STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS play a live set at Shepherds Bush Empire on Thursday 5 June to promote his fourth solo record 'Real Emotional Trash' out on Domino Records.
"Real Emotional Trash is a fantastic psychedelic feast, full of cosmic guitar crackle and electric piano and batshit poetry. It's the album Malkmus has been driving at ever since he learned how to rip off the Velvet Underground and Quicksilver Messenger Service at the same time…downright glorious." 4 and a half out of 5 – Rolling Stone
The Jicks line-up now includes Sleater Kinney and Quasi drummer Janet Weiss
It seems like there are more and more lists. Just as the heart worn ramshackle sound they created appears in the charts and tip sheets via Modest Mouse, Blitzen Trapper and Los Campesinos! Pavement have started to appear around the top of a lot of these lists as their influence lingers and solidifies. Far more exciting, especially in the here and now, is the fact Stephen Malkmus' new album is amongst the most sparkling and mercurial music he has ever made.
Real Emotional Trash marks a departure – for the first time Malkmus has a band behind him whose chops and intuitive ability to run off a cliff in search of a chord progression matches his own. Janet Weiss, whose backing vocals illuminate a lot of these songs, is a drumming sensation. Along with bassist Joanna Bolme she forms a rhythm section whose sassiness is matched only by its heaviness and wig-out confidence; and having clicked, the Jicks really know how to cut loose.
There is a finessed jam feel at work in these tracks. Hopscotch Willie lunges hypnotically. Elmo Delmo suggests new definitions of the term headbanger.
At over ten minutes, the title track echoes such epic jams as Fairport's A Sailor's Life, Marquee Moon and Quicksilver Messenger Service's Happy Trails. It also
highlights Malkmus' ability to effortlessly turn his guitar into a splintering neon saw one minute, a silver chooglin' riff monster the next. Whatever else is happening in Portland, Oregon they should build a glass-domed psychedelic ballroom in the near future.
R E T, like a lot of great records, maps out its own wide open space and pushes itself around, shifts in different directions and changes its shape – a group locked together in the same psychic environment.
Scattered across the tracks are snatches of Malkmus' trademark head-scratching insights: Cold Son finds the protagonist feeling "like a nympho stuck in a cloister". The title track's recollection that "down in Sausalito we had clams and dessert / you spilt chardonnay on your gypsy skirt" maintains the eye for social detail that suggest,
had he been born a few generations earlier, Malkmus would have traded baseball cards and peyote tips with Terry Southern and John Updike.
When headlining the closing night of The Green Man Festival in 2007 Malkmus and the Jicks' set drew heavily on R E T. The songs sounded blasted and psychedelically modern. What a rush that in their recorded state they are even more intuitive, starlit and stretched.
THE CRIBS have been asked by their good friends STEPHEN MALKMUS AND THE JICKS to return to their days of the 'secret show', and will play a special 'b-sides only' set for the first time ever.
WILD BEASTS – Intelligent, quirky, offbeat, original and incredibly catchy pop music, a childlike pick-me-up of purity and nightly neediness. Their big-boned bare-fleshed beauty spreads from the soppy, to the silly, to the sexy, in one tender motion.
Assembly, Wild Beasts' debut release on Domino "is an absolutely joyous non-stop knee jerk expression of everything and anything forced through in a fully breached frenzy lasting less than three minutes. Like the traditional school hymn projected ten foot tall on the cement wall, but belted out bugger drunk in a backward Bethlehem"
plus special guests
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