I know nothing about David Berman. I know nothing about Bob Nastanovich except that he was in Pavement. I know nothing about Stephen Malkmus except he was in Pavement and “he seems to like [fantasy sports] more than music.“ American Water has my favourite opening line of all time: “In 1984 I was hospitalized for approaching perfection.” That’s a totally aspirational line. “Night Society” might be my favourite instrumental track as well. I listened to this a lot on trains, and it seems like a good train record, though not in terms of metaphor. By which I mean it’s hardly an album about transition, thematically, but the lack of distractions on a train provide an optimal experience for close listening, which American Water demands. It’s rich, it feels rich. Every line could be scribbled in the margins of a notebook or, These Days, pasted into a Facebook status update. I chose this as my first album of the year for two reasons: a) QED + Josh recommended it. 2) I’ve never really ‘got’ Pavement and I hoped Silver Jews would be an entry point, so next week will be Wowee Zowee. There’s a lot here to be unpacked, which is what I meant when I said “rich” - like, contextually - so as far as albums that could be intensely personal, as in if you’re looking for an album to be special to you, then I can think of none better, other than every The Hold Steady album but maybe that’s just me. And this seems similar to a Hold Steady album in that one day you’ll listen to it and a line will jump out like “Before I go I gotta ask you, dear, about the tan line on your ring finger” and you’ll be like “Ugh, my life.” I think this’ll probably stick with me for a while because I’m not even close to deciphering it all. Why can’t monsters get along with other monsters? Soi disantra!
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- douglasmartini said: You hit the nail on the head here in a lot of ways. My Facebook bio (before they changed the layout) was “I am the trick my mother played on the world.” And this album helped me appreciate, and even grow to love, Pavement. Good work!
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- lenorebeadsman said: Oh oh this is one of my favorites. I’d have recommended it, too.
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