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Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
Domino Recording Co.

"Lariat" is a track picked from Malkmus' forthcoming new album Wig Out At Jagbags (January 6th 2014), and as a teaser it shows Stephen Malkmus as we know him (have known him for years): on a slack stroll down a pavement on a lazy day.

This new song (and album) was produced by the Malkmus, his bandmates (Joanna Bolme, Jake Morris and Mike Clark), and Dutch soundman Remko Schouten (who used to be Pavement's regular live sound-man), and it was recorded in Europe, in "...rural Ardennes with a farmhouse vibe", to quote the record label. According to Stephen Malkmus, "...Wig Out At Jagbags is inspired by Cologne, Germany, Mark Von Schlegel [an American science fiction writer and cultural critic who's living in Germany], Rosemarie Trockel [a German artist, from Cologne, who's an important figure in the international contemporary art movement], Von Spar [a German Elektro-post-punk-indie-kraut-rock quartet from Cologne], and Jan Lankisch [a German curator, label-manager, art-director at Err and Tomlab, and an graphic designer at design agency Denkwerk, also based in Cologne], Can [legendary band from Cologne] and Gas [a.k.a. Wolfgang Voigt; acclaimed electronic musician from Cologne]. As we can see, it is many German links here, to the Cologne area in particular. To German art, design and music. Stephen Malkmus was (still is?) also based in Berlin, Germany for some time. Malkmus also "...imagined Weezer/Chili Peppers, Sic Alps, UVA in the late 80's, NYRB [The New York Red Bulls...?], Aroma Charlottenburg [a Berlin restaurant...?], inactivity, Jamming, Indie guys trying to sound Memphis, Flipper [the US punk band of the 80's, I guess], Pete Townsend, Pavement, The Joggers [a band from Portland, Oregon, who 'play complex songs with elements of math rock which retain a pop sensibility' -], The NBA and home life in the 2010's ..."

As usual, Malkmus brings many 'goods to declare' when it comes to understanding his ideas, his music and his lyrics. "Lariat" is a typical Malkmus piece. Weak and bleak, but with a certain sting. It might even fit better within the album format, along with the rest of the songs. When Malkmus writes pop there is always hook, line and sinker, but with Malkmus it is almost like with French director Jean-Luc Godard: A story should have a beginning, a middle and an end, but not necessarily in that order. Just like a Malkmus composition. And, yes, according to Wikipedia, Lariat may refer to:

  • 1. A rope in the form of a lasso
  • 2. Lariat chain, a science demonstration
  • 3. A professional wrestling move, similar to a clothesline, but while moving
  • 4. A genetic structure in splicing
  • 5. A trim package for the Ford F-Series
  • 6. A type of necklace involving a single chain or strand of material twisted together on the wearers front as opposed to clipped together on the wearers back
  • 7. A model of a Stetson hat
  • 8. The trade name for Alachlor, a herbicide

I rest my case. For now.

Copyright © 2013 Håvard Oppøyen e-mail address

You may also want to check out our Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks articles/reviews: Mirror Traffic, Wig Out At Jagbags.

© 2013 Luna Kafé