SHOW / EPISODE

MMT50 - 229

Season 2 | Episode 22
33m | Jun 3, 2024

This week on the pod I'm thrilled to be joined by Rebecca Clay Cole motherfuckers! We talk about her Pavement origin story, to joining the band on key, and breaking down song number 29!

Transcript:

Track 2:

[0:00] Previously on the Pavement Top 50.


Track 1:

[0:02] At track 30, we have Spit on a Stranger. What the hell do you make of this song, Devin? I'm really glad I got this song because I love this song. And the thing about this song is that there's a real tension within the song that truly appeals to me. because I believe that musically and in the verses, this is the most romantic song that Pavement has ever recorded.


Track 2:

[0:31] Hey, this is Westy from the Rock and Roll Band, Pavement, and you're listening to The Countdown.


Track 3:

[0:39] Hey, it's JD here, back for another episode of our Top 50 Countdown for Seminole Indie Rock Band, Pavement. Week over week, we're going to count down the 50 essential Pavement tracks that you selected with your very own top 20 ballads. I then tabulated the results using an abacus and all my fingers on my left hand, except for my thumb. Fuck you, thumb. How will your favorite songs fare in the rankings? Well, you'll need to tune in to find out. So there's that.


Track 2:

[1:06] This week, we're joined by Pavement superfan, well, not Pavement superfan, Pavement superstar, Rebecca fucking Clay Cole. Rebecca, how the hell are you?


Track 4:

[1:17] Hello, I actually, I'm a fan. I don't know if I'm a super fan, because I've met some super fans. And I don't know if I have the level of technical knowledge. But I'm a fan and in the band. So nice to meet you.


Track 3:

[1:30] Nice to meet you as well. You definitely have the technical knowledge. I saw you guys play on the 22 reunion tour eight times, I think. And it was tremendous. I had so much fun. I was at the Fonda show. I saw two shows in Toronto and then like six shows in London.


Track 4:

[1:48] Oh, great.


Track 3:

[1:49] Or not London, but UK.


Track 4:

[1:51] Cool.


Track 3:

[1:52] So very, a lot of fun.


Track 4:

[1:54] A good range of shows there.


Track 3:

[1:55] Yeah, I think so. I was pleased. I wanted to go to Iceland really bad, but that didn't fall on the cards.


Track 4:

[2:02] Well, maybe we'll be in Iceland again someday.


Track 3:

[2:04] That would be cool.


Track 4:

[2:05] Join us if that happens.


Track 3:

[2:07] I will do that. So let's get right to the punch here and talk about, this is sort of funny to be talking about something, Sort of funny to be talking with somebody in the band about their Pavement Origins story, but obviously you came late to the band, and we'll talk about that. I really want to know what it's like to join a band that's an established band, but hasn't been on the road in a while. I want to know that as well, but I really want to know your Pavement Origins story.


Track 4:

[2:36] My Pavement Origins story. Well, I think the first time I was aware of Pavement was when they were opening for Sonic Youth. It was maybe Sonic Youth Mudhoney Pavement at Red Rocks.


Track 3:

[2:52] Oh, really?


Track 4:

[2:53] They were the first band to play and I had never heard of them. I hadn't heard of much because at this point I think I was six months in Denver. And before that I'd lived like on a farm and on an island. So I had no cultural touchstones at all for a teenager. I was really, I wouldn't say ignorant, but I just sort of formed my own musical education. I'd never been to a punk show. There were no punk shows in the Virgin Islands, you know, or in the farm in Kentucky. So all of that is to say some friends took me to Red Rocks to see this show. And Pavement was the first band. So that was my first introduction to Pavement.


Track 3:

[3:29] And what did you think?


Track 4:

[3:31] I did not understand it. I didn't understand it at all. But Gary was in fine form, and I remember not spending a lot of time behind his kit. And I just was confused what the performance was. I didn't understand it. I didn't have the language to understand it at the time.


Track 3:

[3:49] That's phenomenal. And Red Rocks, to boot. I've never been, but it's supposed to be just a fantastic venue, right?


Track 4:

[3:59] Maybe Pavement can play it again with me.


