Pavement Quarantines the Past

Since the landmark release of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain in 1994, it’s often been said that every indie band since Pavement has been influenced by its deceptively simple music – which in fact hit Abbey Road-like heights at times – and singer/guitarist Stephen Malkmus’ affectionate literacy. Yes, Pavement is back together after 11 years apart; and yes, their new “best of” collection will make that reunion more profitable. Serious Pavement fans already own and cherish even the most hard-to-find recordings the quintessential indie rock group recorded from 1989-1999, but for newbies and those of us who only own the longplays and a few singles, Quarantine the Past finally offers cheap and pleasing access to highlights of the NorCal heroes’ entire catalog, from lo-fi pre-Matador cuts to 90’s hits like “Cut Your Hair” to EP and compilation obscurities.

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