Pavement’s Scott Kannberg hosts 50th birthday bash in SF

Pavement guitarist Scott Kannberg plays The Chapel this weekend with his musical friends. (Courtesy Peter Ellenby)

Scott Kannberg of Pavement, a band that set the template for irreverent, slacker youth rock anthems, recently celebrated his 50th birthday.

Despite the milestone, Kannberg (also known as Spiral Stairs) isn’t ready to abandon his carefree ways. When he decided to mark his 50th with two birthday party shows this weekend, his thoughts about holding the events at The Chapel were refreshingly uncomplicated.

“The Chapel is close to all my favorite bars, so it’s perfect,” says Kannberg, who appears Saturday and Sunday at the Mission club with a host of his friend’s bands.

Kannberg, who lives in Mexico, had been planning a big 50th bash for about a year, and San Francisco was the logical city to have it, since he grew up in nearby Stockton.

He recruited The Clean, a beloved New Zealand indie band, to play, as well as post-punk Dirty Ghosts and the Roxy Music cover band For Your Pleasure. The Clean had to back out due to a family illness, but Kannberg was able to convince fellow Pavement co-founder Stephen Malkmus to play instead.

“When The Clean couldn’t make it, I was worried we’d have to cancel the shows,” says Kannberg, who started his influential indie rock band with Malkmus in 1989. “But Steve said he was cool with playing both nights, so we decided to make it this big party.”

In February, Kannberg will release “Doris and the Daggers, his first solo album in eight years under his Spiral Stairs moniker, on his own Amazing Grease label.

“I haven’t done a record in a while, so it’s been real refreshing to play music,” says Kannberg. “The songs are definitely poppy. They kind of reflect all my influences from the past 20 years.”

Kannberg will join all the groups on his birthday bill, playing songs from his solo album, cover tunes and hits from the Pavement catalog with Malkmus.

He also says fans will be hearing more from Pavement, which released its last album in 1999 and had a wildly successful reunion tour in 2010, in the future.

“I think for sure Pavement will do something again, and when we do, it’s gonna be fun,” says Kannberg. “We have a whole new generation of people who didn’t get to see us our first time around, or even on that last reunion tour. We owe it to those people to play together again.”

Spiral Stairs and friends
Where: Chapel, 777 Valencia St., S.F.
When: 9 p.m. Oct. 1 (sold out), 8:30 p.m. Oct. 2
Tickets: $32 to $35
Contact: (415)-551-5157,

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