Oct 6, 2012

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks @ Factory Theatre


To think close to twenty years ago I was reveling in the glory of Pavement. Their music was a highpoint in my musical listening history. A touchstone. I was lucky enough to see them live on a few occasions too. Fast forward to 2012 and Pavement is long gone. We have had 5 Malkmus solo albums and a 2010 Pavement reunion tour, but the great man released a stellar album in 2011 in "Mirror Traffic" and here is back in Australia again with the Jicks. Playing just down the road at The Factory, this Friday night was a celebration of a man whose greatness, and coolness, can never be undersold. To put it mildly they broke the mold when they made Stephen Malkmus. Not only is he a unique and revered songwriter he carries himself like no other. He can be charming and arrogant in one sentence. He is supremely confident but just so personable that he is very easy to like. Put it this way, he is the man you want to know but would probably feel intimidated by. By his intellect. His very talent. 

So to the show. Malkmus was in fine form. He seemed in a great mood. Playing up to the crowd. Welcoming quips and giving back as good as he got. Smiling lucidly through out as well. The night was very heavy on "Mirror Traffic", which was fine by me. "Spazz" was a early standout with its impossibly crazy time signatures. "Brain Gallop" was a hoot too with its rambling effervescent style. I also loved the luminescent "Asking Price" and the easy to like "No One Is (As I Are Be)". A lot of the songs featured long jams too with the distinctive Malkmus guitar style. He sure can shred a guitar. The night also featured a few new songs which sounded great. If the night was great, and it was, it was truly confirmed by a howling encore. It seemed totally spontaneous too. First there was a cover of the Dragon standard "Are You Old Enough?", followed by a cabaret style version of "Jenny & the Ess-Dog". Then he closed with a treasure. Yes, it was a Pavement song. Range Life!!!!
SCHOOL'S OUT! WHAT DID YOU EXPECT?


Set List
Tune Grief
Spazz
Brain Gallop
Senator
Animal Midnight
Asking Price
Stick Figures In Love
Flower Children (new song)
Forever 28
No One Is (As I Are Be)
Phantasies
Houston Ladies (new song)
Blind Imagination (new song)
Cinnamon (new song)
Long Hard Book
Tigers
That's What Mama Said

Are You Old Enough? (Dragon cover)
Jenny & the Ess-Dog
Range Life (Pavement song)

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