Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks @ the Southgate House (3/23/08)

[NOTE: I wrote this review of Stephen Malkmus’s concert two days before it actually took place.  Why?  I was bored and wanted to see if I could influence my concert-going experience with the self-fulfilling prophecy.  If there are any differences between this fake concert and the real one, I will revisit this post, strikethrough all the lies, and update it with the correct info in a red font.]

I’m not really a big Stephen Malkmus fan.  I liked his first solo album and Real Emotional Trash is growing on me, but I skipped over his middle two releases and didn’t feel bad about it.  I really only went to this concert in a feeble attempt to make up for the fact that I didn’t bother going to Pavement’s last ever U.S. show.  According to my journal entry from that day, I stayed home and watched The Deer Hunter instead of driving the 15 minutes to Bogart’s.  I’ve always regretted that, so I decided to lessen the regret with a Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks concert.

I still feel stupid for skipping Pavement, but I feel a little bit better about it now.  Having said that, I must admit I wasn’t all that impressed with what I saw. don’t know what all the fuss is about. It wasn’t a bad show by any means, but it paled in comparison with most I’ve seen so far this year.  There’s just something about Stephen Malkmus that I don’t like.  I’m not exactly sure what it is.  Oh yeah, now I got it…I dislike the way the man looks.  All night long I had my teeth clenched because I wanted to jump up onstage and punch him in the neck.  I hate his floppy hair and his lanky arms.  Stupid pretty-boy indie sex machine. (Sure, Stephen Malkmus has floppy hair and lanky arms, but those things didn’t bother me much.  I didn’t feel the urge to cause him any personal injury.  He was actually one of the least annoying people in the venue.  And I’m happy to say that he’s not the pretty boy I thought he’d be.  His face is the exact same shape as Bert’s from Sesame Street…far too narrow to be considered aesthetically pleasing.)

As far as the setlist goes, I was happy to hear the vast majority of Real Emotional Trash.  Highlights for me were “Gardenia”, “Baltimore”, and the title track.  The title track takes awhile to get going, but once it does, it’s a blistering guitar workout.  It must’ve lasted a good 12-15 minutes. (It lasted 10 minutes, which is exactly how long it lasts on the album). I’m not usually a fan of guitar wankery, but “Real Emotional Trash” kept my interest the entire time and I didn’t think of Trey Anastasio even once(Because I made the mistake of writing about Trey Anastasio in my prediction review, I ended up thinking about him the entire time they were playing this song.  That was stupid of me.)

Other highlights for me included “Baby C’mon” and “Pencil Rot” from Face the Truth and “Jenny & the Ess-Dog” “Church on White” from the self-titled debut.  I would’ve liked to have heard “Phantasies or “The Hook”, but I guess it wasn’t to be.  Hey, I’m not complaining…muchIt turned out to be a pretty good show.  It only cost $15, and just as I was beginning to get bored, the Jicks left the stage and the main set was over.  The two song encore set was some of the best music all night.  I was particularly fond of the Mungo Jerry cover that ended the show.

Oh, and Janet Weiss kicked ass on drums.  Seeing her perform live again was a personal highlight.  The personal lowlight of the evening was the following conversation that took place between the two guys standing to my left:

Short Guy: Hey, you wanna go over to the Holiday Inn Express after this?

Short Guy’s Friend: They gotta bar?

Short Guy: Nah, but they got women and beds.

As if there are women at the Holiday Inn Express waiting for little boys to come over and make sweet love to them.  Short Guy reminded me so much of my hated freshman year roommate that I almost crammed my red pen in his ear.  Fortunately for everyone, he left my stabbing range…just after shouting a request for “Cut Your Hair”.  Asshole!

Stephen Malkmus ticketStephen Malkmus - Real Emotional TrashStephen Malkmus setlist (fake)Stephen Malkmus marqueeStephen Malkmus setlist (real)

Here’s the setlist:

Main set: Dragonfly Pie/Gardenia/Baby C’mon/Vanessa From Queens/Baltimore/We Can’t Help You/Real Emotional Trash/It Kills/Troubbble/Cold Son/Out of Reaches/Hopscotch Willie

Encore: Church on White/Alright, Alright, Alright (Mungo Jerry)

John Vanderslice was the opening act.  I caught the last couple songs of his set, but they didn’t do anything for me part of one song through a brick wall, but I didn’t hear enough to make a judgment.

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21 Responses to Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks @ the Southgate House (3/23/08)

  1. hotrod says:

    I saw him on the Pig Lib tour, and bit of this might as well be a review of that show. And I'm right there with you on "Slanted and Enchanted."

  2. if you are going to make this a self fulfilling concert, what about adding a girl story in there! She can sit too close, or dance too close. :-)I never though Mr. Malkmus was good lookin. you do?

  3. M-----l says:

    I didn't actually hear Slanted until it had been out a couple years. It sounded like noise made by a bunch of guys who didn't know what they were doing. It sounded better to me years later, but I never have understood all the fuss. I much prefer Pavement's later albums.
    I hope your Pig Lib experience didn't include the part about jumping up onstage. I know there's someone in my Vox neighborhood who doesn't like Malkmus, but I can't remember if it's you or someone else.