Track 3:

[4:02] Oh, that's awesome.


Track 4:

[4:04] I'll just plant that seed out there to the universe.


Track 3:

[4:06] Yeah.


Track 4:

[4:07] We'd like it to grow.


Track 3:

[4:08] So where did it go from there? Did you... At what point did you click? Did it go, oh, yeah, I get this?


Track 4:

[4:17] You know, not much later. Maybe a year or two later, I was... I found myself joined into an indie band. And this was 90... 94 maybe okay um 93 94 95 for sure um and so pavement was of course i should maybe it's not and of course but it was just like a touchstone you know it was like they were one of the coolest bands doing it and someone that everyone in my scene looked up to very very greatly and so i saw them touring wawi zawi they had my friends the apples and stereo opening for them for a section of that tour and so I got to see that show with Apple's opening which was great um so yeah I would say Wowie Zowie was that era where I like I definitely remember thrifting for my first set of stage clothes for the Minders like listening to that cassette going to the thrift store with my friend Tammy oh.


Track 3:

[5:12] That's a cool memory.


Track 4:

[5:13] Getting ready for our first gig yeah.


Track 3:

[5:15] That's so cool what What was the name.


Track 4:

[5:17] Of the band? The Minders.


Track 3:

[5:19] The Minders. Is there anything out there that people can find?


Track 4:

[5:24] Yeah. Check it out.


Track 3:

[5:26] Yeah, I will definitely check that out. Yeah. So from there, we fast forward a number of years, and it's now 2021, I'm guessing, when you got the call, or was it early in 2022?


Track 4:

[5:43] I actually, Steven had asked me in 2020, 19.


Track 3:

[5:50] Oh, right. Because they were going to go on the road in 2020.


Track 4:

[5:54] Because the Jicks were at Primavera, I think.


Track 3:

[5:59] Okay.


Track 4:

[5:59] If I'm not mistaken. This is how I remember it in my time. I'm friends with Joanna. She played briefly in The Minders. And we're just really close in addition to that. And the rest of the Jicks. I'm friends with all the Jicks. But anyway, Stephen had asked me about 2020 and not to tell anyone. And so I hadn't. And so then somehow, because they were in Barcelona, he must have mentioned that I was doing it or that it was happening or someone in Barcelona. I don't know. But I got a lot of angry texts from the jigs like, why didn't you tell us?


Track 3:

[6:30] Oh, man.


Track 4:

[6:31] It's like, well, I was asked not to say anything to anyone. It was really hard. I'm glad someone knows now.


Track 3:

[6:37] You're a person of your word. That's great.


Track 4:

[6:39] In this one case, I was, yeah. Usually I'm that terrible gossip. it so.


Track 3:

[6:45] That happens and then obviously covet happens so that doesn't that doesn't you know pan out but 2022 comes around and you guys all assemble in portland to um to jam and to rehearse like a shitload of songs.


Track 4:

[7:04] What was what.


Track 3:

[7:06] Was that like for you how much prep work did you have to do going into that.


Track 4:

[7:11] Um I took it pretty seriously and I did a lot of prep work I pretty much took the three months before those rehearsals were just me rehearsing for rehearsals and I set up my my rig basically the same rig I use live I set up a version of that in my living room, with a mixer and an amp and like you know tried all sorts of different keyboard configurations and tried to figure out what I wanted to use live. And then from there, sort of figuring out, you know, there was programming a lot of sounds. It was important for me to learn the catalog in such a way that, that my goal was like if steven just played any riff like kind of randomly started noodling it that i would be able to know like the song its title where to find it in my notes like does it have keyboard and do i have that part ready to go or percussion or vocals or anything so that was sort of the level i wanted to be prepared for practice the first full band rehearsal which i I think, actually, I think I met my goal. I took, I had extensive notes.


Track 3:

[8:16] You posted them on social, right?


Track 4:

[8:18] I think Bob posted that picture first.


Track 3:

[8:21] Yeah, yeah.


