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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"Shibboleth"

Wig Out at Jagbags, 2014

This song is a little dark. It’s driven by an intense bass sound, almost like if the Pixies were into scaring people again. Lyrically, it has some rather complicated ideas about Christianity and the need for limits — something about how there can't be morality without sin.

It’s got some funny things that have nothing to do with that, too. Like “I’m a connoisseur of scrapple.” I thought that was apropos of our world now. People are trying to make the best hamburger or the best taco or the best bacon, so I put in scrapple, which is a people's cheap meat.

As we juggle through all this bullshit that I've made that is quality at times — cheap meat — it’s still there. A line like that could easily have been in "Summer Babe," except I wouldn't have been worrying about life-hacking fast food. So, yeah, times have changed.

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