I’ve tried to get into Pavement multiple times – and wrote about the experience here – but something just hasn’t clicked. I did however thoroughly enjoy this GQ profile of the band’s maestro, Stephen Malkmus, by the ever-hit-or-miss Chuck Klosterman. He’s in hit mode here:
There’s an inherent problem with writing about Pavement: People tend to know nothing or everything about them…Over the span of five albums and nine EPs, Pavement became a decade-defining band, widely regarded as essential and game changing (at least among those who cared). Malkmus is completely aware of this. This being the case, I return to our discussion about Jay McInerney: Since just about everyone now concedes that McInerney’s self-perception as a writer was adversely impacted by the avalanche of criticism he received in the years following Bright Lights, Big City, I ask Malkmus if he’s had the opposite experience: Does being endlessly told you’re a genius make you feel like one? Did having so many people insist that Slanted and Enchanted was brilliant change the way he now thinks about those songs?
“Of course it does, in a way. But no matter how much positive feedback you get, it’s never enough.”
The whole, relatively short-ish profile, is here.