Face the Truth
I was reading somewhere recently about aging
indie guys. It was scary how much of me I saw in the article.
There's no denying we've gotten older. That teen angst and slacker
shit is too hard to pull off when we're working behind a desk
every day and paying a mortgage. Luckily for us there's Stephen
Malkmus. The once brash and pissy leader of Pavement
has settled into his life as a thirty-something with a sudden
comfort and understanding that makes the rest of us know that
it's okay that you'd rather listen to that new Grandaddy
album than your stack of old Jesus Lizard CDs. Malkmus has put
away his bratty thing that has so far been his trademark in
his solo career and opted for what can only be called Adult
Indie. I mean there are tinges of The Steve Miller Band in there!
The tunes are less cutesy and pop-laden. There aren't the light,
breezy tunes of the last couple of albums. He's--and I know
it sounds like a bad thing, but it's actually good--more of
an adult. Good stuff.
As an aging hipster, it is a moral imperative that I buy this album. Pavement is the ultimate touchpoint for any throwback hipster and having Beck on the boards gives this thing like double insta-hipster cred. After all, tell me that Beck in his "Loser" video wasn’t the world's first modern-day hipster. And Malkmus on this album is at his esoteric best, stringing together vaguely political, vaguely heady sentences, not the least of which is the chorus in "Senator:" "what the Senator wants is a blowjob!" Malkmus is a funny guy. I mean, listen to him and he’s got a whole lot of hippy shit going on. Or is it anti-hippy shit? It’s really hard to tell, honestly. But I, of course, hate hippy shit, so I’m going to assume it’s actual hippy bashing in the guise of chill. I mean he talks about Birkenstocks and smoking weed in his truck and at times lapses into almost jam band-y country guitar noodling. But instead of fuckin' Allman Brothers, it's still pure Cali slacker twang -- but like a more mature twang. The songs meander and feel loose and natural and organic and not at all forced or attempting to be anything other than what they are. That's called being cool while not trying. That's Malkmus.
Real Emotional Trash