on 13 September 2013
A good book that I enjoyed reading. The author Bryan Charles interviewed all the right people (including all five Pavement band members of the time), asked all the right questions and doesn't fall into the pitfall of analysing and over-analysing the lyrics. Some authors in this series do that ad nauseum - and often wrongly - yawn!
After the intro the book is made up of a series of interviews, along with the author's thoughts, and some interesting background about the band, what was going on, etc.
Charles is clearly quite a decent writer, which helps as he manages to maintain interest throughout. He also adds a further dimension by referring to events in his own life (particularly at the start) at certain points in the chronology of the band and the years in which he wrote the book, but it's never too off-topic and he doesn't allow that to come anyway close to taking over, so it remains an interesting background thread of some merit whilst the album remains fully in focus.
I differ from the author in that I always loved Wowee Zowee right from the off. As a teenager in England who'd got into Pavement around the time of the Crooked Rain Crooked Rain album, I bought Wowee Zowee as soon as it came out with hot anticipation. Some time before its release I'd listened in to a BBC Radio 1 session in which Grounded was played, and had been impressed. Alas, that session doesn't seem to have been included on any of the deluxe CD reissues... I remember that the album wasn't quite what I was expecting, but I immediately took to it. To me at the time it seemed like a cross between the previous album and the Westing compilation. (-My God, was that really nearly 20 years ago? how frightening!)
Just one opinion to take issue with: the Spiral Stairs song Hit the Plane Down on Crooked Rain Crooked Rain was 'arguably swappable' - you must be joking, mate! - that song makes that album damned near perfect!!