Starting the set with "Senator," a song addressing the desire that all people (especially politicians) have for oral pleasure, Malkmus spoke to the quiet, dark places of the psyche, stripping away the layers that we all came into The Urban Lounge with. With a poet’s wit, he unfolded lyrical gems like “Tigers,” “Share the Red” and “Stick Figures in Love” from a set dominated by new material from his 2011 release Mirror Traffic (read City Weekly's album review here). That stripping away is like having someone take your coat at the door, then quickly rip off your pants and whatever's beneath. Malkmus tore through our defenses, reminding us of the beauty lying beneath our awareness, the meaningless differences we magnify among ourselves and the unquenchable desires we leave in the center of our obstructed vision.
Post Malkmus's previous band, Pavement, this new creation brings a more mellow rendering of the talent that once inspired the wondering and chaotic minds of the '90s, holding a sharp, tight melody that would give the wife of Mr. Clean goose bumps, then switching right back to the dust we all came from. The brilliant glow of Malkmus has had traction over the years, unlike many an indie-rock god of his generation who have fizzled out. The spirit of Stephen Malkmus is a dichotomous brilliance between the sarcastic ramblings of an adolescent and the wisdom and indifference of an old sage.
If any audience member remained invulnerable to the attacks Malkmus made on our fledgling egos, he or she was, at least, caught off guard and found incapable of sustaining even the most conservative of dance moves, but the swaying, sporadic catchiness of The Jicks certainly got people moving. With the spirit of Miles Davis -- if he ever were to rock out of his grave and personify a very white man -- Malkmus morphed all gazing members of the audience into some form of cyclical disruption in a fashion only a genius can accomplish.