Track 4:

[8:22] I was surprised you wanted to, like, but yeah. Those were the distilled notes. I mean, like, some songs have pages and pages where I've just painstakingly, like, transcribed, you know, using music notation, like, how the part looks on the sheet so I could read it and understand it that way. Other notes are a little more esoteric and squiggly. So yeah, that was the prep, three months of that. And I got, of course, by the end thought I wasn't ready at all. And then I showed up to practice and realized I was pretty ready.


Track 3:

[9:00] So you walk into the room. I'm sorry to keep painting these pictures. But you walk into the room, and this is an established group of people. Although they haven't seen each other in 10 years probably or close to or some of them haven't seen each other. How difficult is that to insert yourself or be inserted in something that is already established like that?


Track 4:

[9:25] And something I love. Not just like something that it's established for me in that way.


Track 3:

[9:32] Yeah.


Track 4:

[9:33] It was sort of heavy actually. I made it heavy in the preparation I guess. Like, I was nervous. I was very nervous about, uh... I mean, it sounds silly to say now that I've spent some years with them, but I was just hoping everyone would like me. Not like personally, necessarily, but what I'm bringing to the songs. Was everyone in the band equally on board with having a keyboard player? Am I stepping on any parts? At first, I was concerned, does Bob still want to play some keyboard lines?


Track 3:

[10:06] Oh, yeah.


Track 4:

[10:07] I wasn't quite sure how it had all come to be. And so I just, I, I, I walked in to not timidly, but just like trying to get a read before I really started asserting myself. But I, but then I forget my filter only lasts for a little bit. And then it's like within an hour or two, I think it was fine.


Track 3:

[10:27] Oh, that's so cool to hear. Yeah.


Track 4:

[10:29] I forget to be nervous. And then I'm just myself for better or for worse.


Track 3:

[10:33] No, that's great. great so from there we go to LA and we go to the Fonda show which I gotta tell you that show like kicked all sorts of ass that was so good you guys played so long and such a varied like we didn't know going into it that the set list was going to be as varied as it was um you know we We knew that you guys had practiced a lot of songs, but it just, it was surreal. What was it like for you?


Track 4:

[11:06] Surreal.


Track 3:

[11:07] Surreal as well.


Track 4:

[11:08] I mean, we'd done all, we'd done the rehearsal in Portland and, you know, the team, you know, for musical building, but also for me, some team building, like who are these guys exactly? And like, and then we did some practice in LA on a soundstage before the Fonda as well. And I was nervous. It wasn't even like I was nervous. I was just unsure. I was really unsure what to expect. I now had practiced with them for like eight days, and I had watched so much YouTube of them live. But I hadn't been on stage to feel, like I wasn't sure what I was going to feel on stage, if that makes sense, like how it was actually going to feel to perform the music.


Track 4:

[11:48] And like rehearsal and performance are two different energies. Strategies, just wasn't sure what I was going to get from the five guys as far as all that went.


Track 4:

[11:56] And I also was really unsure what I was going to get from the crowd. It's like, I was like, yeah, I have eight days of practice with them. Like, I feel pretty good that they like my contribution. But now the question is, like, does anyone else like the contribution? Is it going to work?


Track 4:

[12:12] Will it be unfavorably compared? I had a lot a lot of that swirling in my head i was and it was uh yeah i wouldn't say nerves both under and overstates the situation it wasn't like i was shaking in my boots but it felt heavier than that it was like too heavy to be shaken in my boots but then steven did this really cool thing and maybe he could tell i was nervous i i will also say i don't think i was the only one with jitters i think they also hadn't played out in over a decade together so a lot of those questions maybe they're asking themselves as well um but steven rallied us really classic but and maybe like a little maybe it seemed pat to say it now but at the time it felt really good but he was just reminded us all that we practiced hard and it was going to be fun um and it's the strangest thing jd because as we walked on stage all of that tension left and that's really gifts that's been the hugest gift for me of playing in this band I got it on the first show and it's no fear it was just like this is fun these guys are fun the energy is fun and that is how it feels on stage to play with them I learned that night the reason the tension goes away is because it's about something.


Track 4:

[13:34] More important than And like, did you execute your part properly?


Track 3:

[13:37] Right.


Track 4:

[13:38] You know, it's like, are you in the right head and heart space? And they probably don't use these words for it. This is how I'm describing it. You know, to make the music matter, there has to be a feeling there. And they all excel at that. It turns out I had nothing to be worried about. Pure joy being on stage with those guys.


