Live New Orleans


Stephen Malkmus

Shim Sham Club

May 06, 2003

Considering I'm a fan of Pavement and I heard "Black Book" over and over again and liked it, I have no excuse why I didn't see Stephen Malkmus support his first album at a House of Blues Parish show. The wait was worth it when he stopped into the Shim Sham while touring behind his second album, "Pig Lib."

He didn't play any Pavement, and I don't think anyone was expecting it. His solo stuff, evidenced again by new album "Face The Truth," is strong enough to stand on its own. Some people don't like Pavement's last album, the excellent "Terror Twilight." You know why? Because they never wanted Pavement to evolve. They think that Pavement should have always sounded a little sloppy and broken, that Pavement's shards of glass approach was more important than the songs. And, by the way, I really believe the band's broken sound wasn't a put on in the beginning, but I wouldn't be surprised if later in their career("Brighten The Corners") they felt a little hip guilt for improving their songcraft.

Malkmus has acquired a second chance at music with his solo career, and he's opted to continue the clean-up of his songcraft while bettering the music's production quality. His solo songs are sillier, more Prog, and they display the persona we didn't notice in Pavement--the guitar God. Check out his solo on "(Do Not Feed The) Oyster."

Malkmus hit the Shim Sham stage with his band, The Jicks, and they opened with the best satirical/loving send-up of '80's new-wave music yet, "Dynamic Calories." He continued by offering a healthy, 19 song helping of both albums. Malkmus was cordial. He wasn't cold to the crowd, but he wasn't exactly brimming with passion, either. This detached manner is nothing new if you've seen a Pavement concert. Malkmus may not have been the most charismatic performer, but it was obvious he and The Jicks were enjoying playing the new material. The band gelled really well.

Setlist:

Dynamic Calories
Do Not Feed The Oyster
Ramp of Death
Discretion Grove
Phantasies
Water and a Seat
Vanessa From Queens
Face The Truth
Jo Jo's Jacket
Animal Midnight
Dark Wave
Whip It / Craw Song
Church On White
Jenny & The Ess-Dog
Old Jerry
Witch Mountain Bridge
Us
Vague Space
1% of One

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