Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Today's Playlist: Wilco, Conor, Pavement Mini-Reunion

Wilco Schmilco

Conor Oberst Ruminations

Pavement Mini-Reunion: Live Bootleg of Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks  at "Spiralpalooza", The Chapel, San Francisco, October 1-2, 2016, to celebrate the 50th birthday of Spiral Stairs AKA Scott Kannberg, featuring the two singer/songwriter/guitarists of Pavement - Malkmus & Spiral Stairs


The new Wilco and Conor are both a return to form for the artists, doing what they do best. Both albums are pretty mellow, with Conor playing piano on several barebones tracks.

Spiralpalooza is already becoming a legendary event. Malkmus & The Jicks were originally slated to play the Sunday (October 2) show, but after The Clean cancelled at the 11th hour due to an emergency, The Jicks were named headliners for the Saturday (October 1) show as well. Malkmus started the Saturday set with a cover of The Clean's Thumbs Off.

As punters had hoped, Spiral joined The Jicks on stage for several Pavement songs over the course of the two nights, including Date w/Ikea (both nights), Kennel District, Summer Babe, Stereo, Two States, Feed Them To The Lions (Linden), and Box Elder.

They also covered Falling Away from Spiral's Preston School Of Industry.

Malkmus, besides doing several beloved Jicks tunes, covered any number of would-be classics including J.J. Cale's Cocaine, The Stranglers' Golden Brown, Echo & The Bunnymen's My Kingdom, The Replacements' Androgynous, The Meat Puppets' Away, and The Grateful Dead's China Cat Sunflower > I Know You Rider, which he did on The Day of The Dead project.

When I first started listening to Pavement & Malkmus again, I would sometimes get these evil thoughts in my head... the avant-garde guitar absurdist improv conjured up... not much, but could there possibly be influence from jazz, The Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, Captain Beefheart???

It sounded like sacrilege. Pavement and Malkmus were paragons of 1990's and early 21st century cool, no way could they owe anything to those old fogeys, yet...

Perhaps Malkmus' 2007 contributions to the Dylan soundtrack of I'm Not There: Ballad Of A Thin Man, Can't Leave Her Behind, Maggie's Farm, and What Kind Of Friend Is This tipped his hand as to his hippie influences. Around the same time I saw Malkmus & The Jicks play Henry Miller's in Big Sur and right before he came on they played Dylan's Hurricane.

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