Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks

Interesting that Beck produced both Stephen Malkmus' latest album, Mirror Traffic, and Thurston Moore's 2011 LP, Demolished Thoughts. The two guitarists always seemed like eternal teenagers in their respective bands, Pavement and Sonic Youth, shaggy-haired and shred-ready, but maturity has reared its head in 2012. Mirror Traffic finds Malkmus and his Portland-based backing band, the Jicks, in a more reflective mood, navigating adulthood in a sea change of broken relationships ("Forever 28") and adding in different instrumentation (the lap-steel on "Tigers"). Portland trio Nurses open.

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