Stephen Malkmus: My Life in 15 Songs

The former Pavement frontman and current leader of the Jicks looks back on a quarter-century of indie-rock genius

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"Fillmore Jive"

Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, 1994

As Crooked Rain was growing, the sound came to have some fake grunge, and some Eagles, and some Free, and some pop things. There were some lyrics about being in bands. It was almost conceptual — music about music. This last song encapsulates that. It's a little bit tongue in cheek. My voice sounds ragged, like I've been having some late nights as a hipster in New York. "Every night it's straight and narrow..." It's kind of intense.

When I sang, "Goodnight to the rock & roll era," I wish I had been more like Wire and actually wanted to kill rock & roll. We did neuter many of the silly things about rock, but we still embraced a lot of them, too, because we're party kids and we like a Bo Diddley beat. I wasn't saying goodbye to that. I was probably hoping it would keep going and that we would be the best ones. 

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