From The Delgados to Spare Snare, Pavement have been an inﬂuence on countless Scottish bands of a DIY/lo-ﬁ persuasion. But what Rodger Evans wants, yes, what he really really wants, is to know whether they beat Courtney Love at table tennis.
Show off rent-a-quote author Douglas Copeland may have cornered the market in all that Generation X shtick but Pavement were there. or least thereabouts. before him. Slanted And Enchanted. their quixotic debut long player was not so much the slacker ethos in a nutshell as twentysomething ennui in an egg cup. ‘I was dressed for success/but success it never comes.’ being but one memorable lament. Five years and as many albums down the line. they‘re back. you lucky, lucky people.
‘We‘re sort of reaching a point when we‘re the old guys. the veterans. like Sonic Youth were to us,‘ says drummer Bob ‘zimmer' Nastanovich. ‘The last time we played was in February . . . I forget that I'm in the band 48 hours removed from the last gig. but for the next six or seven months we‘re going to be on tour. You‘ve got to want to be back up there. not only to play but to perform, the whole shebang. We want to put ourselves back on the map.‘ Move over there. young ‘uns.
‘There are more tem'ble bands than ever.‘ he bemoans. ‘Watching MTV, I see nothing but bands who must have been dreamed up in the conference rooms of corporate rock offices . . . Sparklehorse are one of the few things I‘ve heard that haven't made tne sick in 96.‘ Looking to this side of the pond. Bob admits to having heard little new music save for The Tindersticks’ s immaculate cover of Pavement’s own
‘Here‘ which he describes as ‘smooth. a really nicejob.‘
Asked about contemporaries. the conversation brightens. ‘I never mind seeing us in the same category as Sehadoh especially since they‘ve existed in the same time frame and we‘ve played with them in the past. Jason (Loewenstein) lives in Kentucky where I live. he‘s a good friend. I've seen us tossed in with Beck but that's a real reach. His music is so much different, more funky. more danceable. fun music.‘
Pavement shared the bill with the Beckster himself, Cypress Hill and Hole. among others. on the monster Lollapalooza tour across the States. Was the experience a treat or trial?
‘Jesus Lizard were great to be around and Sonic Youth are old friends. It’s the ﬁrst time we got to know Coco (Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon‘s baby) . . . and we really got into bowling! We‘d be off stage by six so we made the tour of America's bowling alleys. There were some serious ping- pong contests too. Lollapalooza had a very summer camp-y feel.‘
And did playing in front of festival- size crowds inspire the band to want to reach beyond their standard constituency — college kids and the indie fraternity?
‘We would like to but we’re not going to make any compromises musically to get there,‘ he replies. The forthcoming LP Brighten 'l'he Corners is wonderful
Pavement: more frantic action and fun-filled japes caught on film
testament to this no short-cuts policy,
from the opener ‘Stereo‘ (:1 Captain Beelheart stomps The Pixies affair) to the funeral march on roller skates that is final track ‘lnfmite Spark‘. It‘s a record closer in spirit to l994's Crooked Rain than the last album Wowee Zmr'eel
‘In terms of being a traditional alhum length and of being more cohesive. this is much more a (.‘rookeil Rum type of record.’ concurs Bob. ‘th'ee Zolt'ee.’ is sporadic. it's a long listen and it pulls you in all directions. This one has more of a relaxed groove and it's a positive thing we intend to transfer into playing live. We‘re ready to go.‘ Pavement play (flux-gou- Se/um/ ot'xlrt. Tues 21 Jun.
ramm- Taking up the baton
Something very special has happened to the Scottish Chamber Orchestra. They have appointed a new Principal Conductor. Principal conductors are never run of the mill, but this one is, by all accounts, someone rather remarkable indeed. In Joseph Swensen, who comes from Japanese and Norwegian parentage, the $00 believe they have identified a great conductor who will enhance their enviable reputation even further while being welcomed by players and audiences alike. “The thing about
Joseph Swenson: compelling conducting
Joseph,’ says 800 Managing Director Boy McEwan, ‘is that he is a very instinctive musician. lie is an outstanding violinist, who has appeared as soloist with major orchestras, including the SCO. lie’s recorded the Beethoven concerto with André Previn and the Sibelius with Jukka Pekka Saraste. But he felt constrained by being a violinist and wanted to concentrate on conducting.’ It is a background which brings all sorts of advantages. ‘ile is such a well-rounded musician,’ says Boy McEwan, ‘as well as being a compelling character. lie works in a very collaborative way, involving everyone.’ his performance of Beethoven’s Erolca last year drew extremely positive press coverage and, says lioy McEwan, ‘it was clear that he would be snapped up fast. the
orchestra was very enthusiastic about him and we are now looking forward to the January concerts as part of his eight weeks of the winter season, in addition to touring and recording with us.’
the January concerts see Tippett, Tchaikovsky and Mendelsson (including the acfefin which Swensen joins the SCO Chamber Ensemble as first violin), while an all Brahms programme beckons in February. lie is not pigeon-holed into any particular area of repertoire, preferring to cover the whole range, including new Scottish music. ‘ile’s got great confidence in himself’ says Boy McEwan, ‘and is confident about making things work.’ (Carol Main)
The $00 appear with Joseph
Swensen at Queen’s Ila/l, Edin, Jhurs 16; Olly IIall, Glee, Frl17.
46 The List 10-23 Jan I997