Track 3:

[13:54] Okay, I'm curious about your favorite songs to play. What are some that you had a lot of fun with?


Track 4:

[14:02] I mean, they're all so fun. And I'm not just saying that, I mean.


Track 3:

[14:06] No, that's cool.


Track 4:

[14:07] They're all pretty fun to play. Even when I'm just shaking a tambourine half of one chorus or something of a song, it's like, I can't believe I get to play the tambourine on this part. They didn't just invite me up. They're paying me to come up here and play this tambourine part.


Track 3:

[14:26] That's so cool.


Track 4:

[14:27] It's just like, what a dream gig.


Track 3:

[14:29] Yeah. I love how you did Trigger Cut, like how you did the sha-la-la-la-las in Trigger Cut.


Track 4:

[14:35] Oh, yeah. So cool. That's so fun. That's really fun. And that is a fun one to play. Like, obviously, like, anything that finds just me and Bob, like, in a tambourine party is fun. Like, any, you know, the more tambourines, the better. It's always good. It's always fun. That's just, there's never a night where I look up and see Bob playing tambourine and don't immediately get completely lifted.


Track 3:

[14:57] Oh, that's so cool.


Track 4:

[14:59] So anything where I'm doing that is fun. Working out something like Embassy Row was kind of fun because we, like, practiced the beginning part and, you know, then it rocks at the end. It's sort of like seeing those songs kind of work out in practice and then singing.


Track 2:

[15:13] Yeah, yeah, I get that. So what do you think? Should we get into the track, song 29?


Track 4:

[15:24] Let's do it. So it ranks 29 of 50?


Track 2:

[15:27] That's right, yeah. We'll be back on the other side with Rebecca Clay Cole. Hey, this is Bob Mastandovich from Pavement. Thanks for listening, and now on with a countdown. 29!


Track 3:

[21:05] There it is, the sixth song from Bright in the Corners on the Top 50 Countdown, also the sixth song on the record. This week, we're talking about song 29, the fantastic, the jammy type Slowly. Rebecca, what is your relationship with this song?


Track 4:

[21:21] Oh, I love this song so much. I mean, it wasn't on my first wave of songs to study, even though I knew we were going to play it. But it wasn't like, you know, there are other songs I felt like I had to nail more. So this was towards the end. I said, OK, let me get into this type slowly jam. And putting on the hat of Stephen playing that piano part and like figuring out where he put his hands and why for that song on that recording was like. I feel like a little peek behind the curtain there to the mind of the man.


Track 3:

[22:02] Wow.


Track 4:

[22:03] Because I play the piano most. That's my primary instrument. And so thinking about how he was approaching the piano on that song was cool. And I scored every note out. There's a score that I've written of everything he does. Because everything he did was so cool. And I wanted to be sure to capture not all of it verbatim, just understanding where he was coming from with all of those parts. So by the time we played it live, I had that sort of intimate relationship with it where I had been in my headphones on an edible and just flying high and really getting into the, was that a 32nd note rest or a 16th note rest? Really too over-processed on that probably, but in a fun way for me because that's how my brain works. And so by the time we put it live and I got to sort of use some of that and throw some of that out, it just kind of became a song in the set I always liked to see. I always like to see Types Lully in the set.


Track 3:

[23:09] That's fantastic. I like to see it as well. Bright in the Corners is one of my favorites. So I'm glad to see it's represented a lot on this top 50 list. And there's definitely more to come from Bright in the Corners. What do you think in terms of this ranking do you think it's properly rated overrated underrated like you seemed surprised when you said 29 out of 50 a and I don't know what that what that surprise meant.


Track 4:

[23:39] Yeah, I guess I don't know either, because I don't know what's 50 to 30.


Track 3:

[23:46] Right.


Track 4:

[23:46] So that's one of the things. So I don't know what came behind it. I can probably guess half of what's ahead, at least. But I don't know. To me, I think of it as a live track.


Track 3:

[24:00] Oh, OK.


