Stephen Malkmus

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JASIII
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Stephen Malkmus

Post by JASIII » Sat Jan 17, 2004 11:22 am

What do you guys think of Steve Malkmus? I know a lot of people think the Pavement records sounded like shit, and they did (but I still love Wowee Zowee). I think his 2 solo records are fucking great! They sound good and his songwriting has never been better. I especially like the first, self titled, solo album. I rank him up there with John Frusciante, Beck and Jeff Tweedy as far as people I'd wish to make a record with. Thoughts?
"If you will starve unless you become a rock star, then you have bigger problems than whether or not you are a rock star. " - Steve Albini

seriousbusinessmusic
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by seriousbusinessmusic » Sat Jan 17, 2004 11:49 am

malkmus is a tremendous writer, singer, guitar player, indie auteur. dismissing a pavement record for its relative lo-fidelity is short sighted audio dork bullshit. glad to hear you are standing up for steve, one of the best around.

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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by w_ » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:11 pm

I never understood what the big deal is. He's a good songwriter, yes, but what makes him stand out or different from thousands of other great songwriters? He's like vanilla ice cream... good, but personally I'd prefer something with a bit more flavor.

JASIII
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by JASIII » Sat Jan 17, 2004 12:43 pm

I think he has one of the truly individual voices out there, I'm not speaking vocally, but rather his style, sound etc. He is one of the most articulate songwriters around and his sense of humor is so intelligent. I see him as a thinking man's artist. He's got the John Lennon-kind of thing going where you know instantly who it is, and no one else does his thing. Can't say enough about him.
"If you will starve unless you become a rock star, then you have bigger problems than whether or not you are a rock star. " - Steve Albini

discs of tron
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by discs of tron » Sat Jan 17, 2004 1:22 pm

yeah, and a lot of the thousands more were very much following in his footsteps. it's funny though, because i kind of get the feeling that of jasIII's "like to work with" list, all of the above might turn out to be the least pleasant PEOPLE to work with.

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Slider
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by Slider » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:18 pm

He's got great style on guitar, writes great songs, and has a very unique vocal style. kind of like a modern Lou Reed.

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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by inverseroom » Sat Jan 17, 2004 2:39 pm

Pavement and SM have been huge inspirations to me--not his particular sound, but the fact that it is totally idiosyncratic and recognizable. He's convinced me to drop all pretensions and go for those particular qualities that only I have--not that this adds up to great music for me, but it is distinctive. I loved the almost-falling-apart sound of Pavement, and that they used the worst amp in the world (Fender solid state Deluxe 85, which Jonny Greenwood also uses, go figure) to make terrific music. I like SM's solo stuff--it does sound great--but I feel like he hasn't quite found a center without Pavement yet. A third of the first record is really good, and half of the second (TapeOp Larry produced "Us," which is one of my favorite Malkmus songs EVER). Anyway, you know that when sneering goateed record-store employees with Buddy Holly glasses and stinky vintage Pumas say that somebody sucks, that that person is in fact an enduring and great talent, and SM definitely fits the bill.

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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by vvv » Sat Jan 17, 2004 5:50 pm

To quote inverseroom, I think "totally idiosyncratic and recognizable" and "almost-falling-apart sound " fit. And I like it. Maybe not love it, but...
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by penelec » Sat Jan 17, 2004 6:52 pm

Malkmus has what rock'n'roll wants: lyricism + an ear. I like both what he does to syntax and to his amp. Though I think David Berman is better at the turn-of-phrase.

But I'd rather hear Malkmus's voice any day. The thing he knew was how to write _to_ his phrasing; so he can deliver a line and you buy it. Berman can write some brilliant poetry ("New York New York") but his albums always make me feel like someone else shoulda sung them.

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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by Bear » Sat Jan 17, 2004 7:48 pm

Anyway, you know that when sneering goateed record-store employees with Buddy Holly glasses and stinky vintage Pumas say that somebody sucks, that that person is in fact an enduring and great talent, and SM definitely fits the bill.
Words to live by.

As for Malkmus, I don't think his solo albums are as strong. In fact, nothing he did ever topped Crooked Rain in my eyes. But he writes some awesome songs, has a sense of humor in his music (!), and "writes himself" well. There's no act going on. He just does what he does, and does it well. I like his stuff.
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justinf
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by justinf » Sat Jan 17, 2004 8:25 pm

Bad ass--lyrically, songwriting-wise, and as a guitarist. What you might initially think is slack mediocrity from SM deserves a second and third listen. The guy is a great, original talent.

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wing
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by wing » Sat Jan 17, 2004 9:08 pm

i love his voice, and i love his songs. always such good songs.

and you know what is a good stephen malkmus song? "vague space". i love it.

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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by jdsvolk » Sun Jan 18, 2004 2:41 pm

it's 2nd hand. If you own & enjoy records by The Fall, there is no reason to buy, nor listen to records by Malkmus.

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konabuzz
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by konabuzz » Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:23 pm

The man definitely has a sense of humor -- check out "1% of 1 is 1% of 1, etc." from his latest disc. The audacity to put out such a meticulously constructed scored anthemic peice of modern day prog rock and to do it with that kind of ballsy tone and swagger.....jeez. Gotta be tongue in cheek, but he's playing like it's his last gig, too. Amazing. A huge, huge fan, here.....when's the next one coming out? I heard it's in the works....
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Re: Stephen Malkmus

Post by george walker's closet » Sun Jan 18, 2004 3:24 pm

people are always so hard on pavements recordings....terror twilight's recording quality is phenomenal. nigel godrich did a perfect job on that record, in my opinion. i mean, its everything i ever wanted to hear in a rock record. and i also think stephen malkmus' solo stuff is great, so basically, hes the man.

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