album review:: Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks: Real Emotional Trash

Real Emotional Trash is the most fun I’ve had listening to a Stephen Malkmus release since Pavement’s Slanted and Enchanted. I don’t know if Stephen had a revisitation with classic rock like Sugarloaf and Santana in the off-season, but yes there are sounds and extensions throughout the record, bringing to mind the aforementioned groups on tunes such as the incantatory “Hopscotch Willie,” as strange as it might sound. Don’t be afraid, despite ten minute songs like the title track, this isn’t some hippy noodle fest. This is a delectable melodic journey showcasing Malkmus’s gift for irony and odd allusion, with a musical package becoming of his words. Real Emotional Trash includes extended segways, inflammatory outros, and contained freak outs, – – building and collapsing with guitar textures and strange flutters abound, best illustrated by the mutations of “Elmo Delmo,” and the long break of the strutting title track. “Gardenia” may be the catchiest sing-along-song I’ve heard from Stockton’s hero, betraying Malkmus for pulling a Todd Rundgren, and holding back the real hooks for all these years. Then again, I think Stephen let the cat out of the bag on the slamming soul chorus from “Out of Reaches,” with an intense infection showing that he really isn’t so removed from his subjects. Real Emotional Trash makes its’ way March 4th on Matador, and is Stephen Malkmus’s fourth solo record. Check out the man with the Cheshire cat grin on first single “Baltimore” below:

March 19 Minneapolis, MN First Ave. w/John Vanderslice
March 20 Milwaukee, WI Pabst Theater w/John Vanderslice
March 21 Chicago, ILThe Vic Theater w/John Vanderslice
March 22 Indianapolis, IN The Vogue w/John Vanderslice
March 23 Cincinnati, OH Southgate House w/John Vanderslice
March 25 Nashville, TN Mercy Lounge w/John Vanderslice
March 26 Atlanta, GA Variety Playhouse w/John Vanderslice
March 31 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom w/John Vanderslice
April 1 New York, NY Bowery Ballroom w/John Vanderslice
April 2 Brooklyn, NY Music Hall of Williamsburg w/John Vanderslice
April 3 Boston, MA Paradise w/John Vanderslice
April 4 North Adams, MA Mass Museum of Contemporary art w/John Vanderslice
April 28 Sacramento, CA Harlow’s

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