Tag Archives: Stephen Malkmus

9 of the best – sounds of 2018

Samuelsounds begins a short hiatus for the festive season. As is my way, I leave you with my favourite sounds of 2018. They are in no particular order. Merry Christmas, have a great holiday and see you in the New Year, when I will whittle 12 to 9. (Done!)

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Rolling Blackouts Coastal Fever – Talking Straight

Father John Misty – Just Dumb Enough to Try

Natalie Prass – Lost

The Good, The Bad & The Queen – Merrie Land

Stephen Malkmus – Solid Silk

Vasser – Valerians

Let’s Eat Grandma – Donnie Darko

Oscar L – Monster Tube

Kokoroko – Abusey Junction

Honourable mentions also go to: Childish Gambino for ‘This Is America‘; Phum Viphurit for ‘Lover Boy‘; Fake Shark for ‘Wake Up‘; Phosphorescent for ‘New Birth in New England‘; Bodega for ‘Jack In Titanic‘; MorMor for ‘Heaven’s Only Wishful‘; Kanye West & Kid Cudi for ‘Reborn‘; Christine and the Queens for ‘Damn, dis-moi‘; Lana Del Rey for ‘Mariners Apartment Complex‘; The Voidz for ‘Leave It In My Dreams‘; Nilüfer Yanya for ‘Thanks 4 Nothing‘ and DJ Koze for ‘Pick Up‘.

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Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks – Solid Silk (2018)

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As we approach the end of the year, one thinks about the best sounds January to December. Stephen Malkmus And The Jicks’ Sparkle Hard must get a mention, so rare is a poor moment on the album. Listen to the song ‘Solid Silk’ and hear the class. Have a great week.

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Stephen Malkmus – Jo Jo’s Jacket (2001)

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Last week’s feature of Bryan Ferry got me thinking about solo artists that have made a good fist of leaving their successful bands. Stephen Malkmus’s signature is unmistakable. The one-time frontman for Pavement, arguably the most effervescent group of ’90s indie music, could have suffered under the weight of legacy and expectation. But he took it all in his stride and with a dollop of his humour. ‘Jo Jo’s Jacket’ and the bald dome of Yul Brynner feature on his self-titled debut album.

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Pavement – Stereo (1997)

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Good morning! Some dissonance to clear the weekend cobwebs. The single ‘Stereo’ featured on their Pavement’s fourth album Brighten The Corners. Stephen Malkmus yells, “listen to me, I’m on the stereo!” Has it really been over 20 years? Have a great week.

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9 of the best – sounds of 2005

I featured a few tracks from 2005 this week, but none of them made the cut. And so, in no particular order…

Kanye West feat. Adam Levine – Heard ‘Em Say

Sufjan Stevens – John Wayne-Gacy Jr

Sigur Rós – Hoppípolla

Brakes – You’re So Pretty

Arcade Fire – Wake Up

Spoon – The Beast And Dragon Adored

Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good On The Dance Floor

Okkervil River – A King And A Queen

Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Baby C’Mon

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Honourable mentions also go to: Devendra Banhart for ‘Santa Maria Da Feira‘; Gorillaz for ‘Hong Kong‘; Smog for ‘Rock Bottom Riser‘; My Morning Jacket for ‘Wordless Chorus‘; Lindstrom for ‘I Feel Space‘; Dangerdoom for ‘El Chupa Nibre‘; Kelley Stoltz for ‘The Sun Comes Through‘; Super Furry Animals for ‘Zoom!‘; and Little Barrie for ‘Free Salute‘.

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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Baby C’mon (2005)

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Stephen Malkmus

In 2005, Pavement hero Stephen Malkmus released his third solo album. Unexpectedly, toward the end of the album he features a cover of Özdemir Erdoğan’s 1972 track ‘Gurbet’. S.M. called it ‘Baby C’mon’, but it was nothing more disguised than that. An indie take on Turkish folk pop – I am almost certain I’ve never said that before. And of course, one forgives him… he’s provided a path to another artist. Just like I have Rod Stewart to thank for introducing me to Jorge Ben; well, sort of.

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Pavement – Summer Babe (Winter Version) (1992)

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Pavement again

It’s winter my friends and never has an album opened with a colder start than the lyric “Ice Baby”. ‘Summer Babe (Winter Version)’ kicks off Slanted and Enchanted, Pavement’s impertinent and preposterously good debut album. Full of reverb and garage drums, the song was omnipresent during my last college year. Where Icehouse’s Iva Davies tapped into Bryan Ferry’s vocals, Stephen wanted to sound like Lou Reed.

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Mac DeMarco – Passing Out The Pieces (2014)

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Mac DeMarco

Rolling Stone has compared Mac DeMarco’s new album Salad Days to a marriage of Stephen Malkmus and Marc Bolan. This is high praise indeed. In fact, how does a man from Montreal manage to sound like he grew up in post-war Stoke Newington? Enjoy ‘Passing Out The Pieces’.

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Silver Jews – People (1998)

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Silver Jews

In their third album, Silver Jews’ frontman David Berman reunites with Stephen Malkmus, one of his original Silver Jews co-founders. You can tell so too, as the influence of the Pavement sound shines through, but with the added humour of Berman’s worldplay. The summery wah-wah sound of ‘People’ is a great example. “The drums march along at the clip of an IV drip/Like sparks from a muffler dragged down the strip.”

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Andrew Bird – Heretics (2007)

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Andrew Bird

The sight of Jeff Lynne on violin got me thinking… after his critically acclaimed album Andrew Bird & the Mysterious Production of Eggs, Bird released Armchair Apocrypha in 2007, and this time, to some popular fanfare. Appearances on Letterman and Conan O’Brien seemed to position him as Stephen Malkmus on violin. That’s not a bad comparison either. ‘Heretics’ shows off the quirky lyrics – “Thank God it’s fatal” – the offbeat vocals and fascinating violin arrangements.

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