My Top 1000 Songs #488: Elevate Me Later

[I've been writing up my Top 1000 songs on a daily basis--you can see them all in descending order by hitting the All My Favorite Songs tag.]

This is my fourth pick from Pavement's 1994 sophomore LP Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, which seems like entirely too many songs from any one album, Pavement or otherwise, but here we are. And while the three prior choices seem like more obvious stand-alone tracks, with "Elevate Me Later" more in the "deep cut" territory, it's a song that I've always loved in a weirdly emotional way. 

Lyrically, it's peak Stephen Malkmus, snarky and immediately memorable. "Those who sleep with electric guitars, Range Rovin' with the cinema stars. And I wouldn't want to shake their hands, 'cause they're in such a high protein land. Because there's forty different shades of black, so many fortresses and ways to attack. So why you complaining?"

But the song, for me, is emotionally wedded to one of the first times I listened to the album. It was a (in the scheme of things minor) traumatic event, my first-ever significant court appearance as a new-ish lawyer, when I got desperately lost on the way to the courthouse, the then-brand-new Crooked Rain the only CD in the car, spinning over and over amidst rising panic in those pre-GPS days. And one tossed-off line in the song--"And the courthouse is double breast"--seemingly taunting me from the speakers as I whizzed around the East Bay blindly seeking the exit. (I recounted the tale in my book, a silly little nothing of a story yet a demonstration of how the circumstances under which we encounter music permanently shapes our relationship with it.)

Live, a few months ago: