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Hello, Yaniv and Kamotch here, and we hope you like Pavement! Because if you do, we have one hell of a pack for you. (and if you don’t, now is a great time to check them out!). By now, it’s safe

HOLYYYYYYYY SHIT!!!!! WHATTTTTTTTT THE FUCKKKKKKKKKKK, LEGENDARY RELEASE RIGHT HERE!!! THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU

Christ, when I saw all the Pavement songs in the database I nearly had a heart attack, had to come over here and read through this post to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  One of my favorite bands ever,

  • 2 weeks later...

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Hello, Yaniv and Kamotch here, and we hope you like Pavement! Because if you do, we have one hell of a pack for you. (and if you don’t, now is a great time to check them out!).

By now, it’s safe to say that Pavement are among the greatest legends of indie music. The California-based rock band, led by singer-songwriter-guitarist Stephen Malkmus, have started gathering their cult following in the early 90’s. They had one brush with mainstream success with “Cut Your Hair”, but have opted not to sign to a major label and were seemingly happy to stay underground. 

Pavement are considered to be one of the most influential bands of their generation, and are widely credited with inventing the modern "indie" sound. Their music is notable for Malkmus' humorous and often cryptic lyrical themes, blistering guitars and drums, and the sloppy aesthetic in their music, usually performed live with mistakes being kept in. Pavement enjoy a huge following worldwide, are universally critically acclaimed and are widely regarded as one of the best rock bands of the 90’s. They reunited for a hugely successful world tour in 2010, and were scheduled for a second reunion headlining 2020’s Primavera Sound festival, but the event was postponed to 2021 due to Covid-19.

Both of us are huge Pavement fans, and we’ve teamed together to bring you no less than 18 (!!!) of their songs to Rock Band. So, let’s begin…

 

Slanted & Enchanted

“I think Slanted and Enchanted probably is the best record we made, only because it's less self-conscious and has an unrepeatable energy about it”

-Stephen Malkmus

 

Pavement’s debut album is widely regarded as a masterpiece and a milestone of indie music. It’s noticeable for the lofi sound, and being the only album to feature drummer Gary Young (who was fired from the band because of his drinking problems, and being unable to keep a constant tempo - his playing was too sloppy even for Pavement). The album widely circulated underground on cassettes, slowly gaining attention for it’s brilliant hooks and songwriting. 

It’s now regarded as a stone cold classic: Pitchfork awarded the album their maximum grade of 10.0/10.0 and ranked it as the fifth greatest album of the 1990s, Rolling Stone called it "the quintessential indie rock album" and placed it on the magazine's list of the 500 greatest albums of all time, Billboard called it a "slacker masterpiece" and "the definitive indie rock album", and so on. We’re happy to bring to Rock Band no less than 7 out of the album’s 14 songs.

 

Click on visualizers to download!

 

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Custom By Kamotch

The opening track to Pavement's debut LP: “Summer Babe (Winter Version)”! For many people, this was their first exposure to the band and it remains one of their most popular songs. Years before discovering the customs community, I had made a drum chart for the song in REAPER and loved to “play” along with it from my computer screen. It's an honor to finally release the full-band version to the public. 

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

The second song off "Slanted", "Trigger Cut" is another classic Pavement - melodic, catchy, brilliant guitars and drums, puzzling lyrics that are still weirdly touching. It's a live staple and a fan favorite, has some great drum fills to play, and ends with a nice jammy instrumental coda.

 

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Custom By Kamotch

The lyrics to this song have long been speculated. The title is, of course, “No Life Singed Her”, and yet the lyric from which the title is supposedly derived doesn't sound like he's saying that at all. It sounds more like “No life for gingers” instead. While this is an odd message, it's just impossible to hear the title of the song as the actual lyrics. They're not even the same amount of syllables! Anyway, respect to any gingers who download the song. It's a blast on drums.

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

One of the album's masterpieces, "In the Mouth a Desert" is a bit of a psychedelic ballad, with a rousing chorus that has Malkmus singing on top of his voice - "I've been crowned the king of id" - while somehow still maintaining the album's overall lo-fi sound. It's a classic Pavement jam and builds up to a rousing conclusion, and widely regarded as one of the band's best ever songs.

