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Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins

PavementAudio CD
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Price: $11.88 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 49 Songs, 2004 --  
Audio CD, 2004 $11.88  

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Cut Your Hair


Pavement’s extraordinary fifth album is their first recorded on 24 tracks and the first produced by Nigel Godrich (Radiohead’s OK Computer, Beck’s Mutations). The result is a spacious, detailed sound bigger than any previous Pavement record. The guitars are crystalline, the highs and lows clearly separated.

“Pavement have evolved from garage-rock pranksters to the ... Read more in Amazon's Pavement Store

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Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins + Wowee Zowee: Sordid Sentinels Edition
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 26, 2004)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Matador Records
  • ASIN: B0003JAIYG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,257 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Disc: 1
1. Silence Kit
2. Elevate Me Later
3. Stop Breathin'
4. Cut Your Hair
5. Newark Wilder
6. Unfair
7. Gold Soundz
8. 5-4=Unity
9. Range Life
10. Heaven Is A truck
See all 24 tracks on this disc
Disc: 2
1. All My Friends
2. Soiled Little Filly
3. Range Life
4. Stop Breathing
5. Ell Ess Two
6. Flux = Rad
7. Bad Version Of War
8. Same Way Of Saying
9. Hands Off The Bayou
10. Heaven Is A Truck (Egg Shell)
See all 25 tracks on this disc

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

'Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain: LA's Desert Origins' is the long-awaited 2-CD deluxe reissue of Pavement's best-selling second album, originally released in 1994. The entire remastered original album plus all the B-sides, compilation tracks, rarities and outtakes and Peel sessions. Containing 49 tracks, 25 unreleased recordings, and 11 never-before-heard songs. In laminated, die-cut slipcase with 40-page perfect-bound book.

This deluxe double disc reissue is a superbly done follow-up to the treatment afforded Pavement’s brilliant ‘92 debut Slanted & Enchanted. L.A.'s Desert Origins is a joy for fans, with the majority of the second disc previously unreleased demos and outtakes. Crooked Rain is enjoyable and has some of their best songs ("Range Life," "Gold Soundz," "Silence Kit") but it’s a strange, transitional album by a band still a little wobbly on their prog-rock feet. With this ’94 release, the stadium-ready lineup of the erudite garage group had solidified, though it was not quite solid. Erratic, eccentric producer/drummer Gary Young had been booted out of the band, whose previous recordings were primarily made by Scott Kannberg and Stephen Malkmus. With two percussionists and bassist Mark Ibold brought into the studio, Crooked Rain has a far warmer, less trebly sound to it. Among the many extras included on this expanded version are the band’s two exceptional, unironic tributes to R.E.M. --Mike McGonigal

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Origins! October 30, 2004
Format:Audio CD
First there was "Slanted and Enchanted: Luxe and Reduxe," a richly enhanced double-disc set with a fat liner book of notes. Now there's "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert Origins," a similar reissue of Pavement's magnificent sophomore album -- and crammed with so much new stuff that it's worth getting again.

The first half of the first disc is the original "Crooked Rain Crooked Rain": the caustic pop-rock of "Cut Your Hair," the dark "Stop Breathin'," the folky "Range Life," and the trippy "Newark Wilder." It's immensely, intensely good, with a cleaner sound than the lo-fi "Slanted and Enchanted," and a sort of suburban-kid-turned-rocker perspective.

But wait: there's much more. Almost forty songs more, to be precise! Packed into every crevice of the disc is B-sides, singles, and other free-floating music from Pavement's "Crooked" days. One example is "Cooling By Sound," a sardonically wicked song that informs you that Malkmus is cooler than thou. Another is the quiet B-side "Strings of Nashville."

Then there is the second disc: eleven unreleased songs accompanied by a bunch of other tracks. These extras are not all good, but they are always enlightening, especially the eight that were made with Gary Young. There are even some rough early songs which Pavement was messing around with at the time, and were later rerecorded for "Wowee Zowee." Rounding it off are a bunch of other early creations -- some funnier songs, some instrumental experiments -- and a session with the much-lamented DJ John Peel. And accompanying the CDs is a fat little booklet, full of retrospectives and glossy pics.

"Crooked Rain Crooked Rain" was recorded in an apartment over a record store, which seems like an appropriate place for an indie-rock album to be born.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So good they had to name it twice. February 22, 2006
Format:Audio CD
Ah, Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - a modern rock album so stuffed to the gills with effortlessly accomplished, highly melodic songwriting that it throws away its best riff in the first 90 seconds. If that act of glorious waste isn't what Pavement was about, then I don't know what qualifies.

Yes, that's right: a lot of other bands would have conceptually organized an entire album around the opening chord progresson of "Silence Kit" had they been clever enough to write it. As it is, the band never returns to it after 1m30s: it's only one of THREE separate hooks in the very first song. Elsewhere, Pavement explores power-pop ("Cut My Hair," "Elevate Me Later"), prog influences ("Stop Breathin"), lo-fi jazz ("5-4=Unity"), and even country ("Range Life").

