Stephen Malkmus' post-Pavement career has found the lanky indie poster boy communing more with his guitar than with his notepad. By wringing out alternately crispy, sprightly and wild-out riffs, Malkmus is tapping his inner Deadhead, writing songs that are less stunningly literate than shredtastic. He wouldn't have been as free to experiment like this with sloppy, shambolic Pavement, an assemblage of amiable but not entirely proficient hands. But the Jicks — bassist Joanna Bolme, guitarist/keyboardist Mike Clark and ex-Quasi/Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss — is a disciplined unit capable of running with the S-dog. For a set list, they've got quite a pool to fish from: 2001's Stephen Malkmus (dinky indie-pop), 2003's Pig Lib (flying the beardo prog flag), 2005's Face the Truth (all over the map, no apologies made), and this year's Real Emotional Trash (dad-rock jamming).
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