Stephen Malkmus + The Jicks Cover Neil Young

Stephen Malkmus by Davis Bell

Stephen Malkmus and his band the Jicks tumbled into KCRW’s studio for a loose, jammy, and magnetic set behind their 7th studio album Sparkle Hard. The iconic indie-rocker performed with a confident and effortless swagger; and certainly whet everyone’s appetite for their double-bill performance with Courtney Barnett at the Greek Theatre (10/5).

Malkmus ran through favorites from his new album, like “Middle America,” “Shiggy,” and “Refute,” which features Kim Gordon on the record (her vocals today were deftly handled by bassist Joanna Bolme).

Photo by Davis Bell

In the interview with host Jason Bentley, he talked about how his collaboration with Gordon came together (easier than you’d think).

And, for a very special encore (online exclusive!), they covered Neil Young’s track “Barstool Blues” from his California-influenced album Zuma.

Listen to the set below, including the exclusive cover (which starts at 35:26).

Producer’s Note (Rachel Reynolds): When I asked Malkmus after the session why he played the solo for “Shiggy” with his guitar behind his head, he said “I play it better that way” with just a little bit of a smirk.