cut yr hair.

Last week Rad and I went to see Pavement at Rumsey Playfield in Central Park.

It capped a summer of indie rock reunions that began with a show in Brooklyn by our friends in Jenifer Convertible.  Actually, it capped an entire year of indie rock reunions that began with Footstone and FRC (and Dromedary), way back in February.

This summer we saw Unrest and The Mommyheads.  Unrest played with The Ropers.  Superchunk and Versus toured, both behind new albums.  Devo released an album.  There were a host of shows from the old New Brunswick bands, many captured by Stu Wexler for a documentary film he’s planning to make.  Polvo put out a record last year – possibly their best.  The Feelies are recording a new album.  Speed The Plough are releasing new music.

But Pavement, they’re really just on another level.

I picked up Rad outside Maxwell’s and we drove in – one of the things that’s happened to me in the years since I’ve been removed from frequent visits to the City is that I’m less comfortable when my car isn’t nearby.  I try not to go to the City alone, and I try not to take mass transit.  I have no idea why, other than I just don’t feel comfortable.  I’m an old man.  It makes me remember the night my father came to see one of our shows at Under Acme and raced the hell out of there as fast as he could.  I think in his case he was afraid for his safety (and the safety of his car); in my case I just like knowing that I can get home.  I’m not going to miss a train, I’m not going to wind up in the wrong part of town, I can just get in the car, push a button, and the computer-lady in my GPS (we call her “Trixie”) is going to tell me how to get where I need to go.

So we got to the Park with a few minutes to spare (we missed the opening band, but really had no desire to see them anyway), and were first struck by the number of people who were there.  It had to be a few thousand, which kind of threw me.

Then I got a text from Ryan, who was home watching his sister and brother:  “The power is out.”

I asked him why, and was met with “Large storm.”

I texted back “Uh oh.  This is an outdoor concert!”

Within a few songs, the temperature had dropped, and the lightning began.  It didn’t surprise me at all when Malkmus told us all that the band had to stop playing – too much lightning, safety hazard for the band.  Stick around, though, as soon as the lightning stops we’ll play again (please note, though, we’re going to be nice and dry and safe – but we want you to stick around out in the storm).

Everyone was dancing and wet, and stoned and drunk, singing songs like “Cut Yr Hair” that the jaded indiefolk thought was a sellout in 1995, deliriously happy at the chance to hear it again, even in the pouring rain.  Me too (although I always liked that song, MTV and all).  And despite hearing more than one person refer to the “crooked rain” we stuck around for most of the set.  Once “Date with IKEA” was done, we decided that it wasn’t worth it to stick around and see if they’d play “Loretta’s Scars,” the only one of my favorite Pavement songs they hadn’t yet played.

Turned out they didn’t play it.  And although they did play it the next night, they didn’t play “Zurich is Stained,” and they did play that at our show, and so I think I got the better of the deal.

Driving home I listened to Pavement the whole way.

It’s been a fucking good summer.

~ by Al on September 26, 2010.

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