LIVE PREVIEW Pavement Glasgow: Garage, Thu 18 Nov.
You may choose to believe statements like 'Terror Twilight, Pavement’s fifth album proper, sees their indie credentials give way to their latent classic rock status', posted on the band‘s official website. You may, on the other hand, choose to agree with Pavement’s multi- instrumentalist Bob Nastanovich when he dismisses such tosh as a ’journalistic high-horse statement.‘ But hang on Bob. perhaps your 'latent classic rock status' is the reason that the band are currently residing in a hotel frequented by boy bands - n’est ce pas? This is it. Pavement have broken into the mainstream!
'I don't think so.’ Bob realistically responds in his cuddly east-coast drawl. 'I hope not anyway. I just think it would be so much more trying to be in a boy band - all those screaming girls waiting outside the hotel and stuff. Thankfully nobody recognises us - the crowds just let us right through.‘
Well, perhaps this 'classic rock' theory rests in Pavement’s recent compulsion to cover Creedance Clearwater Revival's 'Sinister Purpose' live. Or maybe it's tied to the theme behind Pavement’s gorgeous current single ’Major Leagues’: ‘Bad girls are always bad girls/Let 'em in', intones singer Stephen Malkmus over a delicate, ghostly folk backing, perhaps a reluctant acceptance of Lady Luck dealing Pavement a winning hand for a change. Unfortunately Bob can’t clarify these matters, but he agrees that there seems to be a greater emotional involvement in the songwriting of Terror Twilight.
Major fatigue: Pavement
’Stephen made more of an effort with lyrical themes and their execution. Generally he took this album a lot more seriously.’ Malkmus' trademark vocal style and ambivalent lyrical content in the past may be a factor - perhaps it was just time to lay things more on the line. Not that it'll ever make him write a heads-down love song. Another line from 'Major Leagues’ encapsulates his nonchalance: 'Relationships, hey, hey, hey.’
Terror Twilight marks the tenth anniversary of Pavement’s own relationship - and like any other it's needed work to deliver both its highs and lows. But the old magic gel is still there, says Bob. ’We just enjoy making songs. Y'know, I can't believe it's 1999 already. For a start, 94 and 97 just didn't seem to exist thanks to excessive touring, and now we're on the road again. But I'm just thankful that there's a steady interest in the band.’ And while we're on the subject of relationships, Bob explains a somewhat ulterior motive to touring: 'I always thought of us as providing a good service to young couples who got the chance to meet each other at our gigs.’
The Pavement Singles Network certainly sounds like an intriguing idea. But does this mean that their current tour marks the terror twilight of Pavement, the band? 'Well, after this tour we're going home to hibernate again. Then come summer or fall we'll decide what's going to happen next.’
Their future may be cloudy, but one thing is certain - with ten years of pioneering musical puzzles to draw on, Bob will be the only one stifling a yawn at a Pavement gig. 'l’m looking forward to hibernating. actually - I'm a naturally tired person. I’ve been tired since I was 15.’ (Jan F. Zeschky)
She was working on a degree in Comparative Literature at Sarah Lawrence College in New York, with singing as a side interest, when she visited London in 1993. It was to prove an unexpected turning point in her life.
'l came to London not really intending to stay very long, but I began to make musical contacts, and I guess I just fell into it. Once it started happening, though, I committed myself to it very seriously.’
That commitment included marrying saxophonist Jim Tomlinson, her ever-present musical as well as life partner, and the aforesaid trio of albums for Candid. She has been the subject of a television documentary
JAZZ PREVIEW Stacey Kent
Edinburgh: Queen’s Hall, Fri 5 Nov.
The recent release of singer Stacey Kent's third album will add further lustre to her fast-growing reputation, which isn't bad going for someone
44 THE "ST 4-18 Nov 1999
Accidental heroine: Stacey Kent
who never really intended to be a professional singer, jazz or otherwise. She grew up in New York in a household where classical was the dominant music, although she is retrospectively aware of absorbing the classic jazz repertoire from its ever present background in television, films, and restaurants.
back home in New York, and won the best female singer category in last year's British Jazz Awards against some strong opposition.
The new album, Let Yourself 60, is a polished and highly affectionate tribute to one of her great heroes, Fred Astaire. Check out what all the fuss is about when she visits the Queen's Hall for this one-off Scottish concert. (Kenny Mathieson)
This issue: Dan Match, singer and guitarist from Edinburgh six-piece Khaya
What was the last record you listened to?
Ballboy’s ‘Silver Suits For Astronauts' EP. Ballboy are my favourite other Edinburgh pop group.
What was the last single you bought? I think it was a thing by Smog, tracks from their new album acoustically or something.
What was the last album you bought?
The Rachels' new album. They might be the resaon we have strings in our band.
Name a new band you'd trust with the future of music.
Our band. Why would we do it otherwise? God Speed You Black Emperor! Gabrielle I quite like, believe it or not.
Which artist or record first made you want to make music?
Sonic Youth. Weird chords and stuff and quite scary. ’Weird Chords' would be a good name for a band.
Who was the first pop star you had a crush on?
Juliana Hatfield. Her voice is great. What song makes you cry?
‘I See A Darkness’ by Bonnie ‘Prince' Billy. A very beautiful song. That whole album, in fact, is brilliant. Very moving. It might be my favourite album.
Name a gig that changed your life.
A jazz band in New York, drinking whisky. None of us really like jazz but it was amazing.
Name a band or artist who has inﬂuenced you.
The Velvet Underground or Palace at a push. I don't really feel influenced by bands. Probably more influenced by William Burroughs and gospel music. Who would be on your dream Top Of The Pops?
The Velvet Underground, Palace Music, The Make Up, Khaya, Galaxie 500, Rachels and Ballboy.
What do you play when you're getting ready to go out?
Our first single, or Dionne Warwick. None of us really go out that much though. We always travel with Iron Maiden on loud to get us in a good mood.
What do you play as an aid to seduction?
I Khaya’s new album Avoidance is out now on 5L records.