)
"Haunt You Down" ("Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" bonus 7-inch)
"Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" (from "No Alternative")
"Nail Clinic" (from "Hey Drag City!")
Disc two: "After the Glow (Where Eagles Dare)":
"All My Friends"
"Soiled Little Filly"
"Ell Ess Two"
"Bad Version of War"
"Same Way of Staying"
"Hands Off the Bayou"
"Heaven Is a Truck (Egg Shell)"
"Pueblo (Beach Boys)"
"String of Nashville (instrumental)"
"Brink of the Clouds" (John Peel Session, BBC Radio)
"Tartar Martyr" (John Peel Session, BBC Radio)
"Pueblo Domain" (John Peel Session, BBC Radio)
"The Sutcliffe Catering Song" (John Peel Session, BBC Radio)