Made me feel like I was Paul Verlaine

All fans of the Flying Nun sound will enjoy “Heavenly Pop Hits,” a documentary about the New Zealand label, available in its entirety on YouTube.  In installment 3, Stephen Malkmus talks about reusing a vocal line from the Verlaines’ 1983 single “Death and the Maiden” for a Pavement song.  Malkmus doesn’t say which song, but as soon as he starts humming the melody — the Verlaines are singing “Is there any less pessimistic thing to say?” — it’s instantly revealed as the “made me realize I was on a train,”  from “Box Elder.”  One more secret of Pavement revealed.

Here’s “Death and the Maiden,” whose opening guitar, I now realize, is also identical with that of “Box Elder”:

And “Box Elder” (no video):

And here’s part 1 of “Heavenly Pop Hits”:

It seems I’ve already mentioned that I love Prickly’s cover of “Death and the Maiden” with the heat of a thousand suns.  That version doesn’t exist on the whole wide Internet, but here’s Malkmus himself singing the song.

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2 thoughts on “Made me feel like I was Paul Verlaine

  1. Box Elder got around when I was a younger man.

    Like that Verlaines song, never heard that band before this morning.

    Terrific cover by Malkmus.

    Reinforces the notion of shreds of cool instantly generated by listening to Pavement. Steve Malkmus. This is the kind of music I want to hear.

    Still listening to my tape cassette of extended outtakes from Wowee Zowee, rocking the new Brighten the Corners. Instant timelessness in context with a tune such as Death and the Maiden. Thanks.

    And thank you SM for keeping us rubes in the loop!

    Definitely like the star power. Like the star power a lot.

  2. [...] blogged before about the great Boston indie rock group Prickly, who released a handful of contributions to various [...]

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