With the release of the wonderfully titled Wig Out at Jagbags, 47-year-old Stephen Malkmus has finally made more full-lengths under his own name than with Pavement, the seminal "slacker" indie rock pioneers he fronted to the tune of many a rave review in the '90s. Since then, he kept up the weirdness on his more bedroom-oriented debut, Stephen Malkmus, and the synth-fried Face the Truth, while Pig Lib and especially Real Emotional Trash focused on the psychedelic chops of his band the Jicks. Along with 2011's Mirror Traffic (which includes the mildly poky "Senator"), the soul-inflected Jagbags gets back to basics with the occasionally Jerry Garcia-resembling "Lariat"; power-pop gems like "Gardenia" (from Emotional Trash) and "The Hook" (off his solo debut) reflect various moments throughout his solo career. Other highlights on our playlist include "Us," which turns the shimmering repetition of Neu!'s "Hallogallo" into a power ballad, and "Vanessa from Queens," in which he promises the title character the time of her life. Hopefully this journey through Malkmus' career will fulfill that promise for you.
The World of Stephen Malkmus
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