  4. M-----l says:

    if you are going to make this a self fulfilling concert, what about adding a girl story in there!
    Hah, that didn't even occur to me. Even though this was a made up review of a made up concert, I still wanted to stay within the bounds of reality. Even in my dreams, girls don't talk to me at concerts. I blame my real-life perpetual scowl.

  5. hotrod says:

    I don't dislike Malkmus but I don't especially like him either. I do consider myself a Pavement fan, though. Is Dabysan in your neighborhood? He really hates Malkmus and may be who you are thinking of.

  6. M-----l says:

    I don't dislike Malkmus but I don't especially like him either. I do consider myself a Pavement fan, though.
    That's about where I stand on things right now. Maybe it'll change once I see the actual concert, though. I've been listening to those two middle Malkmus albums today and there are some good songs there.
    I'm not familiar with Dabysan. I'll see what he has to say, though.

  7. Scott says:

    Thanks for letting us know what the show will have been like. It's too bad I still won't have been feeling very well Sunday night. I would have been liking to have heard him play "Do Not Feed the Oyster." I am liking that song, but I will be knowing little of his other material for some time to come.

  8. M-----l says:

    Sorry to learn you (won't be/weren't) able to make the show. It (will be/was) worth the $15. Ah, these verb tenses are tricky. I quit.

  9. Haha! Well stop scowling! Start smiling or half smiling, eye contact. Usually that is the thing that makes me approachable. This is how girls at concerts think it is ok to violate my space.

  10. M-----l says:

    The concert's in an hour or so. I'll try half smiling (don't want to overdo it) and eye contact and see what happens.

  11. Good Luck! Maybe some hot girl will ignore personal space rules. 😉

  12. Dabysan says:

    Excellent review (though I liked the pre-viewing version better). I've always said that I think Malkmus has one of the most supremely hit-able faces on earth. I think its possible that only Tucker Carlson is more imminently hit-able. I want to hit him, not out of any personal malice, but rather because I think it would do him, and the world around him, a lot of good. I, however, also hate Pavement, so the chances of me suffering through a Malkmus show are roughly nil. If they can't be bothered to care about their songs, I don't see why I should.

  13. jane says:

    that guy is the epitome of douche for yelling out "cut your hair". i like the idea of writing your review before the show and then editing it. i may do this for the next show i go to!

  14. M-----l says:

    Ah yes, Dabysan…Hotrod told me you hated Malkmus. It's good to hear from you.
    Had it just been me and Malkmus, I might've wanted to hit him in the throat, but since I was surrounded by assholes blowing cigarette smoke in my face, my hatred was directed elsewhere.
    I was always sort of indifferent to Pavement. I liked a couple of their early singles and I still enjoy their last two albums, but they have to be one of the most overrated bands ever.

  15. M-----l says:

    Even Short Guy's Friend gave him an evil look after hearing the "Cut Your Hair" request.
    This was my third concert in two weeks and I was sick of writing reviews. I thought it would be fun to mix it up a bit by writing my review before the actual show. I had fun with it and am happy with the results.

  16. Paige says:

    I've don't know if I told you this before, but I have a memory of … and Carrot Rope that overrides its inclusion on a mix. I was in high school and Tricia dragged me to this super indie coffee shop in Cincinnati with an insane arty chick from school and her very soft-spoken partner. I don't remember where it was or what we did besides drink coffee, just that it was a terrible and sort of nerve-wracking night. The only other thing (literally) that I remember from the entire evening is that they played … and Carrot Rope at the coffee shop and I was able to sink into my head for a while and pretend I wasn't so uncomfortable.
    (And yes, they do have ladies at the Holiday Inn Express. Two come free with the purchase of every room. They're trying that instead of a free continental breakfast to see if they can attract more customers.)

  17. M-----l says:

    Women are not a commodity to be sold with a hotel room. Shame on you for even joking about such a thing!
    I'd verbally castigate you further, but I just made a reservation at the Holiday Inn Express and I need to get down there. I ordered Eastern Europeans.

  18. Paige says:

    (sigh)
    I should know better. Women, of course, are not free, and it cheapens women everywhere to say that they could be included as a hotel "bonus" as an alternative to danishes or stale bagels. Obviously, women must be acquired properly – either bought off the street or purchased for an hour in a brothel. I am terribly sorry for making such an inappropriate joke.

  19. M-----l says:

    That brothel shit might fly out in Nevada, but I'm still an Ohioan. You've changed, girl.
    *shakes head sadly*

  20. Paige says:

    Wait … all states don't have legalized brothels out in the boonies?! I'm so confused. Where do you go to buy sex? Or is that still sort of illegal in Ohio?
    All joking aside, I've been pro-brothel for a while. It reminds me of the old, hackneyed phrase: "I'd rather have a madam than a pimp." Also, I thought (again, seriously) Kentucky had some kind of woman parlour.

  21. Pingback: There’s a venue-shaped hole in my heart. | Outgoing Signals

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