When someone walks up to me and says "Pavement," I get this kind of beatific, swoon-y smile on my face. Actually, now that I reflect, I don't think anyone has ever once walked up to me and said "Pavement," but I wish someone would that was not in the construction business, because I love Pavement, and Pavement is a band, and that band played the Paramount Theater in Seattle and I saw them and I can PROVE IT by writing this. PAVEMENT!

I am going to right up front admit two things: 1. I have never seen Pavement play live before, and; 2. I felt like I was cheating on the Dandy Warhols, who by exquisitely-painful coincidence were playing Bumbershoot at the EXACT SAME TIME. You know I love my Dandies big-time, but since I did see them in Seattle and Portland this year already, I decided that Pavement would get my giddy smiles this time. Why I didn't see Pavement play before is pretty simple -- they originally formed at the same time I originally became a parent. In their initial run, they put out five albums and some assorted other stuff; I put out 2 of 3 kids. I was too kid-beat to see shows; they broke up before I got my second wind. Yet fate ensued, and Pavement recently reformed, no doubt completely so that I could go see them. Even my third child, MissSeven, grew up enough to make getting a babysitter a much easier event (see: 1st child = CouchTeen, The World's Laziest & Most Disinterested Babysitter).

Why do I love Pavement? Aw, man, are you kidding me? Pavement is one of the Grand Bands of Indie, forefathers you might say, figuring out in the 1990's what it meant to be Not New Wave, Not Grunge, Not Metal, Not Cali-Punk, Not Michael Jackson Nor The New New New Beatles, as MTV slowly tightened up and relegated the odd/interesting new bands to 120 Minutes or Alt Nation. There always seemed to be a strong current of improvisation to the band, which could also on some days be called "sloppiness," or "general insanity," which I always found rather charming and Kinks-like. There are big personalities in the band, most notably frontman/songwriter Stephen Malkmus, who is funny, smart, highly musical, and weird. His lyrics are often called cryptic, but damn, they sure make sense to me, whether lighthearted or disaffected or dark. You need people like this in rock n' roll, and hope that they don't implode along the way. Pavement, also like the Kinks, did their own thing despite it all, and over the years became one of those very influential bands that nerds like me and others far more influential than me swoon over.

Pavement is a great band. That's what I think, and that's what I heard at the Paramount. Song after great song, passionate performances, funny comments, sloppy starts, many smiles. If you couldn't be there, here's a little something to help out, as best I could manage from the balcony.


"Gold Soundz"

"Father To A Sister Of A Thought"


"Kennel District"

"Range Life"

"The Hexx" and "We'll Dance"

(A few more pix here.)

For god's sake, go see Pavement if you have a chance this time 'round, even if you are giving birth to your 19th child and have a reality series lined up.

After the show, I was too happy/amped to just head right home, so I stopped across the street for a drink and some small noms. Fate winked at me when I walked out the restaurant door to the sidewalk, one foot away from Zia McCabe of the Dandy Warhols. I wanted to give her a big sisterly hug and go OMG, but left her to the night, all kinds of wonderful music from the day still making its way up to some distant planet past the clouds, surely.