STEPHEN MALKMUS & THE JICKS
Portland, OR’s Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks has released new single “Middle America” — the first new music to surface from the group since 2014. On “Middle America,” Malkmus’s wry wordplay and sunny twang create an ode to underdogs everywhere, with bittersweet words of encouragement for the ramshackle character on their receiving end. Only SM & the Jicks can craft this kind of brightly low-key anthem, a perfect three-minute-thirty-second country-speckled gem about life’s questions big (the inevitable passage of time; aging) and small (getting shitfaced; blushing the color of Robitussin).
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks will tour North America in June/July, when fans can likely expect a further taste of new music, on top of the band’s beloved catalog.
Lithics is a four person minimalist punk band from Portland, Oregon formed in late 2014. Over the last year and a half they have refined a sound focusing on interlocked bass and drum rhythms paired with shrill guitar counterpoint and stark female vocals. While counting Wire, The Fall, Devo, Pylon, The Shadow Ring, and Captain Beefheart’s Magic Band as reference points, the band’s concerns are contemporary and urgent. An injection of uptight, nervous energy into the reverb drenched complacency of today’s musical underground.