 

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Custom By Kamotch

One of my favorites from their first album. As far as I know, “Loretta's Scars” isn't a particularly popular song among fans, but I've always been fond of it. It has a nice chord progression. There are some keys throughout the verses, but they would have been difficult to transcribe, so the most prominent parts I've incorporated into the guitar chart. Please don't hate me for that. 

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

"Here" is a somewhat rare gentle moment in this electrifying album. It's a classic melody by Malkmus, evolving from his lower range to the higher, with touching lyrics such as the classic opening lines, "I was dressed for success/but success it never comes". It featured on movies like "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and "The Art of Getting By", and is another all-time great tune from Pavement.

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

Immediately following "Here", "Two States" is the polar opposite - it's Pavement's at their silliest and somehow still best. Written by guitarist Scott Kannberg, it's a short, upbeat song with a great drum beat about wanting to split California into two states. Featuring some awesome guitar work by Malkmus, you're now free to scream "FORTY! MILLION! DAGGERS!" like so many Pavement fans have been doing for years.

 

Watery, Domestic

Sandwiched in between the two biggest Pavement records, “Watery, Domestic” is a 4-song EP that’s a definite fan favorite. Noticeable for it’s infamous rooster cover, the EP is just 12 minutes long, but it includes it’s fair share of classics, and we’re happy to bring 3 songs from it to Rock Band.

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Custom By Kamotch

Texas Never Whispers” opens up the EP, which ended up being the last record with original drummer Gary Young. But it's a terrific record to go out on. All 4 tracks are great, with 3 of them appearing in this very pack of songs! Of the 3 though, this track in particular is a great showcase of Young's skill as a drummer. Also, check out that deafening key intro! Magma killin' it with the autogen venue!

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Custom By Kamotch

Guitar and Bass by Yaniv297

I once wrote a paper in college about Pavement's contribution to the Lo-Fi movement and titled it “Pavement: So Much Style That It's Wasted”. That title, of course, comes from this song, “Frontwards”! It's such a good descriptor of the band, I just had to use it. The song itself is kind of a slow jam, maybe not super interesting on any individual instrument, but it's one my favorites to listen to. Plus singing the song, with that line in particular, would likely be pretty satisfying.

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Custom By Kamotch

My favorite song on “Watery, Domestic”, “Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)”. I don't really know what it is about the song, it just makes me feel good whenever I hear it. Most of the lyrics don't make much sense to me, but boy if I don't get pumped hearing “Slow it down, song is sacred / And brother, you're a hunter and you're right at home.” It's nonsense, but I love it!

 

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain

Pavement’s second album is widely regarded as their second masterpiece. It showcases the band moving away from their lo-fi sound and a bit closer to a more accessible sound, while not deserting their great songwriting and imperfect aesthetics, with most of the songs recorded in one or two takes. Five key tracks from the album are previously available for Rock Band: “Silence Kid”, “Stop Breathin”, “Gold Soundz” (named by Pitchfork as the best song of the 90’s) and “Unfair” were charted by Yaniv, while lead single and modest-hit “Cut Your Hair” was converted from Guitar Hero by Mr. Prezident. We’re happy to add two more to the mix:

 

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Custom By Kamotch

At one point -- and this has since changed -- I remember consciously deciding this was one of my 3 favorite songs of all time. It was “Elevate Me Later” along with Superchunk's “Cursed Mirror” and Modest Mouse's “Polar Opposites”. After this release, all that's left is the Superchunk song, so look forward to that at some point! As for this song, supposedly it was first conceived as a sort-of sequel to Loretta's Scars from the first album. A demo version even exists with the title “Ell Ess Two”. Fun fact!

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

Guitar, Tempo Map and initial Vocals by Kamotch

One of the biggest songs from the record, “Range Life” is a beautiful song with a breezy country-rock vibe. It features Stephen Malkmus fantasizing on a simpler life of the countryside, “if I could settle down - then I would settle down”, over some brilliant guitars (3 guitar solos!) and some nice piano (a rarity for Pavement). The chorus is unbelievably catchy and “Range Life” is one of those undisputed Pavement classics.

