I saw Stephen Malkmus at Bowery Monday. My initial reaction was "good show, but sloppy," but if one artist its allowed to be sloppy it's Malkmus. The clear highlights for me were the bouncy "Gardenia," which could have been a later day Phish song, and the 15-minute "Real Emotion Trash," which I'm pretty sure was a later day Phish song. In the more traditional Pavement-style, we got a set closing "Church on White" and some serious drum drum work from Janet Weiss (who made her name in bands like Quasi and Sleater-Kinney). But the real reason I love Malkmus this morning is this quote from the A.V. Club:
How is making an indie-rock record now different from what it was, say, 10 years ago?
STEPHEN MALKMUS: Well, 10, it's probably not so different. But 15 years ago, or when we started, obviously [the scene] was smaller. I just got back from England, and with the advent of these groups like Arctic Monkeys, and, I don't know, there are other ones--I can't remember who was on the cover [of NME] this week. But the major youth music is "indie." So I don't know. We just do what we do. I would quantify our sound as more underground than indie, in that it's not catering to a fashion, so much as indie happens to be a fashion now. But the underground lives on regardless. It always does. Because there are so many people making music, and there are enough people just making it to their own taste. In-your-face type music. The indie moniker has obviously grown with movies like Juno and The Arcade Fire or whatever. U2 wants to hang around with Arcade Fire. U2 didn't want to hang around with Pavement. It's too different, you know? Maybe they're better or something. Or maybe we were, you know, not a threat. The difference between U2 and Pavement was quite vast. It's grown narrower--closer, I guess. Radiohead being the biggest band in the world.