Mar 4, 2015

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks @ Newtown Social Club

I am currently reading a book on the classic Pavement album "Wowee Zowee". As a long term fan of the great American band it has stirred up a lot of memories and prompted me to binge listen to the greatness again. Of course the man responsible for the greatness was primarily Stephen Malkmus. Tuesday night he played a show in my neighbourhood. An intimate gig at the Newtown Social Club. He and the Jicks have toured Australia several times now and it is perhaps strange to think that this band have actually existed longer than Pavement. And they are a fine band in their own right with many great songs penned by Malkmus. Of course it's very hard to follow up the supremity of Pavement but they do a pretty great job. Naturally for many years Pavement tunes were not heard live. Which is fair enough. Create your own identity, move on, etc. But the last couple of years have seen Malkmus throw in a Pavement song, normally in the encore. Last night it was "Lions (Linden), a slightly obscure one to be sure, but still stamped with greatness.

The rest of the night was a free wheeling ride though the Jicks catalogue, pulling songs from nearly all of the albums. It was slightly shambolic, fractionally absurd, mightily great. Malkmus was in fine form, opening with the line 'Welcome to the comedy hour'. You get the feeling that he takes his craft very seriously but also that he likes to play around the edges, keep it loose and fun. Not worrying if mistakes are made, happy to keep the audience guessing. That is part of the allure I think. Besides the fact that Malkmus has written some of the finest music to grace this planet I love that he has this mystique, this unapproachable cool. Something you either have or you don't have. You can't manufacture it or buy it. It doesn't appeal to everyone, but it hits so hard with his true fans. Long may the reign of the Malk continue.

Set List
Cinnamon and Lesbians
No One Is (As I Are Be)
Rumble at the Rainbo
Hopscotch Willie
Power (new song)
Animal Midnight
Houston Hades
Out of Reaches
Baby C'mon

Lions (Linden) (Pavement cover)


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