Lo-fi is an abbreviation of the term low fidelity, and fidelity means how faithful something sounds when compared with its original source. In truth, albums from bands like the Electric Light Orchestra and Def Leppard have a much lower fidelity than anything Pavement produced, as those recordings have no relationship to what a living, breathing band could sound like live. A better term for Pavement would actually be mid-fi, because their material falls somewhere between amateur authenticity and imaginative construction. But—as always—technical reality rarely matters when discussing pop music. Whenever a normal person says he prefers lo-fi music, it means he prefers bands like Pavement: imperfect sound forevermore.
Once again Klosterman proves he's the smartest mofo out there.