Entries tagged with: Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
Stephen Malkmus @ Bowery Ballroom in Feb. (more by PSquared)
Whether it's "Independence Street" from this year's Jicks release Wig Out at Jagbags, or a jam like "Range Life" written some twenty years ago during the Pavement days, you know a Stephen Malkmus song when you hear it. The songwriter's mellowed out bari-tenor vocals are just as unmistakable as the abstract lyrics he's been writing now for well over two decades. While his lyrics float in some abstract cross-section of bizarro Americana, Malkmus has always been able to ground the absurdity in the roots of rock 'n roll at its most memorably unadorned. With Pavement, that kind of offhanded simplicity was jarring to an audience of the early 90s who at the same time were already witnessing another revolutionary catalyst for both pop and punk music just a little further north in Seattle. Now six albums deep into his work with The Jicks, that same simplicity is just as relevant and applicable to a listening culture that's changed much more drastically than any music over the timespan of his career. At forty-seven, Malkmus is in no hurry to wax retrospective just yet. The man is not far removed from his music as our conversation finds him carefully gauging his own thoughts in short bursts of curious introspection and an earnest kind of self-doubt devoid of the sort of self-involvement one might expect from one of the most respected and enigmatic songwriters of the last quarter century. None of that really concerns Malkmus, and once we'd performed the awkward formalities of introducing ourselves, it didn't concern me all that much either with the topic of our conversation quickly lending itself to a mutual fascination with how time and age affects our perception of music and art in all its forms, and, perhaps more importantly, what we can hope to learn about ourselves along the way.
BV: From a creative standpoint, how have you seen your approach to songwriting and even music in general change since those high school punk band days, or has that kind of creative impetus largely stayed the same since then?
SM: It's hard to say. The original impetus, when I was doing the punk band, and I was writing our own songs, and having our own identity as a band - that's still there, I guess. I don't really know where it came from. It was fun like writing short stories when you were a kid or doing anything, just creating something. That still exists, but I suppose as time goes on, there's different achievements, and now it's like actually playing with a band or a little bit of working on textures and techniques and production and that kind of thing, I wouldn't have thought about that back then. It wasn't an issue. Those sort of style things - you don't really think about that when you're younger. You kind of just do it. Even in early Pavement stuff we had bands that we emulated, but we didn't really think about what it all meant quite as much when I was doing that. Things inevitably become more curatorial once you have the knowledge and the self-knowledge. It's inevitable and healthy as you get older.
What do you value most about creating music, and how have you seen that specifically evolve or change as you've gotten older?
Just to be surprised. Something may not seem surprising to the listener who's the critical one where it all makes sense how one thing's related to the thing that came before. It's not particularly radical changes, but for me it still is. When you have a germ of an idea that just starts in your house with you searching with the guitar, coming to believe in what you're doing, and then have it however it comes out at the end, and how you can alter that or make it go in a direction or the directions. You're led by what comes before all the time. The end result of making something - I still like that, or it still makes me happy to see it be successful. The process of doing it.
photos by P Squared Photography, words by Bill Pearis
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks @ Bowery Ballroom 2/26/2014
"We don't normally play that one, but it's got 'Queens' in it, so...you know," shrugged Stephen Malkmus after he and The Jicks played "Vanessa from Queens" last night (2/26) at Bowery Ballroom, their first of two NYC shows. Nods to the hometown audience are always appreciated -- there was talk of Red Hook (the neighborhood and the beer) too, and no qualifications needed, I say.
Malkmus and the band seemed in a really good mood, and last night's show was terrific, even though they didn't play a single song from his first solo album, which remains my favorite of his post-Pavement records. They did, though, play most of this year's Wig Out at Jagbags which to me is the most entertaining record SM has made since, and he hit most of the highlights from his other records ("Tigers," "Baby, C'mon"), kept jamming to a minimum (a plus in my book), and even pulled out Pavement's "Father to a Sister of Thought" for the encore. Setlist and pics are in this post.
Disappears @ Bowery Ballroom 2/26/2014
Opening the show were Chicago's Disappears who played a taught, terrific set. The band are on their third drummer (and fourth album) and while that position is certainly a key component to any band, that seat is especially important with a group whose descriptors frequently include "kraut" and "motorik." All respect to #2 drummer Steve Shelley (a pairing that just couldn't last, dude's too busy), but I think new man Noah Leger is a better fit for Disappears. He's an intense, hard-hitting performer and certainly amps up the tension in their music, which these days is less Stooges and more spacey/atmospheric ("Drill" era Wire comes to mind). Hang on to this one, guys.
The Bowery show was Disappears' last date with Stephen Malkmus. Tonight's (2/27) Jicks show at Music Hall of Williamsburg (sold-out) begins their run with Endless Boogie. More pics from Bowery are below...
by Bill Pearis
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks played Late Night With Jimmy Fallon last night (1/6), kicking off a week of album-release events in NYC. The band performed their highly quotable single "Lariat" from Wig Out at Jagbags and then stuck around for a web-only performance of "Stick Figures in Love" from 2011's Mirror Traffic. You can watch both below.
