SM + the Jicks

SM Looking Back

The Doug Fir Lounge here in Portland had to fill the bill after a certain cancellation for their scheduled show last night, and they did so with Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, a short notice gig that the band was ‘more than happy to do.’ Admittedly, I am not a huge fan of this project, and it’s not because they make bad music or anything; it’s just that it’s not Pavement. Many people feel the way I do, so my opinion here isn’t original. However, after last nights gig, I think I understand what makes Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks important, and not just to the fans.

With Pavement, this guy created perhaps 5 of the best indie rock records of all-time, and countless B-sides. But, as my girlfriend says with a shrug: even indie rockers get old. I know. It’s sad but true. Everyone in the band was born in the 60’s, and they all have a checkered past. Stephen is a family man now. He lives in Portland with his wife and two kids. All those things he sang about in Shady Lane have come to fruition, and who can blame him for it. I want a family and a nice home too, someday. Most people do, I think. It’s not unfair to say that creating groundbreaking music and raising children are mutually exclusive. Therefore we have Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks, a retirement band, of sorts. It’s a way to tool around, and stay involved and some-what relevant, but there’s no pressure, and that’s what made the show last night so good. Of course I wanted to hear a Pavement song or two, and honestly, I didn’t know a single song they played, but it didn’t matter. It was cool just to see one of my guitar hero’s having a fun night out.

SM Standing

SM I Wanna!

Thanks to yltfan on the SM message board!
Thanks to yltfan on the SM message board!
+the wedding band encore:
“Emotional Rescue” (Rolling Stones, 1980)
“All Day and All of the Night” (The Kinks, 1964)
“Shambala” (hit version by Three Dog Night, 1973)
“Love Train” (O’Jays, 1972)


2 replies on “SM + the Jicks”

I honestly think he does some much weirder stuff with guitars and melodies than he did with Pavement. I love Pavement and all, but I hardly think the Jicks are some sort of phoned in “busy work”.

I don’t think I was making the point that this project is “busy work”, as you say. And I don’t pretend to have studied his post-pavement output either. I lost interests in the Jicks after pig-lib, and that’s not his fault, or mine. Maybe he has written some great songs since then; he certainly played some at this show. Stephen himself has said that he knows he’s not doing anything cutting-edge, and he’s not trying to appeal to you or me or anybody, he’s simply playing stuff he enjoys playing. Essentially, I was only trying to give the impression I got from being at this show.

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