Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Spit on a Stranger

The spacey psychedelia of "Spit on a Stranger" opens up 1999's Terror Twilight, the final Pavement record, and listeners were bound to notice the change in the band's sound. The song's (and album's) first few seconds of drum beats almost start a different song altogether before warped guitar lines and a hippie-dippy bass line carry us to the first verse.

The song is a reflection on the band's long, tenuous relationship. This, in conjunction with the album's title referring to that eerie moment just as the sun sets, describes the strange feeling the one gets as the end approaches. You feel the end of the band as the record progresses.

The idea of "spit on a stranger" is an odd and cryptic one. (Of course, this is Pavement.) Just as the band's breakup (hell, their whole career) was awkward, spitting on a stranger can be just as strange. It's similar to accidentally grazing some one's rear or turning to make a comment to what you thought was your companion only to find a complete stranger standing there.