this ep is so good!!!
yeah this EP rules
wrong thread again but
liked that one
man, I love silver jews, a lot of their stuff is neck and neck with pavement, but I feel like this whole “silver jews is the REAL pavement and pavement actually sucks lol” thing has been this annoying hipster trope since american water first came out.
pavement never started sucking or became a caricature of themselves. what does that even mean? they were always a caricature. all of their albums are great. silver jews honestly are a lot more inconsistent, but when they were good they were often better. but both bands were doing very different things and it’s always seemed like a forced comparison.
terror twilight is honestly way worse than any of their other albums imo but I don’t think that’s particularly interesting on its own, no, and conversely I’m a huge brighten the corners fan so to whatever extent that early pavement fans are snobby about malkmus being reduced to crowing “I’ve got the right to sit on that face” by 1999 I agree that yes, they were always a caricature
maybe that article tries too hard to set up berman’s work as more real or more genuine and I agree that’s a boring angle but I do love “sought to destroy it” as the contrast to just mocking modern rock, it doesn’t necessarily cast that as wiser or more noble or even more viable, it’s just berman out there being berman
I don’t think they’re so different as to not be worth comparing though – I get the same worn-down lyricism and long guitar notes from all of my favourite malkmus songs the same as I do berman’s. no one is as much like either of them as they are one another; not bonnie prince billy or galaxie 500 or anyone else you might compare them to.
I think the only really frustrating part of this is that it sets up the silver jews as “what malkmus would write if he liked himself a little less” which frankly is never far off, that’s most of the appeal
Hot take: all of these bands suck
I will never understand how people feel this way! but to each his own I guess
I mean okay but I don’t really see anything transgressive about anything silverjews have done like this article is trying to make it out. like… like that’s just incredibly silly to me. american water is a beautiful piece of work but there really isn’t anything “challenging” about it in any way, it’s very digestible and dare I say accessible? and and and like this claim:
is just absurd to me because like just because American Water isn’t like testosterone fueled riff rock doesn’t mean it doesn’t have its own issues with misogyny (literally all so-called “Sad Bastard Music” does and it bums the hell out of me honestly).
And beyond that like… American Water isn’t some kind of bold statement of an album. It’s a personal, introspective work, humble in its intentions and small in its scope. That’s part of why I love it so much.
idk this kind of music journalism is just really annoying to me but I guess all music journalism is bad so w/e
“i wanna do new shit”
Hot take: literally the only kind worth listening to
This is the coldest take of all time tho
sorry cuba’s boorishness is leading me to actually engage with your post where I would otherwise be content to agree to disagree
the thing with Terror Twilight is like… it’s basically Pavement’s Face the Truth, it’s a lot of Malkmus riffing on his own, the singles are openly sweet and emotional to the point of making you second guess them, and as much as I adore Billie and Carrot Rope, it’s the only Pavement record where there isn’t, like, a ton of B-Side material left on the table representative of them just being silly and jamming together and then Malkmus overwriting some lyrics on top of it, which is quintessentially Pavement if anything is. there’s pretty much just Harness Your Hopes, which, in fairness, rules. they had like three major eras of production as a band – Slanted-era, when it was just Malkmus and Spiral and Gary Young; Crooked Rain-era, when they were briefly popular and did Lollapalooza and had so much leftover material they made Wowee Zowee out of it; and Brighten the Corners era, when they were (slightly) older and got back together to polish a whole other proper record. by Terror Twilight they were just done and it shows that it took them an extra several years to get the remaster out compared to the others.
I certainly allow some poetic license on behalf of the author of the piece because I’ll never get tired of hearing fawning takes on my favourite record, but if anything I think the way the transgressiveness is characterized is sort of backwards from what’s actually interesting about it – with Berman you have this living, breathing, tragic figure who appears to be comprised entirely out of truer-than-life Americana, and this was the one record he let his megastar buddy be a near equal partner on and play as directly to the popular rock of the day as he ever did; it’s not like Crooked Rain where Pavement was really explicit about their posturing, but it’s not that far from being the 1998 version of that. the piece pitchfork wrote last year sort of gets at that: https://pitchfork.com/reviews/albums/silver-jews-american-water/
fair, but I think this piece glances at the more interesting parts of what Berman was doing here – the country influences, the tone that’s more genuinely sad than self-pitying, and so on.
I agree that Terror Twilight isn’t really a “Pavement” record but it also owns, and also Face the Truth owns (as long you ignore “I’ve Hardly Been”).
Anyway I think maybe we don’t disagree that much after all about most of this.
Not around here!!
holy FUCK this is perfect