Like most of the boatman's call album, this one is very sparse - it's essentially the piano and Nick's voice. The lyrics are Nicks best ever effort though I reckon - it's him trying to decide if someone really is the love of his life: "well we would know, won't we?/ stars would explode in the sky/ But they don't, do they?/ Stars have their moment, and then they die."
It really does repay listening to about a hundred times - very moving.
from The Boatman's Call (Mute LC5834), available on CD
I get the impression that even a lot of Pavement fans don't know this one very well, presumably because it's on a pretty duff album (wowee zowee). However, it's one of my absolute favourite pavement songs. Musically it is very quiet - it's essentially just an acoustic guitar, though the funny noises the band make are quite entertaining. However, I really love the structure: there's nothing that can be called a verse or a chorus there - he just rambles on until he is finished. It has the full extent of Pavement's lyrics - completely ridiculous, funny, and sometimes very moving. Plus, as ever, malkmus' weirdy voice is a joy to listen to. So, if you like the pavement style - slow, quirky, funny, and often amazingly beautiful musically, and you don't know this one, you should really look into it. There's a brilliant solo version of it you can get off Napster (legally - Pavement distribute this stuff) - search for "we dance acoustic" - means you don't have to cough up for the album too.
from Wowee Zowee, available on CD
27 Jun 01 ·karlmort: this one has been among my fave pavement albums since it came out. this album has some stand out tracks like grounded , fight this generation and we dance. there is also a rare version of this song on a 7". it was released prior to wowee zowee. 30 Jun 04 ·your_namesake: absolutely love this track. can't agree with you on wowee zowee though, i think that's a brilliant album...
All birthday party songs are pretty much the same - start the drums, then the bass, and repeat these till the end of the song. Meanwhile, Nick rants over the top, and guitars come in at the dramatic bits. Sounds bad I know, but once you have listened to them about a hundred times, they suddenly become absolutely incredible. This is my favourite one - the unbelievably low bass line kicks in, and Nick yells such gems as "Express yourself! Say something! Say something! Like 'Er'! Or 'Um'! or 'Er'!" For about 6 minutes. Brilliant.
Honestly, I really like this one. I've done a lot of thinking as to the Max Martin style (ex-poodle rocker Max is Britney's songwriter and is basically responsible for the pop zeitgeist - he also does 5ive, NSYNC, Backstreet, even Bon Jovi these days), and believe you me, there is a pretty cynical formula here - verse, bridge, chorus, completely different verse, identical bridge and chorus, breakdown, then chorus to finish. Often this is pretty bad - NSYNC's its gonna be me is the nadir - but in this one it works really well - the verses are slinky, the chorus a classic pop one and basically the whole idea of oops! is pretty funny. I can't pretend I listen to it that often but I enjoy it when I do.
And people say eminem is hard - Julian was singing about drugs long before. This one is truly magnificent: "Then I heard my mother cry/ 'I'm out of my mind on dope and speed!'/ No no, let me tell you not no word of a lie..." Julian sings in a Scott Walker style. He also cheerily gives instructions to his musicians as he goes along: "This time, stay on A!". It's really good. For whatever reason, the album this was on was suppressed, but he stuck it out on the greatest hits (Floored Genius) anyway.
from Skellington (unreleased) available on CD - Floored Genius (Sony)