Two totally unrelated notes about Brighten The Corners:
The day the record came out, a little over a decade ago, my friend Jenny was enjoying it so much that she ran a red light and totaled her car while listening to it. I view this as a positive sign for the album, and a negative one towards her driving ability.
Also, my brother worked at Capitol Records when the album hit the streets, and I pestered him for a rumored--yet never confirmed--Brighten The Corners promotional nightlight. I swear, I don't need a nightlight anymore (not since I murdered my imaginary friend), but I was really enamored with Pavement. Failing me yet again, my brother never got me the nightlight, but he did get me a promotional chocolate bar for Spearhead's Chocolate Supa Highway album. Woo.
Anyway, Brighten The Corners has just received the deluxe, double-disc, reissue treatment courtesy of Matador. Having recently come off the commercially stifling Wowee Zowee--an experimental record released at a time when most fans just wanted Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain II--Brighten The Corners featured a more streamlined Pavement (see simpler, catchy numbers like "Stereo" and "Embassy Row" for proof of that), but ultimately failed to live up the mammoth expectations the band had been saddling since the early excitement of Slanted and Enchanted.
As far as the bonus disc goes, as expected, it's loaded with gems (24 tracks!) and more than a few songs that might have been best left alone; although the title "Neil Hagerty Meets Jon Spencer in a Non-Alcoholic Bar" is worth a chuckle (in a mid-'90s sort of way), the song isn't necessarily the best use of studio time. Better examples of the quality on the Nicene Creedence Edition bonus disc are Scott Kannberg's "Destroy Mater Dei," a sloppy little number with the enduring line "I'm Spiral Stairs and I Live in East Berkeley" (he does, or he did, since I used to know his neighbors--and here is where you'd refer to me as your "fact checking cuz"), and the band's wonderful, and meandering cover of Echo & the Bunnymen's "The Killing Moon." Throughout, frontman, Portlander, and fantasy sports enthusiast, Stephen Malkmus demonstrates his ease for writing carefree little slack-rock jams--how songs like "Winner of The," "Nigel," and "And Then (The Hexx)" didn't make the final album cut is beyond me.
Pavement - "The Killing Moon"
Pavement - "Type Slowly" (live)