Steve Alexander

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The Stephen Malkmus Interview

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

11. What comes to mind when you see the Rotoworld column entitled "Roundball Stew?" And speaking of Rotoworld, would you classify yourself as a junkie?

SM: I check Rotoworld out every day. You all do a KILLER job. As for Roundball Stew, I guess I'm just not a fan of the word "Stew." Other words I'm generally against include husky, moist, and cuddle.

SA: A message-board bonanza discussing the title of Matt Stroup's "Roundball Stew" column took place earlier in the season and Malkmus offered the following snippet. When this thing shows up on a future Jicks record, I hope Rotoworld gets some props in the liner notes…

Roundball Stu
Thought he could screw
All the tight ends in Frisco
But he couldn't get through
and so on - with something that rhymes with " pee-you"

12. Where does Tyson Chandler's punk move on Joel Przybilla's broken wrist rank in all-time punk moves made by an NBA player?

SM: I didn't see it, but I'm pretty sure Matt Barnes is also capable of such actions. Or he just blows kisses at the Blazer bench. Barnes is the epitome of punk in today's NBA. No more Laimbeers.

13. What song have you not covered yet, but want to? Doug and Built to Spill's cover of MIA's Paper Planes was an impressive effort - my daughters loved it. And Stephen/Jicks' Funk 49 with Blitzen Trapper? That is pure, blissful insanity.

SM: My friend suggested "American Pie" by Don McLean. You must admit, it would be a bit of a conceptual checkmate.

14. What was the first concert you attended and what was the first record you remember owning?

SM: Elton John, in the house the Golden State Warriors played in. I saw Pistol Pete play there as well, and Slick Watts with the New Orleans Jazz. Boogie fever was my first cherished single, or was it Convoy?

15. What music are you listening to these days?

SM: Crushed Butler. Seriously, this band is sick, and not just because of the Caron Butler reference.

16. Do you have time for video games? We got a Wii for Christmas and I find myself hitting golf drives at bulls-eyes on island greens at 4 a.m. You feel me?

SM: I know its lame, but there is something Zen about Pong.

17. What projects are you working on? What can we look forward to in the next year?

SM: Not much - more jams.

18. We've seen bands like Band of Horses and Of Montreal catch some heat for having their songs used in television commercials and now some Iron & Wine fans are groaning because one of Sam Beam's greatest tunes is getting a ton of exposure in the film Twilight. I'm happy these people are making cash and getting noticed for their work, but many people still resent this so-called "selling out," even when it's clearly the road many artists need to take to get paid in today's music industry. Your thoughts on selling songs for commercial use?

SM: No problems - to each his own. Gotta put bread on the table, within reason. It's like owning Kobe. Sometimes you gotta do it.

19. What is the best live act going right now? The popular answer seems to be My Morning Jacket, and I tend to agree.

SM: No - Endless Boogie.

20. What is the best thing about living in Portland?

SM: Good times roll here. Schools are close to our pad. You can walk around. Pretty scenery. The people.

Stephen's latest album is called Real Emotional Trash (and is excellent). Pavement's deluxe reissue of Brighten the Corners is out from Matador and currently available in stores. If you're unfamiliar with Malk's work and Pavement, BTC is a pretty good place to start. However, I'd recommend you just go for it and buy the whole package - pick up the four-pack from Matador for a discounted price.

My Top 10 Malkmus Songs

10. Gardenia – Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks
9. Spit on a Stranger - Pavement
8. Greenlander - Pavement
7. Pink India – Stephen Malkmus
6. Gold Soundz – Pavement
5. Zurich Is Stained - Pavement
4. Summer Babe - Pavement
3. Box Elder - Pavement
2. Frontwards - Pavement
1. Here – Pavement

I should be back in the next few weeks with similar interviews with some of the other folks in the league who were nice enough to answer the same questions.

Steve "Dr. A" Alexander is the senior editor for the NBA for and a contributor to The 2014-15 NBA season marks his 13th year of covering fantasy hoops for Rotoworld. Follow him on Twitter - @Docktora.
Email :Steve Alexander

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