It’s also a fairly controversial song, because of the third verse where Malkmus seems to diss the Smashing Pumpkins (“I don’t understand what they mean and I could really give a fuck”) and Stone Temple Pilots, which allegedly caused the Smashing Pumpkins to pressure Lollapalooza festival into kicking Pavement out of the lineup (a rumor that was denied by the Smashing Pumpkins). But Malkmus insists he didn’t mean to diss the band which he likes, but only their status in music and was meant to laugh at himself and how out of touch he is with the times. Regardless of this silly beef, “Range life” remains a classic song and a fantastic addition to Rock Band.

 

Wowee Zowee

After “Crooked Rain” and “Cut Your Hair” in particular, Pavement were well positioned to break into rock mainstream. But instead they decided to release their weirdest album to date - the clattered, varied, 18-songs long “Wowee Zowee”, who’s been compared to their “White Album”. The album was so unusual, that many speculated it was deliberate from Pavement who were “afraid of success” and wanted it to fail. But Malkmus insists the songs “sounded like hits” to him, even though his judgement might have been influenced by “smoking a lot of grass” at that time. The album received mix reviews at the time, but found it’s audience over time - the Rolling Stone magazine originally gave it 2.5 stars out of 5, but in 2014 declared it “a masterpiece”. “Wowee Zowee” has it’s fair share of absolute gems, and is wildly loved by the Pavement community, and we’re happy to bring two songs from it:

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

Kennel District” is one of the rare tracks in Pavement’s catalogue, that wasn’t written by Malkmus but by guitarist Scott Kannberg, aka Spiral Stairs. It’s a sweet, beautiful song - even uncharacteristically sweet, because it’s less puzzling than the average Malkmus song - with some brilliant drum fills, and overall it’s a really great song to play in Rock Band.

 

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Custom By Kamotch

Back on the old Harmonix forums, in the “Ultimate Setlist” section, there would occasionally be “Community Setlist” threads where users would suggest bands and songs to be voted into a hypothetical Rock Band sequel. The day had finally come where a band I knew and liked was being voted on -- Pavement. I had long since acquired the deluxe versions of their first 2 albums and that apparently made me an expert. I don't even remember which song I voted on, but I knew the one that ended up winning, “Grave Architecture”, was a song I had never heard at the time. And after finally charting the song, I gotta say they made a really good choice. Very good full-band song! Might be my favorite drum solo to play in the game.

 

Brighten the Corners

The fourth album from Pavement saw them getting back to a more accessible and cohesive sound and approach, and represents another strong set of songs for the band. It’s notable particularly for it’s two opening tracks, both of them are stone cold Pavement classics and presented here:

 

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Custom By Kamotch

Guitar and Bass by Yaniv297

Stereo” is one of Pavement's biggest hits. It's also one of their weirdest hits. They performed the song live on television at least a couple times, much to the audience's confusion. Stephen Malkmus goes from singing to talking to yelling at various points in the song. It's gold! Most importantly, it includes perhaps the best exchange in musical history: “What about the voice of Geddy Lee? / How did it get so high? / I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy.” “I know him, and he does!” “And you're my fact-checking cuz.”

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

Shady Lane” is a classic Malkmus composition. It’s not easy to say what it’s about - something about differences between social classes - but anyway it’s filled with delightful Malkmus wordplay and one-liners, such as the classic “You've been chosen as an extra in the movie adaptation of the sequel to your life”. It’s possibly one of the catchiest Pavement songs ever, particularly the brilliant “oh my god” sequence in the chorus, and is widely adored by hardcore and casual fans alike.

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

AKA the extremely curious case of “the Spotify hit”.

If you’ve looked up Pavement on Spotify, you’d find that their most popular song - by a wide margin too - is a b-side called “Harness Your Hopes”. So how come an obscure b-side, from their least popular album, suddenly became the band’s most well known song? For years it was a gem for hardcore fans only. It wasn’t featured in any movie, wasn’t covered by anybody. In the 2010 reunion tour, it wasn’t played at all, which confirmed its status as an obscure gem. So what happened?

The answer is, well - nobody knows. You can read an entire article about it here, jumping into theories of Spotify algorithms that somehow made the song popular. It's a mystery - maybe some random dude on Spotify just likes the song, and apparently it went viral on TikTok at some point - but there it is. An obscure b-side that almost nobody heard for years, have become their biggest hit 30 years later.

Or maybe there’s another reason - it’s just a great fucking song. It’s catchy as hell, it has some top-level nonsense lyrics and some unforgettable lines - “Show me a word that rhymes with Pavement, and I won't kill your parents and roast them on a spit” - and as far as fun goes, it has to be one of the most purely-fun songs Pavement has ever done. And now you can enjoy all that fun in Rock Band!

