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Thursday, October 13

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks

Ty Segall

8 p.m. doors, 9 p.m. show

All ages welcome

$17 advance, $20 day of show

Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks

"I caught you streaking in your Birkenstocks, scary thought, in the 2Ks"

Mirror Traffic (Aug. 23, Matador Records) is the new Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks album, recorded at LA's Sunset Sound Studios and at the home of the album's producer, Beck.

With the question of a Pavement reunion having been triumphantly answered last year with an Ono-esque "YES", Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks return with their most energized set to date. These 15 songs range from hard-rocking political commentary ("Senator"), to touching, winsome folk ("No One Is"), to virtuosic but melancholy and contrite kiwi pop ("Stick Figures In Love"). The lyrics are as curious as ever but more meaningful than they have been since Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain. "This record," concedes Malkmus dryly, "is relatively approachable."

As the first producer to work with Malkmus since Pavement, Beck has drawn out a set of performances that ring with clarity and inventiveness. Gone are the long guitar workouts and jams that marked the last couple Jicks albums, replaced with a sharply defined focus and more colorful depth of field. With nearly half the tracks clocking in under three minutes, Mirror Traffic flashes by with a lightness of touch; a decision that band and producer found easy to take: "Beck & I were both burned out on the heavy rocking style," says Malkmus, "and playing to the strengths of a melody felt like the way to go."

Our first two responses from bigshot journalists who got early copies were, word for word:
1) "I'm so psyched, this is the most Malk thing in years"
2) "I respect his right to make any record he wants, but this is the album that me and a lot of other people have waited 10 years for."

For someone who has occasionally enjoyed a reputation for throwing ideas into the air and seeing where they land, Mirror Traffic is a confident, heartfelt, direct record. Ease into the seat and enjoy the ride.

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Ty Segall

Burying '60s sing-alongs and dance crazes beneath waves of reverb and giddy thud, Ty Segall has carved out his own shelf in the neo-psych garage alongside SF compatriots and collaborators Sic Alps and Thee Oh Sees. As an exploration of the space between Cro-Magnon fuzz and atmospheric acoustic psych, Ty Segall continues to crank out the best new garage rock from San Francisco.

And while he's often been compared to the late punk hell-raiser Jay Reatard, Segall is a level-headed son of a lawyer father and artist mother who conscientiously breaks up his touring schedule to stay sane and be able to "see my family at least once every three months." He first garnered public acclaim as the lead singer of Orange County, CA, garage rock revivalist band the Epsilons. With that band, he practiced a rawer, snottier take on Strokes/Vines/White Stripes-style rock, occasionally delving into more retro territory. On his solo album, Lemons; however, Segall delivered a much more traditional sound, studiously re-creating '60s guitar tones and drenching his tracks in old-school reverb. The stomping results bore a striking resemblance to early garage masters such as the Sonics and the Standells, as well as proto-punks the Stooges and bedroom folk antecedent Alexander "Skip" Spence.

His most recent album, Goodbye Bread, is a relatively mellow affair that draws inspiration from classic rock heavies like Neil Young and John Lennon; the title track opens with Segall crooning alongside some lonely guitar. The prolific songwriter took a relative eternity-- six months-- to make Goodbye Bread in his buddy's basement, and he calls it his "most serious and thought-out" LP to date.

"A Pitchfork darling and the national hope for San Francisco's hard rock music scene."

 

Segall peforming "Goodbye Bread" solo in the bathroom of NYC club

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