Thursday, May 19, 2005

One album I won't be buying on Tuesday

Stephen Malkmus

Dear Stephen,

So you have a
new album coming out next Tuesday. Do I care? I do not.

Like any indie rock freak over 30, I spent years worshipping you—paying to see half-assed Pavement shows, penning pathetic, adoring love letters (you never got em cuz I never sent em), asking “what would Malkmus do?” whenever a situation called for ironic detachment and calculated ambivalence. Naturally I had (have) all the Pavement albums and a lot of the singles, and after you guys called it quits, I faithfully bought your solo records. I even tried to like those Jicks.

But you know what? Solo Malkmus kinda sucks. I never listen to
Pig Lib or the self-titled one. (Do you? Be honest.) And except for a handful of songs (Phantasies, 1% of One, Ramp of Death, possibly a few others), those albums are simply lazy, self-referential pastiches of your admirable record collection (no one could ever assail your ability to loudly and clearly telegraph your influences). But we both know you’re capable of so much more. And from the new leaked material I've heard, you’re simply not living up to your potential.

This is my long-winded way of saying we’re through. I’m not buying the new one. Not that you care—you’ve probably got plenty of
indie yuppies lined up around the block to preorder the thing. Meanwhile, Matador’s working hard to drum up publicity of the righteous indignation variety because safe, bland little Paste Magazine didn’t want to run your ad. What’d you expect?

I'm sorry. I just can't do it anymore . . .

Your (former) biggest fan,
Face The Truth
Anyway kiddos, here’s the single from Face The Truth, which you've probably already heard. A catchy enough tune, and as far as I can tell, the best thing on the album.

Baby C’mon (mp3)

And some Pavement rarities you might not have (from Rattled By La Rush & Shady Lane) :

Easily Fooled (mp3)

Wanna Mess You Around (mp3)

Oh, and as a bonus,
SM's Amazon list of music you should hear. The Kaiser Chiefs/Blur thing is a little surprising, though he does qualify it as a guilty pleasure. (As soon as I finish reading Britpop, I'll explain why it's funny.) But I don't need a disclaimer--I Predict A Riot and Every Day I Love You Less and Less are two of the best singles so far in 2005.

Finally, Happy Birthday Dave!


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