While wading through the rather substantial catalog of both Stephen Malkmus and Pavement albums, I’ve learned it’s ideal to simply sit back and follow the guitar. If you follow Malkmus’ guitar riffs, from beginning to end, you’ll find yourself understanding where the 1990s lo-fi rockers began, and where Malkmus finds himself now – because really, wherever he is now, that’s where I want to be, but not without my memories of Pavement more or less intact.
It’s not always easy; Stephen Malkmus’ solo songs (with or without the Jicks) run hot and cold. It’s worth the wait for the good ones, however, because the good ones are really, really good. Songs like “Senator,” “Baby C’mon,” “Tune Grief,” “Dragonfly Pie,” and many more are meant to be cranked to full volume so they can truly shock you right out of your chair.
Just in time to play this year’s Treasure Island Music Festival, Stephen Malkmus has joined with the Jicks again (without Janet Weiss, who’s now playing with Wild Flag) to release Mirror Traffic, out now on Matador. While the crackly, rumbling “Senator” has been making the rounds as promotion for Mirror Traffic, I personally prefer “No One Is (As I Are Be)” – a slow-cooked rock number with shades of Sparklehorse and the Velvet Underground (listen and watch via the New York Times).
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks will be playing the Bridge Stage at the Treasure Island Music Festival this Sunday, October 16th, from 4:20 – 5:10 pm.