So Drunk in the August Sun
It’s a rainy Thursday morning in DC and so I turn to the sunniest song I know and the surest pick-me-up I have. The atmosphere surrounding Pavement’s “Gold Soundz” is incredible. I adore the melodic guitars stacked beneath the vaguely poignant lyrics that could mean everything or possibly nothing at all. It is a victory for music’s joyousness over the pitfalls of pretension and grandiosity, over anger and depression.I’ve loved this song for 9 years now, but I had no idea it had a video until I wrote this post.
“Gold Soundz” is the sweetest and most accessible song on Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, the best album by a mostly slept on band. Pavement was popular for a very brief moment in the 90s and then never again and I think that the band’s members were happier with it that way. They specialized in pretending not to care in order to conceal the fact that they really, really did. Their production could be shoddy and their playing sloppy, but the band had a true talent for crafting guitar based pop music.
Pitchfork ranked “Gold Soundz” as the number one song of the 90s, but I didn’t regard it as a standout until the final verse jumped out at me one day and I was forever floored:
So drunk in the August sun
And you’re the kind of girl I like
Because you’re empty and I’m empty
And you can never quarantine the past
Did you remember in December
That I won’t eat you when I’m gone
And if I go there, I won’t stay there
Because I’m sitting here too long
I’ve been sitting here too long
And I’ve been wasted
Advocating that word for the last word
Last words come up all you’ve got to waste
“Gold Soundz” strikes me as deeply romantic because it is mostly devoid of romantic content. The final verse comes closest and even then it’s a bit weird and oblique. There is a notion that shared secrets are an element of sustained emotion.
I keep your address to myself ’cause we need secrets
We need secrets crets crets crets crets crets back right now