Malkmus has been making the interview rounds lately too, and conducted a very entertaining one with Rolling Stone's Rob Sheffield where he weighed in on '90s mania:
Have you heard Parquet Courts?Meanwhile, Malkmus Week in NYC continues today (1/7). If you don't mind eating ice cream in 12° weather, Malkmus and the Jicks will huddling together at Williamsburg's Momofuku Milk Bar at 4 PM to sample the limited edition ice cream that was inspired by Jagbags cut "Cinnamon and Lesbians." If you buy a scoop, you get a free poster which was illustrated by famed designer (and musician himself) Gary Panter. They'll be signing posters too.
Those guys are cool. I was in this hamburger place the other day in Portland - they were playing the Parquet Courts record and I thought it was Pavement.
Why do you think Nineties bands have so much mystique these days?
It's a time that seems romantic to people now, whereas at the time, it seemed like a cynical era. There were all these worries about selling out and the Man and corporate rock and irony and sincerity. But in retrospect, being cynical just meant that you cared. There was something at stake.
Then at 8 PM, the Jicks will be playing an in-store at Village shop Generation Records which is free with purchase of the new album. Then on Thursday (1/9), they play Other Music which you had to win entry to. Malkmus & the Jicks will be back in NYC in February for two sold out shows.
Fallon videos below...
by Bill Pearis
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks' new album, Wig Out at Jagbags, is out on Tuesday (1/7) but has been streaming since New Year's over at via Amazon. Though SM has let his jammy side fly since going solo, the new album is a pretty tight record, with only a couple songs crossing past four minutes. It also sounds like he's having a good time, making for his most across-the-board enjoyable record (to these ears) in a while.
For release week, the Jicks will be in NYC, playing that private Other Music show on Thursday (1/9) you had to win tickets to attend (did you get lucky?). They've added another in-store happening while they're here on release Tuesday at Village mainstay Generation Records. You just need to buy the new album to attend. Maybe they'll serve some of Momofuku's "Cinnamon and Lesbians" ice cream?
Before that Malkmus will appear on Monday's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon (1/6) and you can enter their lottery to watch from the "Band Bench."
Malkmus & the Jicks will be back in NYC in February for two sold out shows. Flyer for the Generation Records in-store and the two videos from the album below...
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks' new album, Wigout at Jagbags, is out the first week of January and almost immediately after, the band are heading out on tour. First to Europe, but then the band's extensive North American leg starts in February and includes two NYC shows: February 26 at Bowery Ballroom with Disappears and February 27 at Music Hall of Williamsburg with Endless Boogie. Tickets for both shows go on sale Friday (12/6) at noon with an AmEx presale beginning Wednesday (12/4) at noon.
All tour dates are listed, plus the lyric video for first single "Lariat," below...
by Bill Pearis
Stephen Malkmus will release his sixth solo album, Wig Out at Jagbags, on January 7 via Matador. That's the cover art above. With the now Janet-Weiss-less Jicks, the album was produced by the band and Remko Schouten who Pavement nerds may know as that band's regular live sound man. As to what to expect from the new record, Malkmus offered:
Wig Out At Jagbags is inspired by Cologne, Germany, Mark Von Schlegell, Rosemarie Trockel, Von Spar and Jan Lankisch, Can and Gas; Stephen-Malkmus-imagined Weezer/Chili Peppers, Sic Alps, UVA in the late 80′s, NYRB, Aroma Charlottenburg, inactivity, Jamming, Indie guys trying to sound Memphis, Flipper, Pete Townshend, Pavement, The Joggers, The NBA and home life in the 2010′s...You can probably hear at least some of those things (and a reference to The Sweet) in the LP's first single, "Lariat," which the lyric video (in French, mind you) is below.
No word on a North American tour but European dates are listed, along with the LP tracklist and the video, below...
We try to keep tabs on various festivals around the world here on BrooklynVegan, many of which you'll eventually see pictures from. Today we focus on Belgium.
Pukkelpop goes down from August 16 - 18. That festival includes The Stone Roses, Bjork, Bloc Party, The Black Keys, Refused, Wilco, The Hives, The Shins, The Afghan Whigs, Lykke Li, Hot Chip, Feist, Flying Lotus, tUnE-yArDs, Chromatics, Cloud Nothings, The Tallest Man on Earth, Baroness, Ceremony, A-Trak, Rustie, Hudson Mohawke, and more. The full lineup is listed below. Tickets for the festival are on sale now.
Rock Werchter, which falls a bit more on the mainstream side, happens in Belgium even sooner, running from June 28 - July 1. That lineup includes The Cure, Jack White, X, Mastodon, Garbage, The xx, M83, Metric, Amon Tobin, Skrillex, Perfume Genius, Bat For Lashes, Michael Kiwanuka, Alabama Shakes, My Morning Jacket, Regina Spektor, Florence + the Machine, The Vaccines and more. Tickets for the festival are
on sale now sold out.
