The Chaos theory. Utterly fascinating, but it totally fucking screws with your mind. Basically stating, as it does, that a butterfly flapping its wings can cause a hurricane on the other side of the globe.
Another interpretation of this wonderful rationale is to contemplate how enormously different the present would be should one seemingly tiny event in the past be altered. And we all do it ! Everyone looks back and thinks 'if only ...'
Just suppose that Oasis had split in their early days (something which nearly happened oh-so many times) then would Alan McGee have had enough cash to give us Poptones (quite possibly the worst label on the planet)
If Noel Gallagher hadn't become a millionaire what would have become of Proud Mary ? (Is anyone starting to really, really hate Noel Gallagher ?)
Now put the Preston School of Industry in a situation where they have no baggage. Remove their past, remove their associations and what do they have ? Absolutely nothing !
If they had to start all over again with no Pavement association they wouldn't survive five fucking minutes. The Cosmic Rough Riders (thanks again Mr McGee) may be proving that sub-REM gloop is back in fashion but how is the imminent success of this album justifiable in the light of the fact that countless middle of the road indie bands plying a trade so very similar will never break out of the toilet circuit.
*The Preston School of Industry * are like the kid who gets in the local football team because his dad's the manager.
It starts remarkably unatrociously with recent single 'Whalebones', bizarrely including few more lyrics than 'Driving the whalebones home'_ (what the fuck does that mean ?!). It's Pavement territory all right - only it lacks everything that made Pavement so special to their devoted fans. Namely Stephen Malkmus' magnificent lyrics and his ability to unleash a tune that would sit itself inside your head and refuse to move itself.
This couldn't be a bigger contrast - tracks such as 'History of the river' and, indeed, practically every other song here, will completely pass the listener by in all its banal ultra-indie-schmindie nonsense and the only way we can put a stop to this kind of thing is to travel back in time with a steamroller and run over Michael Stipe on his way to the REM audition.
In his recent single Stephen Malkmus sings "The Ess-dog waits tables and has sold his guitar". Ironic ? Let's hope so.
1James Kimmitt's Score