Live Review: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks (mini Pavement reunion), Tyvek; new Beck streams; Desaparecidos cancels Australian tour?; OEAA winners…
by Tim McMahan, Lazy-i.com
The big surprise at last night’s Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks show was an appearance during the encore by special guest Bob Nastanovich. It was like a mini Pavement reunion for an over-the-top rendition of “Unfair” off Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain that featured Nastanovich contributing his classic yelling. Ah, it was just like old times.
The rest of the show was almost as special. Malkmus is like some sort of ageless rock icon. He doesn’t look any different then when I saw him performing in Pavement at The Ranch Bowl more than a decade ago. Wearing a Missouri ball cap over his tussled hair, he ripped into an hour of songs leaning heavily on material from the Jicks’ new album Wig Out at Jagbags, playing just about every song for a crowd of around 250.
Funny thing about the new record, I’ve become so used to the horn parts that I really missed them when performed live. In my mind I filled in the brass parts for “Chartjunk,” while Malkmus played a slithering guitar solo in place of the missing centerpiece trombone solo on “J Smoov,” which was a one of the evening’s highlights. They threw in only a few older Malkmus songs during their main set, including “Tigers” and “”Asking Price” off Mirror Traffic and “Jo Jo’s Jacket” (the Yul Brenner monologue replaced with an extended piano intro) off his eponymous debut album.
It wasn’t until the encore that he rolled out the heavy guns, launching with “Baby C’mon” off Face the Truth before introducing his special guest who made the trip from Iowa. I had been told earlier in the evening that something special could happen as Nastanovich has been placed on the guest list, and I thought I’d seen him walking around the crowd, looking older but no less devilish. I remember him from the old Pavement days as the second drummer and stage madman who could make things interesting when the band got too focused in the music.
He was no less tame last night when he ran on stage, grabbed a microphone and let out the opening screams of “Unfair.” The crowd rushed the stage with their cellphones held high to snap a photo of the chaos. With a big smile and a lot of hand slaps he left the stage after one song.
How do you top that? The band ripped into “Jenny & the Ess-Dog” off the debut and then the opening riffs of “War Pigs” that touched off a cover medley that included riffs on “Born on the Bayou” and Opal’s “Magic Power.” They closed the encore with one last Pavement cover, “Heaven Is a Truck” off Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. Overall a very satisfying night of music for Malkmus and Pavement fans alike.
Opening act Tyvek was strong setting the stage with their stripped down, guttural take on garage punk. The trio barreled through a set of short, powerful punk songs that could march or swing with the best of them. The highlight was a brutal version of “Wayne County Roads” off their last album, On Triple Beams, which frontman Kevin Boyer tore to pieces with his brittle guitar.
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In other news…
Beck’s new album, Morning Phase, was made available for streaming last night on NPR (right here). It’s been called a sequel to Sea Change and certainly sounds a lot like that record (maybe almost too much). Still, it’s gorgeous and lush.
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According to Music Feeds (here) Desaparecidos cancelled their schedules appearance at Soundwave Festival 2014 in Australia “due to an issue of a personal nature.” From the article, “(Soundwave promoter AJ Maddah) added that an official announcement was forthcoming and said that he couldn’t offer any details, only ‘offer my support & love to my friend Conor at this time.’” The dates are still listed on the Desa tour page.
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Finally, the Omaha Entertainment and Arts Awards held their annual awards banquet last night at the DoubleTree ballroom in downtown Omaha. You can see a complete list of the winners right here.
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Read Tim McMahan’s blog daily at Lazy-i.com — an online music magazine that includes feature interviews, reviews and news. The focus is on the national indie music scene with a special emphasis on the best original bands in the Omaha area. Copyright © 2014 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
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