Tagged: pavement

Long Playing: Pavement – Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

Long Playing is hopefully going to be another series of semi regular posts which we’ll feature here on Elba Sessions blog. Our thought behind

it is to give a bit of time to albums that have stayed with us for a while or that we’ve recently rediscovered. Yes, we love to hear new music and our quest for this won’t rest, but there’s so many good records rattling about from the past that we kind of feel, it’s a shame we never blogged about that when it was out. In some cases we might pick an album that was out before the advent of writing about music on the internet, other times, we may simply have been too young or the album might have been a slow burner.

In today’s case, blogging in it’s primitive, early forms was only just beginning, not getting popular until years later. As the title states, I’m talking about Pavement’s 1994 album, ‘Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. I was only 10 when this album came out, so I’m maybe a little young to qualify on speaking about the meaning of the album or what it represented at the time. The thing is though, I do remember it coming out. I had a brother, eight years my senior who was really into his music, he still is of course, but at the time he spent all of his money on buying new records and reading music magazines. With the age gap, I of course looked up to him and listened to the music he listened to and skimmed the magazines he read, not really knowing what it all meant but knew that I liked most of what I was hearing.

I don’t remember specifically when this album came out, i just remember my brother having it in his tape collection, yep cassettes, that fondly thought of, now ‘DIY’ format. If memory serves, it was one of those cassettes that’s cover was landscape rather than portrait. I may be mistaken however.

The only track i have really vivid memories from that time was Cut Your Hair. In hindsight, this was an obvious choice for a ten year old and unsurprisingly Pavement’s most mainstream success. The name alone was something I imagine that I found amusing at the time and it’s cathy ooh’s. It’s still a song that i immensely enjoy and was again the song that made me revisit Crooked Rain years later.

I remember being at a gig in a venue in Aberdeen called The Tunnels (google tells me April 2006) and hearing the DJ play Cut Your Hair between the bands. It probably wasn’t the first time I’d heard it in 10 years but it was the occasion that made me sit up and think, I’ll need to track that album down. I had such great access to music at home with my brother’s ever expanding, cassette, CD and Vinyl collections that until I was nearing my late teens, I had no need to buy music, that’s not to say I didn’t but I had little to no record collection to speak of until later. I simply borrowed and listened to his.

Of course, by 2006, cassettes were gone and they weren’t quite back ‘en vogue’ by that time. Added to that, I was older and no longer had access to the archive of things that I used to listen to as a relatively young soul. I had to start filling the gaps.

I discovered with Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain that it was much more than Cut Your Hair. There was ‘Gold Soundz’, ‘Silence Kid’ (or Silence Kit if you read with or without the ink stain on the back cover), the rambling ‘Range Life’ and the dissonant sounds of ‘Stop Breathin’.

It’s an album I come back to again and again. I’ll go through phases but over the course of this year, I’ve been listening to it more and more and I’m guessing that because with new bands like Smith Westerns and Girls, Pavement’s influence is definitely there so I’m listening to the new and before of that genre.

I finally got to see Pavement live last year at the Barrowlands and it wasn’t a disappointment. They delved into their back catalogue and several Crooked Rain songs featured.

Stephen Malkmus has since forged a successful solo career of his own with the backing of ‘The Jicks’ and has just released his fifth album called ‘Mirror Traffic’

He plays The Arches in Glasgow on Nov 11th and i’m going to head out to that, secretly hoping there will be a couple of Pavement tracks thrown in for good measure. I’ll keep everything crossed…

Elba Annual 2010 – Al (Armellodie Records)

Going into the home straight in this year’s Elba annual with just a handful of posts left, the last installment before Christmas comes courtesy of Al from Armellodie Records. It’s been a fairly hectic year for Armellodie (must be hard releasing all those excellent records!) and it shows no sign of slowing down in the New Year with a Glasgow residency (more on that at the foot of the post) and a pile of great releases planned.

We decided not to go with the Armellodie logo adorning the top of the blog, instead, here’s Al looking like a crazy fool!

Album of The Year

Have One On Me by Joanna Newsom.

And another two on me…Ivory Tower by Chilly Gonzales. American Gong by Quasi.

Best Gig (by someone else…)

Have three on me… Joanna Newsom at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow (September). Randy Newman at the Royal Concert Hall in Glasgow (May). Pavement at All Tomorrows Parties in Minehead (May).

Favourite New Band(s)

Depends on your definition of ‘new’ but have another three on me…

The Douglas Firs.
Nosferatu D2 (so new they’ve split up already).

Musical Memories of 2010

The year that Armellodie became a little less tiny and the great records that made it so, Super Adventure Club, The Scottish Enlightenment, Kill The Captains, and Thirty Pounds Of Bone, the pleasure was all mine.

Hopes/Plans (music) for 2011

BARmellodie is where it’s at in 2011. From January to June, Armellodie Records is going residential in Bar Bloc in Glasgow on the third Friday of every month, with Armbands, and guest acts performing, plus guest DJs and ArmelloDJs spinning Armelloditties at the Armellodisco. You couldn’t accuse us of not driving the brand home. Good times and more good times.

As Al mentioned, Armellodie are launching their monthly BARmellodie residency at Bar Bloc in Glasgow from January. I’ve had a peek at some of the line ups and they look absolutely cracking. January sees Elba blog favourites Le Reno Amps take the stage along with Battery Face and The Douglas Firs as well as the ArmelloDJ’s and yours truly taking on the wheels of steel. This all takes place on January the 21st. If you need any other info, head over to Armellodie HQ. Some future dates will include Thirty Pounds of Bone, The Scottish Enlightenment and Super Adventure Club playing their hit-laden albums in their entirety

Elba Annual 2009 – Phil Elba

My turn, let’s keep it snappy…

Album of The Year – Loads to choose from! Titus Andronicus – The Airing of Grievances probably tops the list though. Honourable mentions to Brakes, The Pains of Being Pure at Heart, Le Reno Amps, Cuddly Shark and The Cinematics, oh, and The Phantom Band! (I could go on…)

Favourite New Band – Again, several! I’ve heard loads of new stuff from doing the blog and going out to gigs. Top 3 in no order at all would have to be Maple Leaves, Julia and The Doogans and The Scottish Enlightenment.

Best Gig (Elba) – All of the gigs we’ve put on so far have been pretty memorable for various reasons. The first night at The Liquid Ship with Le Reno, Calum MacDonald, Paul McLinden and Only Living Boys was a total treat and I think we all felt a sense of achievement at the end of the night. However, all of the gigs have been great fun and we’ve had some very talented people at each night.

Best Gig – It would probably have to be Springsteen at Hampden. It was a great day all round and it was fantastic to finally see him live. Also really enjoyed Brakes at King Tuts early in the year and seeing Chris T-T as Sleazies was pretty sweet as well!

Best Memories of 2009 – Apart from getting married and going on honeymoon (photo above), probably getting involved with Elba and setting up the blog. It’s opened my eyes to loads more music and I’ve had a lot of fun putting on the gigs and meeting people as well as starting to just pop along to gigs as well with my Elba cohorts to listen to a new band. As a musical memory, I’ll not forget Le Reno Amps playing ‘Body’ at Tuts with Marc from Brakes playing pedal steel. It’s a beatiful song and was a nice moment.

Hopes for 2010/Things You’re Looking Forward To – Putting on more gigs, writing more for the blog (and getting better at it), seeing and hearing loads of new music, working with Armellodie records and seeing it evolve, Pavement at the Barrowlands (!!!!!!!) and putting some faces to email addresses!


SEE YOU IN 2010!