In theory, such musical polymathy threatens to put this album all over the map, with divergent genre-experiments running interference on one another and resulting in a stylistic jumble. But in fact, Pavement never sounded more together or displayed more unity of purpose than on this album. The more aggressive Slanted & Enchanted throwbacks like "Hit The Plane Down" and "Unfair" sit easily alongside cheerful burbles like "Elevate Me Later" and the friendly piano & flatpicked guitar of "Range Life." In fact, "Range Life" epitomizes the spirit of this album in many ways: it poses as a song of amiable wanderlust, but (Smashing Pumpkins digs aside) I think Malkmus inadvertantly reveals something about himself in that second verse. Sure, it's a seemingly jaundiced depiction of suburban teen life ("out on my skateboard, the night is just humming..."), but for all of Malkmus' practiced distance and inscrutability he can't help but betray real sentimentality with his loving attention to the little happy details.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Crooked Rain Redux November 23, 2004
Format:Audio CD
This fall marks a Pavement renaissance in my car, home and headphones. I was a huge fan, from "Slanted" to about "Brighten," and then for some reason completely stopped listening for a few years. Who knows why these cravings suddenly stop...

... or why they pick back up again. But I'm enjoying reuniting with the songs and the time seemed right to check out the new expanded "Crooked Rain."

Here's my analogy: the original incarnation of "Crooked Rain" is kind of like "Apocalypse Now." It's ambitious, atmospheric, grand and makes for repeat listenings/viewings. This new expanded "Crooked Rain" is kind of like "Apocalypse Now - Redux." By that I mean: fans of the shorter version (who didn't pony up for every single and EP) will get a kick out of hearing the demos and b-sides, just as "Apocalypse" fans ached to see the French plantation scene and the Playboy bunny scene. That doesn't necessarily mean that "Crooked Rain" should be a 2 hour + entity, or that the original "Apocalypse" should disappear in favor of "Redux." Basically, old time fans will be delighted but this shouldn't replace the original album.

Hell, yeah, I like having 49 bits of Pavement, but I'll probably hang on to my original, single CD version too.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best things you could ever buy... February 27, 2008
By J-Train
Format:Audio CD
It's fair to say that if I could only own one album in the world, this would be it. I am a huge Pavement fan and I have owned all the albums and b-sides for a long time. When this came out I bought it anyway even though I pretty much already had all the songs in my collection. If you have never heard Pavement you really owe it to yourself to get this album. Pavement has had as much influence on music as Nirvana, but they never really cracked the main stream. All the more reason to enjoy this work of art. With Pavement you get some of the best music in history that hasn't been tainted by being commercial. Indeed, every Pavement album shines in it's own way, but this one is very special. There is pure genius in this album and repeated listenings only make you crave hearing it more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 2 months ago by arquin
5.0 out of 5 stars Bare with me on this
I wanna talk about the extra material on this release since no one has really delved into it so far. I'm surprised that more people aren't enamored by these songs. Read more
Published on July 7, 2011 by brainhead
4.0 out of 5 stars Pavement Goes Pop
Crooked Rain Crooked Rain: L.A.'s Desert OriginsStephen Malkmus' REM album ages well. Like REM, the songs anchor around wondrous guitar melodies, and like Kurt Cobain, Malkmus... Read more
Published on July 3, 2010 by Tiny tunes
5.0 out of 5 stars quintessential pavement album
when i was super into the "scene" (aka hardcore, punk, indie, metal, etc) i always heard about how people were influenced by pavement or were really into them, but i never actually... Read more
Published on March 28, 2009 by B. Forman
5.0 out of 5 stars Just a good album
This is a fantastic album. Steve Malkmus is a genius. On the original album there isn't one filler track, and the unreleased stuff is money. Read more
Published on August 26, 2008
5.0 out of 5 stars Best album in the world? Possibly.
This is the first Pavement record I ever listened to, and it turned me into one of the world's most devoted Pavement fans ever. Read more
Published on September 27, 2007 by K. Hee
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh... Pavement... You make me smile
Any critic, worth their salt, knows that Pavement is one of the most underrated bands of all time. This album is the shining star that proves it. Read more
Published on July 14, 2007 by The Grainy Throat
5.0 out of 5 stars "Out on tour with the Smashing Pumpkins..."
Pavement's second album is the one whereby previously dominant duo singer-guitarist Stephen Malkmus (S.M. Read more
Published on June 12, 2007 by Graeme Wallis
3.0 out of 5 stars Not A Masterpiece!
All the critics adore this album. Is like a religion I do not understand. 5 stars is the norm (Rolling Stone, Spin, and who knows who else! Read more
Published on September 21, 2006 by Eddie Wannabee
5.0 out of 5 stars Back to the Gold Soundz
One word that has often been used to describe Pavement is genius. And now their best work of art has been re-released in a 2 cd box. Read more
Published on July 9, 2006 by M. Buisman
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