Wednesday, December 18, 2013

(Don't) Let It Go: Malkmus & The Jicks in Ferndale (in February)

I wasn't a Pavement fan for very long before they broke up... 
But, I still think I can say I was a Pavement fan before a lot of other Pavement fans. 

Then again, I can't say that I was a fan of the Fall before a lot of other higher ranked reputable fans were...
I liked Captain Beefheart before Jack Black was throwing around his record in a scene from High Fidelity or before Mark Maran worked the quirky maestro into his set as an awesome, surreal existentialist joke.
But I'm only so old, it's not like I could have been see Guided By Voices on their 1994 tour or to be bring Sebadoh III CD up to the counter at the record shop to buy it in its first week of release. I started listening to the Velvet Underground the first week I could drive a car, for however much that counts.

Why is it that we get so...protective, or edgy, about losing our beloved icons to a mass of new listeners who, god forbid, didn't get to know the band in the same special way, be it in person or be it in their early stages or be it during their darkest-of-unknown-dark-horse days?

Stephen Malkmus has been with the Jicks nearly as long as he fronted the Pitchfork-deified indie-rock outfit Pavement. And with Wig Out at Jagbags coming out in a few weeks, listening to some jams like "Lariat," "Shibboleth" and "Houston Hades," with their distinctive piano phrasings, eerie bass grooves, strutting beats and embellished guitar freak-outs, I've come, fully, to terms with Malkmus now being separate from the past. The past is past. Lou Reed is gone, Sebadoh are moving on and I know that their shouldn't be a Van-Vliet-V.I.P. punch card to prove how cool I am... Malkmus should be for the masses, no matter how long they've followed him or Pavement for that matter.

But the bigger point is... "Let's go...Don't Let Go...Let go!" Mac McCaughan penned lyrics in the opener of his group Superchunk's excellent 2013 LP I Hate Music... Nostalgia should only be one very small part of the Pyramid of your music diet - If you indulge too much, you become either elitist, cynical, distracted, disillusioned or just grumpy...for the precious past that only you can understand in just this special way. Let go.

Malkmus said, in a recent press release, that influences for Wig Out include: Cologne Germany, Mark Von Schlegel, Rosemarie Trockel, Von Sparr and Jan Lankisch, Can and Gas. 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 Townsend, Pavement, the Joggers, The NBA, home life in the 2010's…

The Jicks (Jake Morris, Mike Clark, Joanne Bolme) said they found Berlin (where they recorded this album) to evoke a strange, liberating feeling of isolation, or seclusion, despite it's size and thrumming creative energies....And, after two years, they felt as though they started "to cease to exist..." And that, coming back out of the studio was a kind of a re-birth.

Jicks reborn!

So let's not bring up Pavement. Let's not even bring up Malkmus' particularly sensational 2005 LP Face The Truth. Let's just ready ourselves for a Wig Out at Jagbags! 

Let's ready ourselves for Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks actually coming right to the veritable doorstep of my hometown - to the ever burgeoning hub of contemporary hip - The Loving Touch - on February 21st.   

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