Spiral Stairs

For Pavement fans lucky enough to catch the seminal band during their 2010 reunion tour (how could you miss that one, though), there was always a strong sense that the shows would be the last of their kind.

When I saw Stephen Malkmus and company trot out Gary Young — the bedraggled, drunk hippie who drummed on their masterpiece debut LP, Slanted and Enchanted – I knew I was witnessing something special. It wasn’t just because Young seemed so excited to see his old comrades (after they presumably left him for dead in Modesto) but also because everyone knows that Malkmus doesn’t dabble in nostalgia, and tender moments like this we’re just not part of his DNA.

Unsurprisingly, Malkmus subsequently shot down all rumors of a potential full-time return of the band, despite the pleas from his fellow members (and further confirming suspicious that the reunion tour was about repaying percussionist Bob Nastanovich’s gambling debts.) So, with the prospect of another reunion growing dimmer by the day (it’s basically pitch black now), the group’s legion of followers clamor at any news of Pavement-related activity.

That’s why it’s so exciting that Spiral Stairs (nee Scott Kannberg) — the McCartney to Malkmus’ Lennon (ok, maybe the Harrison) — will be performing at the Hemlock on Thursday night. While he took a backseat role to Malkmus, Kannberg penned some of Pavement’s most enduring songs, including “Two States,” “Date With Ikea,” “Kennel District” and “Passat Dream.” His songs displayed a perfectly-skewed appreciation of pop melodies, and he sang with an urgency that complimented Malkmus’ languorous approach.

Kannberg carved out a pretty nice post-Pavement career making music as the Preston School of Industry, and for his latest endeavor, he’s performing under the moniker Doris and the Daggers. There is no word on what kind of material Kannberg will be playing live (Doris and the Daggers don’t exactly have a web presence yet), but here’s hoping he throws in a few gems from his Pavement days (seriously—“Date With Ikea” is one of the group’s five best songs.)

Kannberg will actually be opening for Ian Moore, an Austin-based singer-songwriter who is currently in the midst of a West Coast tour. Should be a good night at the Hemlock.

Ian Moore, Doris and the Daggers (featuring Spiral Stairs of Pavement)
The Hemlock
January 28, 8:30 p.m.