The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Post-Pitchfork Appearance, Stephen Malkmus Talks The History Of Pavement

By Tankboy in Arts & Entertainment on Jul 29, 2010 3:20PM

Photo by Roger Kisby
Pavement's Stephen Malkmus is often described as arch, almost the embodiment of the postmodern musician, but every time this writer has ever run into him Malkmus has always been unfailingly engaging and polite. So it's refreshing to hear him come across so comfortably and clearly in his interview with Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot on this week's Sound Opinions. He talks with the local music critics after Pavement's appearance at The Pitchfork Music Festival about his old band's entire career; from the earliest days of ex-drummer Gary Young's studio to Makmus apologizing for dropping names while mentioning it was on Thom Yorke's advice that they work with Nigel Godrich on their final album. He also discusses their "golden period" a.k.a. those albums upon which the critical tastes of almost an entire generation was formed saying:

Crooked Rain and Wowee Zowee, that was, not to take like take a lot of credit but I played almost everything on them, but there are key parts -- not drums, only drums a couple of times -- and Scott would add really key elements and play on his songs, and add really nice textures.

And did Malkmus know Terror Twilight was going to be the last Pavement album? He says, "Mm … as it went on, I guess so" primarily blaming the burnout of "the treadmill side of" the press junkets over the previous ten years along with "the creative, kind of, stagnation. That too. It's all kind of cumulative after ten years. That's why bands don't keep going."

And, who can we thank for the band getting back together? Their longtime Chicago-based booking agent extraordinaire Boche Billions would yearly bring up the idea of a reunion -- no pressure -- and when he asked the last time it just seemed like an appropriate moment to do so. Don't worry kids, they won't overstay their welcome like the Pixies and stretch the reunion into an unending tour, but Malkmus does admit he might be down for touring with the boys in the band again … in ten years or so.

In fact the only thing Malkmus doesn't talk about is why he was sporting a head of grey hair at his solo Pitchfork Music Festival appearance a few years ago, yet a few weeks ago he took the stage sporting uniformly brown lock. Hm.

Hear the whole interview, and it is a god one, on Sound Opinions, airing locally on WBEZ Friday night at 8 p.m. and Saturday morning at 11 a.m. Can't catch the broadcast at those times? The podcast will be up Friday night for your listening enjoyment.

Pavement plays Millennium Park on September 13.