Stephen Malkmus (photo by Catherine Maldonado)
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks played a tight, laid-back set Saturday night at The Royale in Boston. The setlist relied mostly on new material from their current album Mirror Traffic, a solid collection of Malkmus’ complacent lyrics accompanied by catchy tunes.
By this point, Stephen Malkmus is well established in his solo career as the front man and only true necessary member of the Jicks. Malkmus eagerly swayed his way through songs giving a goofy grinned thumbs up to compulsory applause after each one. The audience was genuinely enthusiastic, but Malkmus didn’t seem to care and went as far as antagonizing them during the encore by dedicating a cover of “Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)” to the Buffalo Bills. Even a handful of ice thrown underhanded in his direction only caused him a momentary pause. The rest of the set was equally mismatched in enthusiasm, only coming close during “The Hook” from his reluctantly self-titled 2001 album.
Malkmus has fought to create a new post-Pavement band without his name on the marquee, but he’s clearly the one people are there to see. During “The Hook,” A fan broke the spell by climbing on the stage and unsuccessfully egging on the audience to form a supportive crowd for him to dive into just as the band broke the song into an extended jam session that eventually fizzled. Malkmus managed to segue into “Senator” after a crude comment from a fan, but otherwise the band remarked they were a little busy puting on a show after yells for requests and autographs. The only band member truly looking excited was new drummer Jake Morris who replaced Janet Weiss after her departure to form Wild Flag, her super group with Carrie Brownstein, Mary Timony, and Rebecca Cole.
Malkmus ended the night scratching his head and saying “Thanks for coming, I guess. See you again soon, I hope.”
Jake Morris (photo by Catherine Maldonado)
Download “Senator” from Mirror Traffic here.