I reserve the right to change my mind about the order at my discretion.
  1. Shoot the Singer (1 Sick Verse)
    That guitar bit at the end? Still gets me every time. (For my money, btw, the EP from which this song comes - Watery, Domestic - is perhaps the finest EP ever made, and also perhaps the finest work ever done by one of the finest bands that ever existed. And they also recorded a bunch of other great songs in this session which weren't even included on the EP! On which more anon.)
  2. Gold Soundz
    Pitchfork voted this song the best indie rock track of the 90s or something. Totally agree. Except Shoot the Singer is still better.
  3. Black Out
    No one ever talks about this song. It's not on their greatest hits album or anything. But, for me, it perfectly captures Malkmus's casual brilliance/poignancy.
  4. Silence Kit
    I vividly remember picking up this album - Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - at the only record store in Bangor, Maine, where I had my first job as a TV reporter. Pavement was my favorite band, and I hadn't even known there was a new record coming. (This was 1994 - way pre-everyone-had-Internet. We used typewriters in our newsroom!) When I saw the CD in the racks, I about lost my mind. And then I heard this song.
  5. Elevate Me Later
    And then I heard *this* song!
  6. Zurich is Stained
    I realize I am leaning heavily on the slow jams and non-hits, but this is my friggin list.
  7. Here
    See above.
  8. Grave Architecture
    Wowed Zowee = Pavement's White Album
  9. Mellow Jazz Docent
    I still own the 10" record I bought at an East Village record store in 1991 on the recommendation of a forward-thinking clerk. (I was doing a semester at NYU Film, where I came to the useful realization that I had no talent for film, and so became a TV reporter.) It was a tough, spiky, static-y record to absorb, but this song immediately cut through.
  10. Sue Me Jack
    From the aforementioned Watery session. What an awesome, menacing vibe they create here. I would love to have been a fly on the wall in the studio.
  11. Starlings of the Slipstream
    I can hear you complaining, "How could you leave off the hits? Where's Stereo, Shady Lane, Summer Babe, Cut Your Hair?" You know what? Go make your own list.