Track 4:

[24:01] A song that was built for live. And I don't know if it was. but it just takes it takes so much life on on the stage um that it's almost like one of those songs that was made to do that when.


Track 3:

[24:18] You guys got it prepared to go on the road did you know you were going to do the jams in it or was that sort of like organic on the road the.


Track 4:

[24:29] Jams are organic they had jammed that song before so it wasn't a surprise at all that they'd be jamming and And the song as it is on the record is a bit of a jam. I mean, I did count it out measure for measure for the purpose of my scholastic exercise, but I knew we weren't going to deliver that just like that on stage. If I had to get out the sheet music to make sure I could make sense of it, I mean, no, you know, it's not worth that. So I knew there would be jams and the jams changed. Changed you know it was it's the for me type slowly is the most me i get to be on stage with pavement oh wow because i'm not yeah well it's a jam and so and there's a lot of freedom in the jam for me on the piano because the part was free to write it was very free freely written kind of thing and in and out play when i want don't play when i want stop playing the piano and just shake something else for a while or play one note and whatever I do kind of seems to work I don't even think Stephen has me in his monitor so it's not like but in my mind maybe he does but in my mind it's like you know the guitars and me and then I'm and sometimes I'm with the rhythm I'm kind of I get to jump into everyone's show on that song like I'll be with Mark for a couple minutes.


Track 4:

[25:51] Then I'll jump over and watch Steve West and then it's like what's Bob doing and then oh yeah yeah, Stephen's doing something cool. Let me pop over. Let me get my attention back over to the guitar and see what's going on. And Spiral will come over and jam. So for me in the set, that's like my most, I'm not really thinking about it as a pavement song, monolithic and unchangeable. I think about it as like a pavement song in the now that's still being kind of designed.


Track 3:

[26:17] Oh, that's a really cool way to look at it. Live music is, there's a singer that I've heard say that a song isn't finished until you play it live. You know, like you've got it written and performed, but until you take it on the stage, it sort of hasn't fully gestated.


Track 4:

[26:38] I think that might be true. Yeah. A song like this might never gestate. It might never be done. It's just a grower.


Track 3:

[26:47] Yeah, that's a good way to think of it.


Track 4:

[26:49] You know, it's always going to evolve live. Like, I'm sure the next time we play it, there'll be something that's not. Everyone takes different positions. musicians and yeah and then sometimes steve west will think it's time to end type slowly, and it's not or sometimes we're like we could totally end it like why hasn't it ended or and sometimes i'm the one out there like i'm still playing and it's like oh crap we're already to the next verse and i'm still oh the clouds like it just is so loose like that i love it you could never do it the same way twice which is probably why i love it so much that's.


Track 3:

[27:23] Very pavement as well Wow. It seems very pavement. Yeah.


Track 4:

[27:27] On brand.


Track 3:

[27:28] Is there anything else you want to say about Type Slowly?


Track 4:

[27:35] Um, no, there's nothing I really want to say about Type Slowly. I was wondering if you were going to ask me about Slowly Typed.


Track 3:

[27:42] Oh, I didn't even know. I didn't.


Track 4:

[27:45] But you didn't. So no, we don't, we don't have to talk about Slowly Typed.


Track 3:

[27:48] Well, now that you've opened the door. I would like to hear your thoughts.


Track 4:

[27:52] I mean, my only thought about Slowly Typed is that it shows the way that the scaffold that song hangs on now into that live jam that it's played on, I think, is how it was meant to be. Or how it does its boast power. The Slowly Typed version is, not going to ever be a nine minute epic live jam okay maybe i mean maybe i don't know maybe i'll throw that challenge out for the next round of shows but yeah um so i just think that's sort of an interesting thing to think about like i actually looked when i was doing all my homework for this tour i thought okay let me go see like if there's any like live slowly typed nine minute jams i can find on YouTube. And I couldn't find any, only the type slowly jams.


Track 3:

[28:40] It's, it's wild how YouTube has changed things, right? Like, I mean, the fact that you can just go and like, look at these shows to, to do your notations and to do the things that you want to do very neat that you didn't have to sort of fly by the seat of your pants.


