Years active: 1989 - 1999, 2010 Influence: Slacker Rock Hometown: Stockton, California Jam: "Cut Your Hair." Possibly the best song on earth about hair cuts, plus it also has doo-wop harmonies, rebellious spirit and makes fun of new bands in a totally meta way.
While Sonic Youth was using screwdrivers to tune their guitars in New York, on the other side of the country Pavement was kicking around one of the worst towns in California recording indie jams and distributing them on cassette tapes. The Stockton-based group came about as a studio recording project and only later became a full band capable of doing live shows. As one of the original indie rock bands, their isolated formation on the west coast, along with a refusal to ever sign to a major label, leads many to anoint Pavement as the innovators of indie rock as a mindset and a moral stance. However, as Mark E. Smith of British rock band The Fall pointed out, their sound was highly influenced by his group, if not entirely indebted to it. After a solid ten years that yielded five full-length albums, nine EPs and a a cult following, the band broke up mostly due to unhappiness on the part of Stephen Malkmus, who went on to a number of side projects, most notably The Jicks. In 2010 the band did a reunion tour that was extremely well-received but have said they won't reunite again and no new material is in the works.