12 O'Clock Track: Stephen Malkmus, still making pretty good music on "Lariat" | Bleader

12 O'Clock Track: Stephen Malkmus, still making pretty good music on "Lariat"

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Stephen Malkmus's solo career doesn't match the consistently brilliant, slack triumphalism of his work with Pavement, but it's been better than the solo careers of many other indie-rock artists. Malkmus has a new album out today on Matador called Wig Out at Jagbags that's just like his last two albums (Mirror Traffic and Real Emotional Trash): polished indie pop full of serpentine guitar solos, clumsy jokes, and 70s-rock melodies. One song, "Rumble at the Rainbo," got me wondering if Malkmus was talking about local watering hole Rainbo Club, particularly with its pointed barbs at aging artists. That song doesn't seem to be available online, but for today's 12 O'Clock Track I'm including the video for the single "Lariat." (Wikipedia says that a "lariat" could refer to "a rope in the form of a lasso," "a science demonstration," "a professional wrestling move," "a genetic structure in splicing," "a trim package for the Ford F-Series," a necklace, and a "model of a Stetson hat." Cool word! Also, all potentially subjects of a Stephen Malkmus song!) The breezy, asymmetrical song is another addition to what might end up as a dynamite greatest-hits collection down the road, but judging by the way Malkmus chooses songs for his albums, that kind of overview could be as occasionally brilliant and persistently frustrating as many of his solo efforts. Check out the video and song below.

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