The full lineups for both Pukkelpop and Rock Wercher are listed below.
The 2012 edition of Calgary, Alberta festival Sled Island is set to take place from June 20-23 at venues throughout the city. This year includes over 200 bands performing at 30 venues plus a large comedy schedule, film screenings, and art shows.
Sled Island 2012 will once again use outdoor venue Olympic Plaza as its main stage, featuring performances by Feist, The Hold Steady, Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks, The Dudes, Shabazz Palaces, Parlovr, and others.
Acts including Russian Circles, Hot Snakes, The Antlers, Boris, Thurston Moore, Willis Earl Beal, Trust, Yamantaka // Sonic Titan, Terry Malts, Neil Hamburger, How To Dress Well, The Evaporators (aka Nardwuar's band), DJ Jonathan Toubin, Hannibal Buress, Andrew W.K., Tim Heidecker, Archers of Loaf, and many more will be performing at various bars and venues. Check out the full lineup at the bottom of this post.
Full lineup and 2012 festival trailer below...
Stephen Malkmus @ Other Music in Aug (more by Dana (Distortion) Yavin)
Terminal 5 haters rejoice. Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks had to do some rearranging...
The New York show is being moved from Terminal 5 to Webster Hall, and will now take place on Sunday, September 25 instead of Monday, September 26. All tickets purchased for the Terminal 5 show will be honored at Webster Hall.Updated Malkmus dates below...
The Chicago show originally scheduled at the Vic Theatre has been moved to Metro, 3730 N. Clark. Tickets purchased for the Vic Theatre will be honored at Metro. Showtime is 8:00pm; Holy Sons will open the show. Tickets for the Metro show are $22.50 and are on sale now through etix.com and jamusa.com. Ages 18 & Over.
photos by Dana (distortion) Yavin
A few hours after their free show at Academy Records in Brooklyn, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks celebrated their new record "Mirror Traffic" with another free show at Other Music in Manhattan. Here are pictures from that one. They continue below...
photos by Gretchen Robinette
A set of pictures from the first of two NYC instores yesterday (8/25) continues below...
Emil Amos with Grails at KF in April (more by BBG)
Holy Sons, aka Emil Amos of Om/Grails, will support Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks on part of their upcoming jaunt across the East Coast/Mid-West, including at Terminal 5 on 9/26. Tickets for the NYC show are still available. All dates are below.
Holy Sons have a spankin' new website, "including extensive archives (audio, video, artwork)" available for stream/download. Check it out.
Meawhile, Amos is also preparing for a tour with Grails in early September, including a date at the awesome MusicFestNW with bands varying from Archers of Loaf to Neurosis. Tickets are still available.
Malkmus will play two acoustic in-stores on 8/25, at Academy Records in Brooklyn at 6 PM, and at Other Music in Manhattan at 9 PM.
In related news (if you want to call it that),
Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks' new album (out August 23) is called Mirror Traffic, but, according to a recently posted e-mail exchange, it was originally going to be called L.A. Guns (at the suggestion of former Silver Jews front man David Berman). However, Malkmus's lawyers nixed the title when they learned of the existence of a band with the same name. After reviewing the case of Pump, Inc. v. Collins Management, Inc., in which "an obscure group called Pump unsuccessfully sued Aerosmith for putting out their album Pump"... [NY Mag]The full email exchange is at David Berman's website.
And remember how Fred Armisen is a fan of Holy Sons? Fred further confirms that fact in a video you can watch, with all tour dates, below...
Malkmus @ Siren Fest 2008 (more by Bao Nguyen)
Stephen Malkmus is playing two free acoustic in-stores on August 25 in NYC before he & The Jicks go on tour in support of their upcoming LP Mirror Traffic, due out August 23 via Matador. The in-stores are at Academy Records in Brooklyn at 6 PM and Other Music in Manhattan at 9 PM. Both performances will be followed by a signing and the chance to pick up the exclusive poster available only at the in-stores (pictured below).
As mentioned, the Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks tour hits Terminal 5 on September 26. Tickets are still available (no opener is listed yet). You can also pre-order the new album at the Matador webstore as CD/LP. All pre-orders come with a free poster.
Updated dates and flyer below...
Treasure Island Music Festival is returning to San Francisco, CA on October 15 and 16. The lineup includes Cut Copy, Beach House, The Hold Steady, Flying Lotus, Death From Above 1979, YACHT, Shabazz Palaces, The Antlers, St. Vincent, and many others. 2-Day passes go on sale Wednesday (7/27) 10 AM and single day tickets on Friday (7/29) at 10 AM.
Speaking of St. Vincent, if you haven't already, check out her new track at StrangeMercy.com. The full album is out September 13th via 4AD. More info and tour dates HERE. Still no info on tickets for her Met show.
Full Treasure Island lineup below...