Video Rewind: Pavement’s holiday hijinks in “Gold Soundz”


Welcome to our weekly feature Video Rewind. Every Friday, a CoS staffer shares a video clip dug up from the depths of the Internet. Today, Ryan Bray desperately clings to the holiday season by re-watching Pavement’s music video for “Gold Soundz”. 

Whether it’s Stephen Malkmus’ new record with the Jicks or a fervent desire for even more days off, I’m not quite ready to let go of the holiday season. So, while the world focuses on bettering itself with resolutions and half-hearted promises, I’m hunkered down in my own personal Christmas fallout shelter, stapling fallen needles to the tree and entertaining myself with Pavement’s “Gold Soundz” video. Almost nothing says deck the halls quite like a bunch of jagbags running around Los Angeles in cheap-o Santa outfits.

To any self-respecting Pavement fan, “Gold Soundz” has always sounded good, has it not? It’s got that slightly slacker-esque, sun-splashed ’60s guitar-pop vibe to it, but it’s also one of the band’s more straightforward cuts. For me , it was my in-road to the band, so maybe that’s why it still warms me up like well-aged scotch by a slow-burning fire.

Still, the real fun of a “Gold Soundz” is its devil-may-care attitude. It’s hard to figure out what Malkmus is trying to get at lyrically, and it’s hardly worth the effort trying to unravel. Like most Pavement tunes, “Gold Soundz” is a ride. You pay the quarter, hop on, and enjoy the insanity, because in the end the journey is far more important than the destination. The lyrics set a scene rather than angle for anything concrete, and Malkmus’ opening refrain urging listeners to “Go back to those gold soundz” practically begs listeners to close their eyes and go to their private happy place.

Keeping with that spirit, it’s kind of perfect that the song’s video is so wonderfully off the wall. There’s no real sense of direction or purpose in the near-three-minute clip: it’s just five dudes wigging out, slaying a few turkeys with bows and arrows, joyriding in a convertible, and generally causing a little holiday mayhem. No, it ain’t Miracle on 34th Street, but it does let you check your brain and your worries at the door for a much-needed spell.

Sigh, only 349 days till Christmas.


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