"I thought that if I could put it all down, that would be one way," the poet John Ashbery wrote in 1972. "And next the thought came to me that to leave all out would be another, and truer, way." For 10 years, from 1989 to 1999, Pavement made music that lived in this gap of poetic indeterminacy—the gap, as Lou Reed put it, between thought and expression. They were the most consistent band of the '90s, transmuting the noise and chaos of scenemakers like Sonic Youth and Dinosaur Jr. into glamour and melody, and restoring lyrical romanticism to an indie-rock world that had learned to feed on its own disillusionment. Few bands were funnier, or better, at describing their own sound in song, always better than the critics they loved to hoodwink: "electricity and lust," "tricks are everything," "style for miles and miles/so much style that it's wasted," "Can you treat it like an oil well/When it's underground, out of sight?" "a... More >>>