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“…and keep the language off the street”

January 29, 2008

How do I know that today’s my birthday? Because a friend just hipped me to the fact that more than a month ago Matador posted an MP3 of a new Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks single from their new album, Real Emotional Trash, due in March. The song is called “Baltimore,” and it’s a return to six-minute Fairport Convention-esque proggy rambling, enigmatic lyrics, and guitar histrionics. Given that I’m old enough to have caught a positively dreadful Pavement show at the old 9:30 Club when the band was a shambolic trio, I’m going to presume that I didn’t come across this earlier because it’s coincidence’s own little gift to me-not that I, you know, just wasn’t paying attention. Five listens through, and I’m not sure if the song has anything specific to do with our fair city other than Malkmus’ narrator admitting to being in love with a soldier from Baltimore.