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As former frontman of the indie rock band Pavement, Stephen Malkmus (who went by the stage name S.M.) was known for his highly recognizable (arguably) calculated off-key singing and quirky irony-laced lyrics. As a solo artist, it doesn't seem that much has changed. He released his first, self-titled, solo album in February 2001, full of familiar-sounding lines such as "I came to crave your spastic touch".

Malkmus, who now resides in Portland, Oregon, hailed from Stockton, California, where he met co-Pavement-members Scott Kannberg (aka Spiral Stairs) and Gary Young. For more detailed information about them, I suggest you head to the Pavement node. Suffice to say they made their mark (and quite a large one it was) on the indie rock world, before splitting (or just taking a very long break if that makes you feel better) in 2000.

Malkmus has also played with Silkworm as The Crust Brothers, and was a member of the Silver Jews founded by his college buddy David Berman, with future Pavement "second drummer" Bob Nastanovich.

Phantasies (EP); 2001 Festival
Jenny and the Ess-Dog (EP); 2001 Matador
Discretion Grove (EP); 2001 Matador
s/t; 2001 Matador


from Wall of Sound, 12/22/2000

I liked our audience as far as I could tell — I didn't have my glasses on a lot, but they seemed cool to me.

from CNN, 06/21/2000

If I was a betting man I'd say the malls of America wouldn't embrace our type of music anyhow. Let's just say we're a discriminating-palate kind of band.

from NY Rock, 06/1999

A good voice isn't so important. It's more important to sound really unique.
I'm more into describing a scenario and I move around in that scenario. One day I'm going to write a straight-ahead story. I really want to, but I can't at the moment. I'm not very good at it right now.
from www.stephenmalkmus.com, 2001
We go by the name of the JICKS. JICK is another word for the Jack of Hearts in a Sicilian card game. I once thought I invented the name (also used to think I was pretty hot shit with a whittling knife and now I have an extra toe).

Black Book
Jo Jo's Jacket
Church on White
The Hook
Discretion Grove
Pink India
Trojan Curfew
Vague Space
Jenny and the Ess-Dog

Recorded in Portland, Oregon, with Joanna Bolme, John Moen, and Heather Larimer. Bolme and Moen, along with Malkmus, comprise the Jicks. Larimer is Malkmus's girlfriend, who is oft compared to Yoko Ono for a variety of reasons.

In typical Malkmus humor, this album was originally titled Swedish Reggae, but according to the Matador Records website,

For fear of getting filed in the “reggae” or “world music” section at Tower, a corporate decision was made to force Stephen to call the album something really crazy. Like, ’Stephen Malkmus.'

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