Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Silence Kit

I remember being on an early version of a Pavement list serve. There was a long debate over "Silence Kit" and whether "kit" was actually "kid" and whether that kid was male or female. Quite pointless, actually. It's about as pointless as some guy blogging every other week about the meaning of Pavement songs.

For me (and probably a few others out there), the song is a farewell to Pavement's former drummer, Gary Young. From what I've read about Young, he was a nuisance, an amusing distraction, and a necessary evil rolled into one hand-standing anomaly. Although, many seem to prefer his drumming over the rest of Pavement's drummers, it was undeniable that Young was a loose canon while performing on tour. He often consumed too many chemicals, ruined performances by tossing cabbage at the audience, and pulled guns on band mates. All of this tomfoolery - and the fact Young couldn't keep time - contributed to his being dismissed prior to the release of Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain.

The song opens with an awkward guitar solo, backed by flourishes of drumming. One cannot help but notice the perpetual cow bell in the background. Soon, SM breaks in, out of tune as always.

The band's frustration with their former drummer comes through in the lyrics. They didn't want to babysit an immature, burnt-out punk that was a moderate-at-best musician and a mess on stage. Young obviously had a load of baggage that the other band members did not have time for. In the final verse, SM calls for the kit while Young saunters off to masturbate in an ecstasy-fueled state.

Gary Young later became known as "Plantman" thanks to a forgettable post-Pavement effort. I wonder whatever happened to Pavement's original drummer...

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