Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Date w/ IKEA

Jingle-jangle goes the opening guitar chords of "Date w/IKEA," one of two contributions by Scott Kannberg to Brighten the Corners. This might be the poppiest song Spiral Stairs ever wrote. It's certainly the jangliest.

This was something new for Kannberg. He was generally shut out in previous Pavement albums. He'd fool around on the guitar before the band met to record, and Malkmus would show up with demos and nearly complete songs ready to go. Kannberg came prepared to the BtC sessions with some songs ready for production. Of course, by this time, it was Malkmus' show. Kannberg was somehow able to sneak in two songs. This was one of them.

Even though he was unable to contribute many songs to the catalog, Pavement was good to Kannberg. Much like the situation he describes in the song, Kannberg realized he needed to stay around and stick it out. The song specifically describes a guy staying with his overly dramatic girlfriend despite her wild outbursts. He just joins her on a trip to IKEA for some new furniture when things go awry. It's easier that way.

The jangle mentioned before is something different for the band. The pep of the song actually picks up the album full of mid-tempo SM laments. This track, as well as "Passat Dream," kept BtC from wallowing in the mid-tempo mire. These songs gave the album some balance, cementing Kannberg's value to the band as a secondary songwriter.


Guido Mureddu said...

I agree with what you wrote here. Spiral's songs definitely gave that album some balance; on the other hand I don't feel like Terror Twilight is lacking balance... but SM's solo albums often do.

comoprozac said...

Kannberg's songs will never gain the respect SM's did, but they have an important place in the Pavement canon nonetheless.

You make a good point. I think SM's solo work has achieved some great highs, but it's really uneven.