"Stereo" as written by Michelle Lynn Bell, Lennio Purry and Rhonda N. Robinson....
Pigs, they tend to wiggle when they walk
The infrastructure rots
And the owners hate the jocks
With their agents and their dates

If the signatures are checked
You'll just have to wait

And we're counting up the instants that we save
Tired nation so depraved
From the cheap seats see us
Wave to the camera
It took a giant ramrod
To raze the demon settlement

But high-ho silver, ride
High-ho silver, ride

Take another ride to see me home
Listen to me!
I'm on the stereo stereo
Oh my baby baby baby baby babe
Gave me malaria hysteria

What about the voice of Geddy Lee
How did it get so high?
I wonder if he speaks like an ordinary guy?
(I know him and he does!)

And you're my fact-checkin' 'cause
(Aww...)

Well focus on the quasar in the mist
The Kaiser has a cyst
And I'm a blank want list
The qualms you have and if they stick
They will drown you in a crick
In the neck of a woods
That was populated by
Tired nation on the fly
Everybody knows advice
That was given out for free
Lots of details to discern
Lots of details

But high-ho silver ride
High-ho silver ride
Takes another ride to make me
Oh, get off the air
I'm on the stereo stereo
Oh my baby baby baby baby baby babe
Gave me malaria hysteria


Lyrics submitted by Racazip, edited by johnnywa, siberianbreaks, engravement

Stereo song meanings
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33 Comments

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  • +5
    General CommentI thought fact checking cause was fact checking cuz. As in fact checking cousin.
    upanotchon November 30, 2012   Link
  • +4
    General CommentThis song is about a stereo
    mabiron December 02, 2004   Link
  • +1
    General Commenti think this song is about being in a band. more specifically, it's about selling out and the danger of letting fame get in the way of protecting yourself and the band.

    First, the band is getting signed by a label (most likely a major label). The "pigs" in this case are the label executives who are just trying to sign an indie band (not necesarily pavement themselves, but a band like them). The execs even go so far to say they hate jocks and their girlfriends just to appeal to the band.

    Papers are signed (if the signatures are checked) and the band gets its first brush with fame. They start getting press in magazines & tv (wave to the camera), they start playing more shows (nation so depraved
    from the cheap seats see us), AND...

    ... they finally get to hear their band on the radio in the car (take another ride to see me home listen to me! i'm on the stereo).

    After a while, they get to know famous people, (what about the voice of geddy lee...
    "i know him and he does!")

    and then everything goes wrong for the band. The labels out to get them and their fans are getting bored with them. All because they were so caught up in being famous, they didn't read the fine print in the contract (well focus on the quasar in the mist). And in the end, taking the proper precautions against getting fucked by the label would have been common sense. (everybody knows advice that was given out for free. lots of details to discern)
    carlwinslowon August 16, 2006   Link
  • +1
    General CommentI like carlwinslow's interpretation. I like Carl Winslow too. Family does matter. The great thing about a lot of Pavement songs is that they are so perverse, hammy and never hit you straight on.

    I think "Stereo" is a political statement about modern America and capitalism. In a nutshell, some people get paid, some people get played and some people get both.

    The chorus means something by meaning nothing. Basically, the trend is for the music industry to market any idiot they think they can market regardless if he or she is really saying anything. I think, in a perverse way, Malkmus longs for the days when people actually wrote songs with some depth and meaning. Irony, that crucial ingredient to all things Pavement, turns up because here's Malkmus lamenting the fact that nobody writes songs with meanings anymore and he makes his point by writing a song which artificially appears as if it has no meaning.
    supposablethumbson March 22, 2008   Link
  • +1
    General CommentTo the whole Pavement compared to Radiohead if you want to compare Pavement to another band I would have to say Velvet Underground. I think they sound similar and both are under appreciated.
    Favorite Pavement song by the way.
    Spudlyon September 25, 2008   Link
  • 0
    General Commentthe first pavement song i ever heard

    EXCELLENT
    granola brinkon May 03, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General CommentThis has to be the greatest song ever...

    yeah pavement.
    Silverstonepgton June 08, 2003   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Pigs, they tend to wiggle when they walk"

    classic, i love it
    revolutionaryon January 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General Comment"Pigs, they tend to wiggle when they walk"

    classic, i love it
    revolutionaryon January 15, 2006   Link
  • 0
    General CommentHow can you not love this voice?
    The_Variableon February 01, 2006   Link

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