Amid all the reunions of ’90s bands, Pavement’s was an anomaly—no new material, just some shows, a best-of release and then kaput, all within the year 2010. That’s perhaps a good thing, since it gives people a chance to focus on frontman Stephen Malkamus’ work both solo and with the Jicks, which has been largely excellent—and underrated. Wig Out at Jagbags finds Malkamus and co. loose and having fun, but still writing solid songs that stick. After a couple of jammy numbers, the album picks up with the poppy “Lariat,” which funnily seems to call out Malkmus’ own fan base (“we grew up listening to music from the best decade ever!” he sings at the conclusion). Alt-rock revivalism gives way to a piano-led rock ballad on “Houston Hades.” “Rumble at the Rainbo” finds the band poking fun at its own elder status within the underground community—“come and join us in this punk rock tune/come slam dancing with some ancient dudes,” Malkamus sings. The more improvy numbers might lose some people, even if relistening to Pavement finds as much emphasis on exploration as melody, but they always come back with a catchy tune—“Chartjunk” features horns and Malkamus playing a not-jokey guitar solo, and seeming to enjoying every minute of it; “Independence Street” is a Velvets-esque, dry ballad; and “Surreal Teenagers” closes the album on an energetic high. With an album as fun to listen to as Wig Out at Jagbags, we’ll let Malkamus close the book on Pavement and move into a new era.
This weekend, Los Angeles celebrates its main Gay Pride festival and I plan on being there. This may not seem like a stunning “news flash” to many of you, dear readers, but those who know me well know that I have a phobia of parades and balloons, I will not wait anything over 10 minutes for a table at any restaurant no matter how piquant their comestibles, nor will I eat standing up (and certainly not in a crowd!) and I’m allergic to most forms of fun – all of these are features of such events (or so I'm told).
But here’s another fact about me: I’ve never participated in any Pride activities in any city, any year, ever – and that strikes me as, well… queer. So this is the year I’m remedy it. I'm coming out! (...of my safe and cozy home.)
I need to go buy bottles of water and sun-block with an SPF of pi, but before I do, I wanted to get some mood music from our rich, LGBT heritage (see below). Beats make me braver!
And if you plan on coming to LA’s Pride, look for me. I’ll undoubtedly be cowering in some dark corner, terrified of everything, but doing it with a rad attitude.
2. David Guetta- One Love
3. Patrick Cowley - Catholic
4. Ultra Nate - Alchemy