My Favorite Album: Zoe Lister-Jones on Pavement's "Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain" | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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My Favorite Album: Zoe Lister-Jones on Pavement’s “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain”

"[Stephen] Malkmus' voice just cut right into me, too, especially as I was about to be a hormonal young woman."

Feb 20, 2020 My Favorite Album
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Early on when I was first discovering CDs going to Tower Records, back in the early ‘90s, one of the first ones I bought was Slanted and Enchanted. My mom was dating a dude at the time who was a former DJ. He was friends with Mark Ibold, who was in Pavement, and he turned me on to a lot of music that became seminal for me—a lot of those Matador bands. Pavement was one of them.

With Slanted and Enchanted, I remember feeling so immersed in the world of that album, when an album sort of takes over your entire energetic space. I remember putting that album on repeat and just opening the liner notes and poring over the lyrics because they were so dense in their poetry and stream-of-consciousness. As an 11-year-old, I was like, “What does all of this mean?” [Stephen] Malkmus’ voice just cut right into me, too, especially as I was about to be a hormonal young woman. Malkmus as a lead man was just speaking to all of my Brooklyn indie rock boy dreams.

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain was the next step. I was even more immersed in it. I love the way music transports you to the time you were listening to it. Any time I listen to Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain or any of the songs on it, I remember specifically sitting, my mom and I, on an island in Mexico called La Isla Mujeres in the early ‘90s. It wasn’t yet touristy in the Yucatan. We were sitting in this hammock bed and I remember having headphones on. I just wouldn’t take them off.

The thing I have always been drawn to in the music to which I listen is a sense of depth mixed with irreverence. I think Pavement is a band that has melded those two things so brilliantly. The melodies are so heartbreaking, and the lyrics are so ironic while being genuine in an amazing way.

My first concert was New Kids on the Block, I won’t lie, but my first concert I ever went to on my own was Pavement. I just remember I was so little and surrounded by big, sweaty white dudes. That was the Wowee Zowee tour, but that didn’t deter me. I was still a Pavement head for life.

(Zoe Lister-Jones is best known as the star of the CBS sitcom Life in Pieces, which just wrapped a four-year run, along with major roles in Whitney, New Girl, and Delocated. Lister-Jones also wrote, directed, and starred in the 2017 indie film, Band Aid, and has been tasked with writing and directing a remake of the 1996 cult hit The Craft. Portions of Zoe Lister-Jones’ conversation have been abridged and edited for structure and flow.)

[Note: This article originally appeared in Issue 66 of Under the Radar’s print magazine, which is out now. This is its debut online. For the issue we interviewed musicians and actors about their all-time favorite album.]

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