solved: which pavement member doesn't dig pitchfork
  • WEDNESDAY, JULY 21, 2010

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Vanity Fair seems to have figured out which Pavement member's objections stopped the band's headlining set at last weekend's Pitchfork festival from being included in the live video stream. Their dedicated sleuthing has turned up some feud-worthy dirt from Pitchfork's reviews of Scott Kannberg's (aka Spiral Stairs') post-Pavement project Preston School of Industry.

After reading over Pitchfork's review of Preston School of Industry's Monsoon, less-than-amorous relations with the site seem justified. Accepting criticism is an important part of anything you produce, be it an album, a painting, or a scientific theory, but this review almost entirely ditches constructive or informative feedback in favor of catty personal attacks. The review of the band's debut All This Sounds Gas was marginally less cruel, but still built of phrases such as "I-could-do-that mediocrity," "so f*cking wrong," and "embarassing," concluding with the simple sentence, "Unfortunate." Then the Monsoon writeup really takes it to a new level, not only bashing the record but also defiling Kannberg's role in Pavement, saying that the album "reminds us why he contributed his own material so infrequently." And the real kicker is the opening sentence: "This album has all the charm of a flaccid penis protruding out from beneath a fold of flesh on a balding, middle-aged man." Now, that's just (hilarious and) rude.

Pitchfork promoter Mike Reed downplayed the drama behind Pavement's withdrawal from the video stream, noting that it's not uncommon for bands to opt out, noting Broken Social Scene in particular (fun fact: BSS's Kevin Drew was a contributor to Spiral Stairs' first solo album, hailed by Pitchfork as "quite banal" with "nonsense lyrics nearly devoid of resonance" in a review calling Kannberg "unambitious" and "underwhelming"). But the "mystery" surrounding their decision unearthed the harsh reviews, which would probably have rarely seen the light of day otherwise, a side effect of Kannberg's wish to minimize interaction with Pitchfork's editorial side.

The band played a reportedly stellar set regardless, just opting out of the video feed. If you're not one of the lucky few who saw them live, you can check out photos of the show (and other Sunday sets) here. -selden paterson

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