Not sure why Stephen Malkmus' solo/Jicks albums popped out of the box first. There are a good many better albums in the same box but, well, they were nicely grouped together, I suppose, and damnit if I don't hold a warm place in my heart for these first two post-Pavement Malkmus albums. I want to play The Hook, off the Stephen Malkmus album - the one the label wouldn't let him use the name The Jicks on. But you'll find the name on my preferred cover of the album (versus the dreamy sunset portrait):
The Hook is one of the first of Malkmus' straightforward story songs - something The Jicks have gotten pretty good at but in the first album The Hook and the single Jenny & The Ess-Dog were the two otherwise mixed in with the non-sequitur filled songs that somewhat defined Malkmus' Pavement-era lyrical leanings. But The Hook comes first on the tracklist so...
Pig Lib, the second album, is still tied closely with a brief, intense flirtation with a high school sweetheart. Especially the tune Vanessa From Queens, which I think sums it all up in its own catchy, toe-tappin way.
Why won't you let me, let me, let me love you?, indeed. Also, this album is ripe with memories of Jamaica Plain. The turnstile blues of Forrest Hills station and the morning exhaust fumes of Hyde Park Avenue. Pig Lib is an excellent album to ward off these commuter foes and put a purposeful strie in your step.
Well there we go. One, two, three - yes, I'm including the Jenny & The Ess-Dog CD single in with this post. The questionable purchase on my part contains three covers of varying success that were recorded live in Germany. We'll go out on fairly rockin jam That's What Mama Said (originally from an Australian 70's band called... Coloured Balls).