26 February 2008

as soon as i figure out how to upload audio...

...i will. this is a podcast i recorded for a private intranet website. but, i liked the way it turned out so here it is, without the music. just pretend to insert them into the spaces marked ==.

You may recognize the name Stephen Malkmus, for his work as the singer and guitarist of the trailblazing indie rock band, Pavement, from the 1990s. But after Pavement broke up, Malkmus continued to showcase his fertile mind and musical prowess in a few one-off projects, and most notably on solo releases both with and without his band, the Jicks.
Now based out of Portland, Oregon, Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks have released a new album, called Real Emotional Trash. it’s the first release for Malkmus in a few years, and it’s his first album to share its name with one of its songs. Real Emotional Trash won’t be a disappointment to music fans who long to hear skilled guitar work, quirky lyrics, and an intelligent take on psychedelic low fidelity.
Malkmus has played with The Jicks in some shape or form for years, and the current lineup includes bassist Joanna Bolme, keyboardist Mike Clark, and former Sleater-Kinney drummer Janet Weiss. The quartet has a palpable chemistry, and succeeds in putting complex elements behind a noisy exterior for an all-around accessible sound.
Real Emotional Trash officially has three sides. For LP collectors, this means it’s one side short of a double album. For others, this may mean an album that's too long. However, each song sounds as if it belongs, like each song is an essential contribution to the whole, and so, the length of the album isn’t excessive.
Several of the songs have been described by Malkmus as “triple part saga, acid mind blowers”, and that’s as good a description as any.
There are also shorter, more direct songs on the album, and some of them feature Malkmus’ remarkable ability to double his vocal parts with his guitar…or maybe he’s actually doubling his guitar with his vocals… Regardless, the result would be a fantastic thing to witness live, and on record, it is a moving, effective technique.
Various parts of the album were recorded in locations in Montana and Oregon with one engineer, T.J. Doherty, who recorded the last two Wilco albums. Then, after some recording equipment mishaps, the album was taken to be mixed in yet a different place, with a different producer, Nick Vernhes. In interviews, Stephen Malkmus describes Real Emotional Trash as a “great record (made) the very hard way”, but you don’t hear any of
the trouble that went into the making of this great album. At least, once you give it a listen, you'll be grateful for every little bump in the road the Jicks had to endure.

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