Just as being part of a terrific band does not a decent solo career make (see McCartney, Paul, and Stephanie, Gwen), so too can talented artists arise from mediocre groups. While we always found Pavement to be a wee bit lacking in the oomph department, the same does not hold true for its lead singer, Stephen Malkmus, on his lonesome. The wry, literate lyrics remain, more playful than before -"so you got some curb appeal, but can you cook a three course meal?" The sound is less fuzzy lo-fi, more early Simon and Garfunkle meets CSN with a dash of the Dead, and, bereft of feedback, Malkmus' voice comes off like Lou Reed on helium --more appealing than you'd think. Occasionally Malkus and his band, the Jicks, go too tinny-folksy or sprawling-jam-bandy; we're hoping that his performance tonight at the Bowery Ballroom stays tight. The show is sold out, but we think it should be worth bowing to the scalper gods. If not, you can always wash away your disappoint with one of nearby Vig Bar's potent martinis.
Steve Malkmus and the Jicks Bowery Ballroom doors at 8