Sunday, December 14, 2008

Old to Begin

At first listen, I take "Old to Begin" as a warning to a younger lover to back off in case she doesn't want to stagnate. Then, I sort of feel as though the idea of "old" in this song has more to do with that stagnation than a May-December romance. Besides, how many Pavement songs are actually about romance?

There always seems to be some celebrated old (white) guy coming up with "new" ways of doing the same, old thing. Just as Al Gore invented the internets, these guys claim everything as their own, thinking that it makes them young and vibrant again to "reinvent the wheel." Meanwhile, they ignore the accomplishments of those who did all the work and really just come off as pompous blowhards stealing yet another idea. Then, we're all supposed to marvel at how great these men are.

It doesn't matter to these re-inventors that their ignorance of true ingenuity sets us all back a few years while they catch up. Their self-importance and legacy depend on their name being attached to someone else's invention.

In the end, their legacy is a fraud. All these men are left with are excuses and a gaping hole in their narratives.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Conduit for Sale

There is no other Pavement song that annoyed the women in my life more than "Conduit for Sale." That's OK. I love this song. Angry, like that feeling one gets when something is taken away.

The House of Savoy ruled a chunk of Italy for a long, long time. It was not a happy day when the heir proctor had to give in to interests from France and the Italian nationalist movement. Unless I have butchered the history, it seems to me that the conduit for sale was the road through Turin, possibly to the port of Nice. There was also some strange love triangles involving a guy named Ray, but I could be mistaken.

Either way, you should know that SM likes his history. There's a little history to this song that I don't have time to learn from Wikipedia or share with you through this post. It does make me think "Embassy Row" is somehow connected, but that's a post for another day.

What you should know about "Conduit..." is that it is an angry punk rock romp with a smart undercurrent. Listen...