 

Terror Twilight

Pavement’s final album, “Terror Twilight”, has all the classic ingredients of a breakup album - a barely functioning band whose members live in 5 different states, an outsider producer (the legendary Nigel Godrich, producer of Radiohead and Beck) who admired the band, yet didn’t quite fully gel with them, an alternative drummer brought in for 2 songs to replace Steve West because of inner conflicts, and so on - it’s basically the “Let it Be” of Pavement, and was more of a Malkmus solo project than a real band effort. However, Malkmus is still an amazingly talented songwriter and this album still have quite a lot of beautiful gems. One is the opener “Spit on a Stranger”, charted previously here. Another gem is this one:

 

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Custom by Yaniv297

Major Leagues” is one of Pavement’s softest, most sentimental songs to date. It’s a lovely ballad full of beautiful guitars discussing a broken relationship. Guitarist Scott Kanenberg named it one of his favorite Pavement tracks, saying it’s “beautiful” and a “perfect pop song”, and saying Malkmus himself probably hated it because “He had something against playing great pop songs”. But lucky for us, he got over himself and put it on the record - and here it is, in all it’s gentle beauty, in Rock Band 3.

 

Phew! That’s it, this project took us a lot of time to complete and just kept growing as we couldn't resist throwing in more songs. We hope you enjoy the result! For Pavement fans this will probably be amazing, but if you're not familiar with them, or just know a few songs - this is a great opportunity to get into one of the best rock bands in history. We promise, those songs are a delight to play and work perfectly on Rock Band, and they're all fantastic songs. So have fun, let us know how it went, and see you next time!

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  • yaniv297 changed the title to Yaniv's workshop - Yaniv and Kamotch present - Pavement 18 (!!!!!) pack!

Christ, when I saw all the Pavement songs in the database I nearly had a heart attack, had to come over here and read through this post to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  One of my favorite bands ever, and all of this Pavement is like an early Christmas present!  Every one of these songs is a classic and I will no doubt play them all countless times, but I wanted to give thanks specifically for Kennel District, which is my favorite Spiral Stairs contribution to Pavement's catalogue.  I cannot wait to play all of these; thank you soooo much Yaniv and Kamotch, you guys just made my day, my week, my month....I could go on, this is incredible!

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15 hours ago, Harrug said:

Christ, when I saw all the Pavement songs in the database I nearly had a heart attack, had to come over here and read through this post to make sure I wasn't dreaming.  One of my favorite bands ever, and all of this Pavement is like an early Christmas present!  Every one of these songs is a classic and I will no doubt play them all countless times, but I wanted to give thanks specifically for Kennel District, which is my favorite Spiral Stairs contribution to Pavement's catalogue.  I cannot wait to play all of these; thank you soooo much Yaniv and Kamotch, you guys just made my day, my week, my month....I could go on, this is incredible!

Have fun! Reading this made me really happy. Pavement are awesome.

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Oh my god, what an embarrassment of riches!

 

I haven’t played in a couple of years, sadly, but after a big cross country move, I’m working on turning my attic space into a home office/rec room and I can’t wait to reassemble the old ions. 
 

These will be definitely be among the first songs I play! As I scrolled, I kept seeing more and more of my all-time faves. At this point the only Pavement song of “mine” that isn’t available is “Embassy Row.” Which to play first? I’m thinking “Two States,” which I always get stuck in my head whenever I hear anyone discuss the Israeli/Palestinian potential two state solution.  

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26 minutes ago, questionmark said:

Oh my god, what an embarrassment of riches!

 

I haven’t played in a couple of years, sadly, but after a big cross country move, I’m working on turning my attic space into a home office/rec room and I can’t wait to reassemble the old ions. 
 

These will be definitely be among the first songs I play! As I scrolled, I kept seeing more and more of my all-time faves. At this point the only Pavement song of “mine” that isn’t available is “Embassy Row.” Which to play first? I’m thinking “Two States,” which I always get stuck in my head whenever I hear anyone discuss the Israeli/Palestinian potential two state solution.  

"Two States" is about the idea of splitting California to North and South, but that misunderstanding is fairly common lol. Enjoy the songs, they're great :)

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