"It's sick the amount of stuff people know about those in the public eye, when they probably don't know the first thing about their next door neighbor." This quote by Stephen Malkmus (about the song 'Silence kid') probably suits well with the biography phenomenon. Why is it we want to know about the bands we love? Aren't the great albums they produce and the fantastic concerts they give enough? Some people do want to know all the dirt, some want to know who the people in the band are in order to understand where the songs are coming from and to relate more to the music and the band. In the case of Pavement, this book goes in the understanding and relating better department.
This biography is made in agreement and with help of all the band members, they all tell about their time in the band and how they thought about it. From the very beginnings of the band when Malkmus and Kannberg met and became friends, met Gary Young, how they met the others, how everything worked, it's all told here in a very readable way. The layout of the book is in its finest Pavement tradition, no page is quite the same, sometimes the page numbers are written down rather than just numbered, there's nice photo collages and it reads like friends are telling you about their band.
The book contains the highs and the lows and is honest and pure. It makes you understand more how the band worked while the members lived in various parts of the country, every album has a short description of the songs and how the album came together, it shows you about the special friendship they had and still have, plus the complexity of being and being with Stephen Malkmus in Pavement. It also gives a wonderful insight of the alternative rock scene in the nineties.
I would recommend this book to every Pavement fan and everyone who loves nineties alternative rock music. The book however is published in 2004 and a smile does appear on ones face when reading about a possible reunion in the future ("It is possible!") but it also gives a double feeling reading Kannberg's girlfriend/wife look on things and how she has been involved with the band from the very beginning knowing they're now divorced (resulting in Spiral Stair's fantastic 2009 album 'The Real Feel'). The book isn't old or outdated though, it's a wonderful read.
Originally written in July 2010 for a different blog