Track 4:

[28:54] I mean, it felt like I was flying by the seat of my pants. But no doubt it was helpful. Like, because you listen to something on record, and it's like okay that's on record a record that was recorded 30 years ago and this band has probably played it live 500 times since then so they don't remember their body memory of the song is probably not like the recording version it's like some live version somewhere that i need to go find and there were a couple other songs not type slowly where i was sort of playing it true to the record and it would be like don't do that i'm like but it's like exactly this is exactly the parts too much or it's you know and i'm like and then i realized it's just oh yeah right because it hasn't been there for 30 years. So it's good to go back and look at the live versions of things to just sort of watch, kind of like what you just said about how a song, it doesn't really go until it's performed for an audience. But if you've performed that song for 30 years, it might have traveled somewhat from the recorded version.


Track 3:

[29:51] Yeah, I would guess so, now that you've said it. It wasn't something I considered before, but now that you've said it, It's like, yeah, that seems pretty clear.


Track 4:

[30:02] Yeah, I found that to be on a lot of songs. So YouTube was a really great resource. I would just be like listening to something. I'm like, there's no way Bob played this live on the keyboard. But I know he played the keyboard. So then I'd go back and watch the live version and watch what he was doing on keyboard and split the difference between Stephen's part recorded and Bob's part live.


Track 3:

[30:21] Oh, okay.


Track 4:

[30:21] But use that YouTube as a, it was a great resource for me. And it still is. I learn a lot of songs in general. So it's usually a little goldmine of knowledge.


Track 3:

[30:30] Are you always are you always finding yourself noodling and learning stuff yes yeah yeah i can't.


Track 4:

[30:39] Really not think about it.


Track 3:

[30:41] Just listening to you talk so far it's like yeah you seem to have that very analytical you know sort of uh view of things right um like to to to do this which is yeah i think.


Track 4:

[30:55] I'm more analytical than a lot of uh musicians or at least my creative flow is in an analytical way I like math, I like charts I like spreadsheets, and that just really helps me get into my own flows of things even when I was trying to figure out I went over to a friend of mine's studio when I first started learning these pavement songs and I was just like help, I don't even know where to start, there's like maybe a hundred songs, I just didn't even I'm like how do I even and start it.


Track 3:

[31:29] Yeah.


Track 4:

[31:30] And he was like, make a spreadsheet. That's what you do. And I totally did that. I made a spreadsheet with the album, the song. Does it have piano? Does it have percussion? Does it need me to go find some kind of synthesizer sound? I don't know what. Just like I made a spreadsheet, and that's how I, yeah, I'm pretty analytical. Yes.


Track 3:

[31:50] That's a pavement first, I would think, a spreadsheet.


Track 4:

[31:55] Well, for the music, maybe. Maybe. Maybe there's... No, I bet there's got to be a set list spreadsheet.


Track 3:

[32:01] Oh, okay.


Track 4:

[32:03] That's a lot to keep track of. Yeah.


Track 3:

[32:05] Maybe not.


Track 4:

[32:05] Maybe Bob does it all from his heart and head. But maybe if I were him, I would... But then again, I'm the one that loves the spreadsheets.


Track 3:

[32:14] Right. Yeah. Well, Rebecca, it's been dynamite talking to you. You know, especially seeing as it's tough to... It's been tough to hear from you these last couple of years, like to read in magazines or stuff like that. I haven't, you know, I haven't seen a tremendous amount of pavement information with you included. So this is really special to me. I'm really thankful that you decided to stop by and do this.


Track 4:

[32:44] Yeah, thanks for asking. It's fun to talk about it because it's just like a really fun experience that I've gotten to have. And I'm like the luckiest music fan on earth, I think, in certain ways.


Track 3:

[32:54] Oh, that's a great way to wrap it. That is great. Thank you so much.


Track 4:

[32:59] Thank you. Good luck with the rest of the countdown.


Track 3:

[33:01] All right. Wash your hands. Wash your goddamn hands.


Track 2:

[33:05] Thanks for listening to Meeting Malcolmists, a pavement podcast where we count down the top 50 pavement tracks as selected by you. If you've got questions or concerns, please shoot me an email. JD at Meeting Malcolmists dot com. Oh.




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