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MEcropped2.jpgBY JONATHAN VALANIA I met Stephen Malkmus once and all he said was ‘Sorry.’ Actually, ‘met’ is probably overstating it, it was more like he stepped on my foot as brushed past in a VERY crowded Khyber Pass. This was back when the release of Slanted And Enchanted landed Pavement at the exact center of the indie-rock universe. Not much of an exchange, but it set the tone for future encounters. The next time I heard from him was a couple days after Christmas and hours after he was supposed to call, his voice compressed through the tinny, pea-sized speaker of my answering machine, sounding not unlike his singing voice. Lethargic. Halting. Cryptic.

This is one of the guys you are supposed to talk to this week. I got stuck in a snow storm. I’m in between. This is Stephen. I can’t be reached.

Malkmus was driving from San Francisco to his parents’ home in Sun Valley, Idaho, on a path that a particularly virulent patch of winter weather was also following. According to the Weather Channel, they were having real build-an-ark kind of weather up in avalanche country. When he finally makes it through, two days later, he apologizes again — this time for not caring. “You caught me at a bad time for doing interviews,” he says. “I just went to Europe and did 400. No disrespect to you, but I just lost my patience with it. I just can’t smile for the camera like I used to anymore.”

Here are some things that Stephen Malkmus doesn’t particularly care to talk about: He is 30, or damn near it. He malkmus.jpgwas born in Los Angeles. He grew up in Stockton. In the ninth grade, he was kicked out of private school for an adult-beverage-related incident. He studied history at the University of Virginia, and graduated four years later with a working knowledge of obscure Fall b-sides and obtuse Krautrock aesthetics. Upon graduation, he spent eight months backpacking across Europe and the Middle East.

While working as a security guard at the Whitney in New York, he got busted for jumping a subway turnstile and spent the night in jail. He tends to drop the word ‘compression’ into every conversation. Courtney Love once called him “The Grace Kelly of Indie-Rock.” He recently met Pete Buck at a club in Seattle and drove around in the R.E.M. guitarist’s Range Rover at 3 A.M. listening to an advance of New Adventures in Hi-Fi. He really doesn’t want to talk about this. In fact, he doesn’t even want it mentioned in the story. I only bring it up because he won’t be reading this. “I don’t read any of our interviews anymore — I’m just not interested in the media asking ‘what’s it all about?'” he says.  [Magnet, Feb. 1997]

PAVEMENT           Brighten The Corners:  Nicene Creedence Ed.


Tracks 1-12

The original album was released in Feb ’97. This version (and the rest of this set) has been remastered from the original tapes and sources.

13. And Then (The Hexx)

originally released as B-sides to “Spit On A Stranger” May ’99, but this is the unedited full version, previously unreleased. It was also originally planned to be the opening track to ‘BTC’.

14. Beautiful as a Butterfly
15. Cataracts

Both are unreleased songs. ‘BTC’ session outtakes.

16. Westie Can Drum
17. Winner of the
18. Birds in the Majic Industry

originally released as B-sides to “Stereo” Jan ’97.  “Birds…” is the unreleased full-length vocal version (original release was instrumental).

19. Harness Your Hopes
20. Roll with the Wind

originally released as B-sides to “Spit On A Stranger” May ’99. They’re included here as both songs (as well as “And Then (The Hexx)”) were recorded and mixed during the ‘BTC’ sessions in 1996.


1. Slowly Typed
2. Cherry Area
3. Wanna Mess You Around
4. No Tan Lines

originally released as “Shady Lane” B-sides, June ’97.

5. And Then (The Hexx)
6. Harness Your Hopes
7. The Killing Moon
8. Winner of the

BBC session 1/15/97. Tracks 5, 6 & 8 unreleased. “The Killing Moon” on “What’s Up Matador” comp Aug ’97, and “Major Leagues” single Oct ’99.

9. Embassy Row Psych Intro
10. Nigel

‘BTC’ session outtakes. “Embassy” is an unreleased intro, “Nigel” an unreleased song.

11. Chevy (Old to Begin)
12. Roll with the Wind (Roxy)

previously unreleased versions of ‘BTC’ session songs.
13. Oddity

originally appeared on the “God Save The Clean” tribute CD, 1997.

14. Type Slowly (live)

originally appeared on the “Tibetan Freedom Concert” CD, 1997.

15. Neil Hagerty Meets Jon Spencer in a Non-Alcoholic Bar
16. Destroy Mater Dei
17. It’s a Rainy Day, Sunshine Girl
18. Maybe Maybe

Recorded live at KCRW’s Morning Becomes Eclectic 2/25/97. Tracks 15 and 16 are previously unreleased songs.

19. Date w/ IKEA
20. Fin
21. Grave Architecture
22. The Classical

John Peel Session 8/21/97. Tracks 19 -21 previously unreleased. “The Classical” appeared on “Major Leagues” single Oct ’99.

23. Space Ghost Theme I
24. Space Ghost Theme II

Both unreleased songs, live at WFNX Boston, 2/12/97
– – – – – – – – – – – –
All the original album tracks as well as B-sides and studio outtakes were recorded by Bryce Goggin and Mitch Easter in the Piedmont Triad July 15-30, 1996. The album was mixed by Bryce Goggin and Pavement at Water Music September 10-20, 1996.

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