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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"Half a Canyon"

Wowee Zowee, 1995

This song is pretty sick for a couple reasons. The lyrics are meaningless, so let's skip the lyrics. In a song like that, they're just there for decoration. But it has a really cool guitar tone that totally blew out the speakers of the Fender Twin reverb — this hideous, over-driven sound that I had never heard in my life. So I take credit for that.

I'm acting like Damo Suzuki at the end of the song. I do this scream, and I scream as though my life depended on it, and I scream as long as I could. I passed out nearly afterwards. I thought I was going to have an aneurysm. I screamed so hard that I scared myself. I never screamed like that ever again. But at least my scream exists on an album, instead of at some gig, you know?  

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