Watch Stephen Malkmus Play Tennis, Ride Horse in Charming Doc - Rolling Stone
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Watch Stephen Malkmus Play Tennis, Ride Horse in Charming Doc

New short film teases unreleased tracks from musician’s upcoming album, ‘Sparkle Hard’

Stephen Malkmus offers a glimpse at his life and upcoming album, Sparkle Hard, in a new short documentary from director Brook Linder.

The clip opens with Malkmus working on his tennis stroke and goes on to show the musician partaking in other slightly quotidian, slightly offbeat activities, such as riding horses, doing work around his house and practicing with his band, the Jicks. The clip is interspersed with musical performances – including snippets of several unreleased Sparkle Hard cuts – as well as various musings on life and music from Malkmus.

“If I was to think back about some of the things I did when I was in my twenties, there’s vulnerability but it’s more of an unexamined life at that age,” he says. “I write songs all the time but I’m beyond just getting through stuff or putting stuff out because of some sort of compulsion of creativity. I just try to make it interesting for myself. It has to have a reason.”

In a statement, Linder said his Sparkle Hard short film was inspired by a performance Malkmus gave at the 2007 Pitchfork Festival. “The set was mostly Malkmus and an acoustic guitar, and it was so raw and funny and vulnerable and felt rare and weird. I wanted to capture that side of Malkmus somehow – to grab the mundane details of his life – and it turns out they’re as enigmatic as he is.”

Malkmus and the Jicks will release Sparkle Hard May 18th via Matador. The group has shared a handful of songs so far including “Shiggy,” “Middle America” and “Refute,” which features guest vocals from Kim Gordon. Malkmus and the Jicks will embark on a North American tour June 1st in St. Paul, Minnesota. 


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