Pavement were three friends from California: laconic singer Stephen Malkmus, guitarist Scott Kannberg, and unruly hippie drummer Gary Young, who would hand out free cabbages at gigs before being fired from the band a year later – allegedly for drink-related misdemeanours.
The band had built up a hipster mystique through their singles, but they caught a post-grunge tailwind with their debut LP, Slanted and Enchanted (1992), to become the decade’s paradigmatic college rock band.
Slanted – recorded in seven days in Young’s garage studio for just $800 – triumphed through a slackly chaotic pop sensibility and Stephen Malkmus’ lyrics, which could break your heart without giving you the faintest idea what they were about.
Gary Young died on 17 August 2023, aged 70.
Stephen Malkmus (SM)
Scott Kannberg (Spiral Stairs)