Saturday, December 31, 2005

Happy New Ear Eve all. Before I go out, get shitty and begin wandering the streets screaming “WHY?”, I’m gonna write about music rather than poetry in honor of this special occasion.

W, my dear old friend who lives with B and I gave me the double CD reissue of CROOKED RAIN, CROOKED RAIN by Pavement for xmas. Were it not for Pavement, I don’t think I’d have made it out of my teens, and CR CR was the first Pavement album I bought, right when it came out. It’s planted firmly somewhere at the base of my sense of self. This reissue, which came out in 2004, and which includes things from singles (many of which I had), unreleased songs, and some early versions of things that made it on WOWEE ZOWEE (their best album) and BRIGHTEN THE CORNERS (their last good album), is something of a revelation. It sent me back to my other Pavement records, to the second Malkmus solo album that a friend burned for me, and to the record store where I bought TERROR TWILIGHT (their last album, which is not so good, save the last song, “Carrot Rope”), the first Malkmus solo album, and the new 7” by Cat Power, which is really fucking exciting.

Malkmus’s lyrics certainly share the fragmenting tendencies of contempoetry, and it’s not surprising that his cohort David Berman of the Silver Jews has also become a successful and well-regarded poet. Anyway, I’d never forgotten how good this music is, but I didn’t realize how good it could be to me right now.

TERROR TWILIGHT, which I’d heard when it came out, though I thought I was over Pavement then, is something of a disappointment. I remembered not thinking much of it years ago, and I don’t think it’s going to open up for me very much right now. The two songs by Cat Power on the 7” are a little preview of her upcoming album, called THE GREATEST, are both stunning. I gather she went into the studio with a band of Memphis pros. After MOON PIX, it seemed like everyone thought she was on the downhill slope. I really liked YOU ARE FREE, which has a number of really beautiful and haunting songs. The new music is as dark and moody as ever, but, with the tight backup band, has a power and thickness to it that her sound often lacks. I’m excited as hell for the rest of the record.

Haven’t gotten to the Malkmus solo yet.

Well, I’m off to hit the bottle. I hope everyone has a lovely time celebrating.

3 comments:

andy mr. said...

The CR CR reissue is great. I'm glad that the compiled all the b-sides and stuff onto one album: "Strings of Nashville" and "The Unseen Power of the Picket Fence" are highlights.

I was really disappointed by TT when it came out, but "Spit on a Stranger" is a good song and "And Then" the B-side of the 7inch is good too.

"The Greatest" is totally fucking awesome. I can't wait to hear the whole album.

howie said...

craig,

i read this review of a few recent collections of poetry. i'm curious to know if you've read any of the poets mentioned and what your thoughts are on the review.

http://www.cprw.com/Houlihan/wolff.htm

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