Thursday, Jan. 3, 2008

Stephen Malkmus Coming to Milwaukee (Probably)

By Evan Rytlewski
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If the Tiny Mix Tapes report is to be believed—and Lord, I hope it is—Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks will be returning to Milwaukee for the first time since that semi-infamous 2003 concert when they played an entire chronological set of Pavement songs*.

The rumored Jicks show will take place on March 20 at the Pabst Theater. That should give fans ample time to acquaint themselves with their latest album, Real Emotional Trash, which drops on March 4. Matador Records has leaked a song from the album, a slippery, densely packed epic called "Baltimore."

* On a personal side note, that 2003 show was one of the best concerts I've ever attended. Malkmus has since become less adamant about distancing himself from his old group, but for his first few Jicks tours, he absolutely refused to play any Pavement songs, so the show was a complete shock. An mp3 bootleg of the show is still floating around online, and you can hear me timidly call out for "Grave Architecture" during the Wowee Zowee portion of the set. After the show, a friend and I asked Malkmus why he choose to perform such an elaborate, one-off concert in Milwaukee, usually a rote tour stop for most acts. He responded, eying the city's downtown contently, "Why not Milwaukee?" Like many Pavement fans—especially those who were teenagers during the band's heyday—I have a tendency to deify Malkmus, but mostly I just have a genuine respect for musicians who make every concert date worth the price of admission.

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