Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks – Stick Figures in Love

Somehow I missed the bus on Pavement. Cut Your Hair was a big hit, which is to say it got played on Alternative Nation all the time when I was in college, but for some reason I never really got into Pavement even though I loved that song. I can only assume it was a combination of irregular airplay on KROQ, limited financial resources, and the lack of the technology to download or listen to stuff for free (aside from the radio), so I had to pick and choose what I actually wanted to listen to, and they never made the cut. Now they strike as one of those bands that I’ll have to work my way into slowly. This always happens when a band has a big back catalog. It’s too much to do at once. I’m working through that process with Superchunk right now.

Somehow about a year ago Range Life got stuck in my head, so I started listening to some Pavement, which made me want to check out Malkmus’ solo material (or whatever you call his stuff with the Jicks), and as it turns out, I really like the last album, Mirror Traffic. It’s got four or five really good songs, including the first two singles, Tigers and Senator. This one is my favorite, and while I think the studio version has a better mix for the lead guitar, I like that the KCRW version is sped up a little bit. The guy has a definite knack for hooks, and it’s always that third, sometimes fourth hook in the combination that really gets me, and this songs kicks them off right from the get go.

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