On August 23, 2011, Matador released ‘Mirror Traffic‘, the 5th post-Pavement album from Stephen Malkmus and the 3rd or 4th to bear the Jicks name (depending on whether you’re looking at spines, sleeves or labels). Produced by Beck Hansen, ‘Mirror Traffic’ makes a compelling case that after some 22 years in the public eye, Stephen Malkmus’ full range of musical and lyrical capabilities had yet to be previously explored. The casual virtuosity (and staggering guitar invention) won’t necessarily come as a shock, nor will the rapier wit of one of contemporary rock’s brightest minds. But without dissing prior works that we deeply love, we can promise that ‘Mirror Traffic’ is the album that ties together Stephen’s skill-set like none of its predecessors. The recording is nothing short of gorgeous, the songs crackling with confidence.
“Breakthrough” is the new album by Steve West’s band Marble Valley. The music was recorded in an unconventional way with the band spending a week recording in Amsterdam and another week in a studio in Hull, England in 2010.
West would take the recordings away and reconstruct them as songs. Once loosely assembled they have been pulled, stretched and slapped about whilst on the road with Pavement during their reunion tour of 2010. Thus the Breakthrough has been made in 17 different countries over 5 continents. At times this Heath Robinson way of working has been a real struggle, but the end result has proven to be satisfying and the band’s best work to date. I hope you enjoy it as much as they enjoyed making it.
The band just recently completed a short run of dates in support of the record.
Marble Valley Tour/Links
Oct. 13 – The Adelphi, Hull.
Oct. 15 – The Mad Ferret, Preston £4adv
Oct. 17 – Central Station, Wrexham £7adv
Oct. 18 – The Louisiana, Bristol £7adv – Not on sale online yet
Oct. 19 – The Windmill, Brixton, London. £6adv
Oct. 20 – Sticky Mike’s Frog Bar, Brighton £6adv
Pavement thanks you for your support this year. We had a blast reuniting and playing all those great shows. stay tuned for more info on a re-launched crookedrain.com site with surprises galore.