Wedding Prompts Impromptu Pavement Reunion

Indie legends available for weddings, bar mitzahs.

Videos by American Songwriter

Pavement fans are a bitterly hopeful lot. Keeping up with nearly a decade’s worth of Stephen Malkmus’ solo releases for glimpses of the ’90s icon’s bygone glory days, and getting a buzz off baseless rumors of a Pavement reunion make for only a callous tease when nothing ever comes of it. To the point, in a recent interview with Pitchfork, Malkmus merely skirted around the gossip: “Well, I don’t think about it too much. It’s sort of an out-of-sight, out-of-mind type thing. It’s just standard question no. 10 on the interview circuit … I usually just say, ‘No, it’s not happening.'”

But when MySpace’s “secret show” listings hinted at a the possibility of just such a happening at Nashville’s out-of-the-way venue The 5 Spot over the weekend, a crowd of close to 250 assembled, shaky dreams intact. Other than ex-Pavement percussionist Bob Nastonovich planning his wedding reception – where the band’s other members were likely expected to be – open to the public, little assurance was given

That began to wane even more when the house band led the crowd through “Bennie and the Jets” and Nastanovich danced for two consecutive performances of “Soft Country,” though all Pavement-ites had gathered sans guitarist/vocalist Scott “Spiral Stairs” Kannberg. As the crowd exponentially collected at the tiny club, local legend and former Pavement cohort David Berman could be seen slinking away from the party, and the uninvited tag-alongs wondered whether a trend was starting.

Eventually, the wait paid off. Malkmus nonchalantly took the stage with bandmates Mark Ibold and Steve West for a communal rendition of Redbone’s “Come and Get Your Love,” the O’ Jays’ “Love Train” and Marble Valley’s “FCC Party,”  the latter of which saw Nastanovich himself crooning along. No mind-blowing breakout of “Summer Babe,” and no history-making resurrection of “Range Life” was given up to pacify the throng of fans. By the end, half the crowd may have amounted to no more than opportunist wedding crashers, but given that it’s highly unlikely such a repeat will ever take place, much less with a full-blown setlist of Pavement staples, Nastanovich and co. couldn’t have been more generous with the occasion.


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