Monday, March 15, 2010


I have two friends both called Tristan. One is very slight of build and the other is something of a tank. The bigger fella I’m not as close to, but he got last night’s setlist and that’s why I’m bringing it up: 27 mind-blowing cuts to stroke the ear. Their arsenal of song is astounding.

At one point in the show I heard an indignant guy yell out: this ain't heavy metal!

Well it's the closest I've come to heaven. I really don’t know how I physically existentially managed to see Malkmus on Friday, Saturday and Sunday (life presently in disarray), but I did and I did it with a fervour usually reserved for bundles of dynamite. Dreams came true all over the place.

The band couldn’t stop smiling. They sounded incredibly special and loud enough to drown out my furious belting of their tunes. Get these five guys in a big room with their toys and as stupid as it sounds, magic happens.

I took some notes in an attempt to explain their charms to myself and to an audience on the radio earlier in the week.

Can we start with Stephen’s voice and what comes out of it?

* I find it very stimulating. Couldn’t do an entire album of Steve a capella — no I need the rest of it.

* The first song I ever heard was Half a Canyon off Wowee Zowee, the opening yelp perfectly encapsulating how I felt at the time. I was 24 and a mite bit angsty.

* The lyrics have a literary-bent. Discuss the appeal of riddle-speak and a bands' charms partly these inscrutable secrets.

* A pose that is ironic in the sense that he’s not self-important enough to think that his words can feed Africa. Doubly ironic is that his words are vastly more quotable than Bono’s. Triply ironic is whether Bono gives a shit when he’s on the golden toilet in his jet and no he does not.

Malkmus seems to pretend he doesn’t care and there’s something alluring about that, but the fact of the matter is, he cares more than you would ever know, except he doesn’t care much about the videos Pavement made otherwise they wouldn’t all stink. They’re okay I guess (the vids), pretty corny and fail to reflect the art-damaged aesthetic of their sleeves, and that’s what bribles.