“A lot of my friends like this Pavement album the best. For instance, it blew Christoff’s mind. But wait, I think he was tripping. How’s that for an endorsement?”
This week on Discord & Rhyme, we strap in for another ride through ’90s indie rock as we discuss Pavement’s beautifully messy third album, Wowee Zowee. Released right as the band was positioned for a possible mainstream breakout, this sprawling, stylistic tour de force was apparently the last thing MTV’s Buzz Bin was looking for in 1995. Over the years, however, fans and critics have come around to the album’s wild, unpredictable twists and turns through gorgeous soundscapes, tossed-off blasts of punk fuzz, country-rock ballads, big power-pop hooks, and stoned weirdness. Special guest (and fellow music podcaster himself) Jeff Blehar joins Dan, Phil, and Rich for a deep dive into Pavement’s eclectic masterpiece.
Jeff Blehar is a longtime colleague from the Discord & Rhyme hosts’ days geeking out over music on Web 1.0, and we’re excited to have him on. Jeff co-hosts the discography dive podcast Political Beats, which was a huge influence on our own show getting up and running.
The episode intro is a spoof of “Wowie Zowie” by the Mothers of Invention, with vocals and lyrics by our own Producer Mike. Stay tuned, because we have Zappa on our extended schedule!
The album title is actually an affectionate nod to the band’s former drummer Gary Young, who would say “wowee zowee” whenever he found something amazing.
The album cover is an abstract painting by artist Steve Keene based on a photo originally published in a 1972 edition of Life Magazine seen here. Yes, that is a goat on the cover, not a dog.
In the episode, we mention our friend and mentor Mark Prindle, who actually briefly appears in Pavement’s Slow Century DVD interviewing Scott Kannberg and Mark Ibold.
Wowee Zowee: Pavement’s Weirdest Album Turns 20 (Nina Corcoran, Consequence of Sound)
Discord & Rhyme’s Wowee Zowee playlist (Spotify)
Discord & Rhyme Roll Call
Dan Watkins (host)
Phil Maddox (moderator)
Jeff Blehar (special guest)
Mike DeFabio (intro)
Wowee Zowee tracklist
Rattled by the Rush
Father to a Sister of Thought
Best Friend’s Arm
Flux = Rad
Fight This Generation
Half a Canyon
Other clips used
Cut Your Hair
Summer Babe (Winter Version)
The Mothers of Invention - Wowie Zowie
Gary Young - Plantman
Led Zeppelin - Dancing Days
Blur - Country Sad Ballad Man
The Mothers of Invention - Ian Underwood Whips It Out
Songs we mentioned but didn’t clip
Conduit for Sale!
No Life Singed Her
Heaven Is a Truck
Zurich Is Stained
Spit on a Stranger
Date with Ikea
In the Mouth a Desert
Hit the Plane Down
Muscle Rock Is a Horse in Transition
No More Kings
Fleetwood Mac - Tusk
Billy Joel - We Didn't Start the Fire
David Bowie - Space Oddity
The Beach Boys - Transcendental Meditation
Ween - Bumblebee
Ween - I Gots a Weasel
Ween - Push Th' Lil' Daisies
The Grateful Dead - Dire Wolf
CSNY - Teach Your Children
Ween - Piss Up a Rope
Beatles - Rocky Raccoon
Beatles - Don't Pass Me By
Neil Young - Rapid Transit
Blur - To the End
The Moody Blues - In the Beginning
The Who - Won't Get Fooled Again
Replacements - Bastards of Young
Sonic Youth - Teen Age Riot
My Morning Jacket - Wordless Chorus
The White Stripes - Ball and Biscuit
Pink Floyd - Careful with That Axe, Eugene
Ween - Puffy Cloud
The Beatles - Her Majesty
Velvet Underground - What Goes On
Stephen Malkmus - vocals, guitar
Bob Nastanovich - percussion, vocals
Scott Kannberg - vocals, guitar
Steve West - drums, percussion
Mark Ibold - bass
“Discord & Rhyme (theme),” composed by the Other Leading Brand, contains elements of:
Amon Düül II - Dehypnotized Toothpaste
The Dukes of Stratosphear - What in the World?? ...
Faith No More - Midlife Crisis
Herbie Hancock - Hornets
Kraftwerk - Autobahn
Talking Heads - Seen and Not Seen
Pavement - Kennel District (this episode only)
You can buy or stream Wowee Zowee and other albums by Pavement at the usual suspects such as Spotify, Apple Music, YouTube, and Amazon [affiliate link]. Follow Discord & Rhyme on Twitter @DiscordPod for news, updates, and other random stuff. Follow Rich @zonetrope, Phil @pamaddox, Dan @DanSWatkins, and Jeff @EsotericCD. Editing is by Rich, and special thanks to our own Mike DeFabio, the Other Leading Brand, for his production skills. See you next album, and be ever wonderful.
We all know that October is spooky, and what is spookier than a Martian invasion? Prog John has decided to introduce North America to Jeff Wayne’s Musical Version of The War of the Worlds, an album that is almost completely unknown here - but if you live in the UK, there’s a good chance you’ve bought it at least twice. Come and see the scary Martians on October 29!