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NEW YORK — Pavement, the lo-fi quintet from Stockton, Calif., that became one of indie rock’s most influential groups before disbanding indefinitely in 1999, is set to reunite in 2010.
Pavement will play select cities on a world tour in 2010, the band confirmed Thursday. The first confirmed show is a Sept. 21, 2010, benefit concert at New York City’s Rumsey Playfield in Central Park. Presale begins this Friday, Sept. 18, at 10 a.m. at Ticketmaster.com.
The band has no plans for further touring or recording, its longtime label, Matador Records, emphasized in the announcement. A greatest hits compilation will be released to coincide with the tour.
Originally a studio project of guitarists and vocalists Stephen Malkmus and Scott Kannberg, Pavement began releasing a series of raw, lo-fi recordings in 1989. By 1992, the group had added drummer Gary Young, bassist Mark Ibold and percussionist Bob Nastanovich to the lineup, toured regularly, and released its debut album, “Slanted and Enchanted.”
Pavement quickly became an iconic college rock band, thanks in large part to Malkmus’ onstage wit and personality. Young was replaced in 1993 by Steve West. The band released four more studio albums: “Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain” in 1994, “Wowee Zowee” in 1995, “Brighten the Corners” in 1997 and 1999’s swan song, “Terror Twilight,” all on independent label Matador Records.
The band’s records were not big hits; “Crooked Rain,” was the best seller with 247,000 according to Nielsen SoundScan and the groups total sales to date are 1.2 million. But exposure on MTV’s alternative video show “120 Minutes” and extensive touring – including a spot on 1995’s Lollapalooza tour – cemented its reputation as both a posture-free alternative to the “commercial alternative” music of the time and a hard partying, free-for-all live group.
Pavement disbanded after the “Terror Twilight” tour, although the members have stayed on fairly good terms in the subsequent decade. Malkmus has gone on to a successful solo career with his band the Jicks. Mark Ibold is now the bassist in Sonic Youth, and Scott Kannberg still records as Spiral Stairs. Each year since, Pavement reunion rumors have circulated but never borne fruit. In a 2004 interview with Billboard, Malkmus left the door open.
“It doesn’t feel exactly right yet for me to do it,” he said. “I mean, it could. I guess you just know when it’s right, just like so many other things in your life. Or, you force it due to financial reasons or someone telling you how much you could make. No one has told us that, so that’s not an issue at all. But we all get along; no one is like a lawyer with a huge caseload or has lost an arm.”
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