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’Ment To Be


courtesy of Stefanie Michejda


A buddy of mine likes to say that “Portland is where hipsters go to die,” which, if you think about it, is not necessarily a criticism. Whenever she says that, I think of my good friend Stephen Malkmus, both because he has inspired hipsters the world over and also because he lives in Portland. Now, when I say “good friend,” what I really mean is that I had the good fortune to meet Mr. Malkmus once a couple of years ago for a brief interview when he was in town for a gig at Slim’s. He was expectedly mellow. It was easy to forget that the reformed-looking-slacker sitting across from me was one of the founders of the lo-fi indie rock movement (with his first band Pavement)—the man responsible for one of my own personal college anthems, “Spit on a Stranger”—and not, in fact, some guy I’d met at Cassanova who I was trying to carry on a sort-of awkward conversation with.

But enough about me:  Mr. Malkmus has been Mr. Busy lately. Not only did he provide the singing voice for Cate Blanchett’s take on Bob Dylan in Todd Haynes’ new film I’m Not There, but he also has a new album, Real Emotional Trash, due out in March with his band the Jicks. What’s more, the Pavement love lives on. Not that it ever went out of fashion, but lately I’ve noticed an upswing in the number of Pavement covers: “Frontwards” by Los Campesinos!, among a multitude of others. And, of course, the reunion rumors persist (this year’s Coachella perhaps?).

So…where am I going with all of this? You might be wondering. Nowhere in-particular, I respond. As an homage to Mr. Malkmus—and in order to get you in the mood for his upcoming SF gig—I elected to take a freewheeling approach to this blog. We’ll return to our normally well-organized coverage after this last message: See Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks on December 19 at Great American Music Hall. Gamh.com