Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks :: 04.03.08 :: Paradise Rock Club :: Boston, MA
Since Pavement disbanded, Malkmus has spent several years trying to find his solo voice. He didn’t do too well when he tried to swing the neo-folk thing, but the George Harrison-meets-Tony Iommi sound he and his group are currently rocking is a perfect storm of harsh riffs, experimental jams and mellow moments.
One of the earliest examples of this formula was a tear through Trash opener “Dragonfly Pie.” The tune features a powerful-yet-easy going lead guitar lick that brings to mind the opening lick from Black Sabbaths “War Pigs.” The verses had a dark, looming sound that instantly transitioned into an up-beat “Octopus’s Garden” style chorus that demonstrated Malkmus’ knack for writing pop tunes.
They followed “Dragonfly Pie” with Trash‘s grand finale, “Wicked Wanda.” As much credit as Malkmus is given for being an “indie rock god,” this tune demonstrated how truly under-appreciated he is as a technical guitarist. Much like Prince and Billy Corgan, Malkmus can tweak and maim his six-string in a way that will mesmerize any audience. But, given his frontman status and songwriting prowess, his guitar skills rarely make the headlines.
“Baltimore” gave the rest of the band a chance to shine. During a mid-tune jam, Joanna Bolme kept the pace with some articulate walking basslines, while Janet Weiss (drums), formerly of Sleater-Kinney upped the ante with some Keith Moon-esque drum fills that would put Meg White to shame any day of the week.
Things reached their peak with “Hopscotch Willie” a murder ballad that utilized a loud-soft dynamic between the choruses and verses that made the crowd go wild. Malkmus gently sang, “Hopscotch Willie swore he was framed,” and then went into howl mode to fully communicate “it was the classic example of a fall guy.” The back and forth between sweet and somber to give-em-hell vocals raised the energy level in the room as the crowd struggled to keep up.
Malkmus and Co. wrapped the show with an encore of “Real Emotional Trash” that they stretched out with an extensive experimental jam that brought to mind some old Velvet Underground bootlegs. Some fans may have been a bit disappointed that such a heavy emphasis was placed on his newest work, but with Pavement a thing of the past, the material he brought to Boston demonstrated that Malkmus still has quite the future ahead of him.
JamBase | Massachusetts
Go See Live Music!
Check out the unbelievable setlist and watch clips from last night’s guest-filled Brendan & Jake’s 15th Annual Holiday Show in Chicago.
Warren Haynes’ Christmas Jam is an event unlike any other and this year’s concert was one those in attendance will never forget.
A collection Frank Zappa fans have been hoping would be released for the past 44 years is finally coming.
JamBase is pleased to unveil the initial lineup for May’s 11th annual DelFest.
World-jammers Toubab Krewe will soon release ‘Stylo’ and has shared a taste of the LP as well as a full batch of 2018 tour dates.
The 21st and final installment of Remembering Phish Fall Tour 1997 focuses on the show in Albany, New York that took place 20 years ago today.