January 10th, 2007

If You Can

I won't be going to see Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks this evening in Tempe. I've toyed with the idea of going up to Flagstaff tomorrow, but that's not almost certainly not going to happen either. But that doesn't mean I don't want to make the trip. Last night's concert at Plush was remarkable. The addition of Janet Weiss to the band is sheer genius. She brings levity and calm to the proceedings, further dulling the anti-social edge that made some of Malkmus's performances with Pavement hard to watch. More importantly, though, she is exactly the sort of drummer that he needs to make his meta-AOR jams work. And she's singing a lot too, as she does in Quasi, adding much needed texture to the backing vocals. The new songs he has been working up sound tremendous. The ones I heard in September, when he played a solo acoustic show in Portland, are transformed by the strength she brings to their execution. I could tell they were going to be good when played with the band, but not that good. Anyway, if you have a chance to see either Arizona show or one of the other ones to follow on the tour's West Coast leg, you should make every effort to be in attendance. Especially if you have a Janet Weiss fetish!