Saturday, April 05, 2008

Hopscotch Willie

Just got back from a 4th birthday bash, where I was able to see parts of the Jays' 10-2 walloping of the Red Sox. Niiiiiice...

On Thursday, I met my buddy Rob at the Paradise to see Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks. The show had been sold out for weeks and Malkmus has gotten a lot of good press for his latest album, Real Emotional Trash, which is excellent. Over the last several years, Malkmus' solo efforts have really stretched beyond the fractured indie rock of his legendary band Pavement. He and his current band have really embraced a jam-friendly approach with mucho guitar solos and songs that often surpass the 5-minute mark. Malkmus was in a chatty mood Thursday night, something I don't recall from the times I saw him with Pavement ('94 at the old Venus de Milo and '99 at the Roxy). He seems a lot more relaxed these days. The band ripped through a 100-minute set propelled by Malkmus' extended solos and the powerhouse drumming of Janet Weiss (formerly of Sleater-Kinney), who was amazing. I've got some S-K albums and have always been impressed with her drumming, but damn, she kicked major ass at this show. They played most of the songs off the new album, plus a selection of tunes from the previous three. In addition, they played "I Don't Care About You," an old classic by punk legends Fear. Great show. Opener John Vanderslice played a cool set that featured two things I had never seen before at a concert: the drummer played drums and keyboards simultaneously and for their last song, Vanderslice and the other members of the band went on the floor and played right in the crowd, unamplified. They all sang harmonies while Vanderslice played acoustic guitar, the bassist played violin, the keyboardist played an accordion, and the drummer played a tom tom drum.

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