Pavement is great. Nobody is here to argue otherwise, because nobody is that foolish. As one of the most influential bands from the ‘90s indie rock scene, it should be no surprise that there are Pavement cover bands out there. One such band is called Crooked Corners, who take their name by combining two classic Pavement albums, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain and Brighten the Corners, into one. They bill themselves as “The Ultimate Pavement Experience.” While seeing the actual Pavement would probably be more ultimate, given how their reunion tour went, that’s probably not something we will ever see again. However, for some folks down in Nashville who went to a recent Crooked Corners show, they got the next best thing: An appearance from two actual Pavement members.
Steve West, who took over from the unreliable Gary Young on drums after Slanted and Enchanted, and the undefinable Bob Nastanovich, took the stage to help perform some classic cuts from Pavement’s nigh impeccable discography. They went with a couple of the weirder Pavement songs, “Stereo” and “Conduit for Sale,” although they were fitting with Nastanovich there. West and Nastanovich also were there for a performance of “Range Life.” Some other songs were probably performed, because three songs is hardly an “ultimate” experience, even with two actual, factual Pavement members on stage.
Crooked Corners are clearly the most fortunate Pavement cover band out there. It seemed like a great evening for all the diehard Pavement fans in the audience, and, let’s face it, it was only diehard Pavement fans in the audience. Meanwhile, Stephen Malkmus was probably off somewhere getting ready for the upcoming NBA season, being very blasé about the very notion of a Pavement cover band. Which is okay, because he’s Stephen Malkmus, and he can do what he wants.