In honor of the long-awaited Terror Twilight deluxe reissue, we look at the indie rock icons' 15 best songs.
Ask just about any music nerd and they'll agree: Pavement is one of the most important (and maybe the best) indie rock band of the 1990s.
Led by effortlessly cool frontman/songwriter Stephen Malkmus, Pavement formed in Stockton, California in the late '80s, releasing five studio albums before their breakup in 1999. They inspired like-minded indie rockers of the late '90s like Built to Spill and Modest Mouse, and their influence has trickled all the way down to Gen Z songwriters like beabadoobee and Snail Mail's Lindsey Jordan.
Since their breakup, all of Pavement's albums have received deluxe reissues — except for their last and most polarizing LP, Terror Twilight. To honor the long-awaited reissue (and the 2020 Pavement reunion that, obviously, didn't end up happening), we've rounded up the band's 15 best songs below.
4. “Cut Your Hair” (Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain)
How perfectly ironic that Pavement's most commercially successful song is a satirical observation of how musicians are perceived. "Music scene is crazy, bands start up each and every day… / I really don't care / Did you see the drummer's hair?" Malkmus sings, emphasizing the superficiality of commercialized music.
He argues that being a famous performer is just as gruelling of a job as a standard 9-to-5, made all the more depressing by the fact that sales ultimately determine an artist's success. Either way you dice it, Malkmus claims, we're all pawns of capitalism.