#tbt Pavement / Westing (by musket and sextant) (1993)
Technically not a real Pavement album, this was the first Pavement record I bought. I was 14 years old, I had a gift certificate to Record City, and I went with my brother and purchased this CD along with Shellac’s At Action Park. I have to admit – it took me about a year before I really understood it. All that fuzz, distortion, I was thinking, are they purposely trying to sound like shit? I was no stranger to punk and fuzz and heavy guitars, I was already really into Sonic Youth and the Pixies. But this album was difficult to digest. After giving it some time to marinate in my young brain, it became a favorite. I was able to identify the diamonds that lay in rough of each song. Combining the influences of Sonic Youth, Silver Jews, and Swell Maps, each track is a little pop gem hidden beneath layers of fuzz and distortion. You can identify the seeds of Stephen Malkmus’s whimsical indie pop genius. Westing, which combines early Pavement EP’s Slay Tracks (1933 – 1969), Demolition Plot J-7, and Perfect Sound Forever, was an early release for Chicago label Drag City, and no doubt helped to solidify their credibility. The Wedding Present also went on to cover Box Elder, which went on to become an indie classic. The Drag City catalog recently became available on Spotify, so you can now check out this album for yourself. Check out Box Elder below.