Now that news of the Pavement reunion is out of the bag, theres an electric buzz of excitement surrounding any activity by the bands individual members. If going to see Scott Kannberg, aka Spiral Stairs, once came with the painful baggage of mourning and wishful thinking, it doesnt have to anymore. But before we get ahead of ourselves, Stairs has a new album coming out within days of his two local appearances. Of course, his opening slot for Bob Mould reads on the marquee like a summit meeting between two of indie rocks most celebrated icons, but watching Kannberg perform for free at a record store for an all-ages crowd is much more in-keeping with the spirit he brought to Pavement in the first place. While Pavement eventually came to be dominated by leader Stephen Malkmus, Kannberg played the part of Malkmus ideal creative foil perfectly, and his edgier, more out-there sensibility clearly helped shape the bands legendary sound. Like Malkmus, Kannberg has benefitted greatly from taking a less self-conscious approach to his post-Pavement output. His stuff was always pleasantly loose, even sloppy, but these days he sounds like hes having a lot more fun. And, yes, he does do Pavement tunes. SABY REYES-KULKARNI At Sonic Boom Records in Ballard on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (all ages) and at Neumos Thursday at 8 p.m. (21+).
Thu., Oct. 15, 8 p.m., 2009