Stephen Malkmus : Jenny And The Ess-Dog

Underneath the Pavement, The Beatles.

The Biz Markie of wonky-haired alt rock, Malkmus seems to be coasting a little on this second solo single. Both music and lyrics are about as linear and straight as the collegiate pin-up has ever been, relating over chugging power chords the doomed romance between a teenage student and a 30-something player in a ’60s cover band. The melody is spry, the observations wry, with Dire Straits’ ‘Brothers In Arms’ serving as a poignant totem of cross-generational conflict. But at heart this is mainstream radio fare, an ‘Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da’ for post-slacker ironists. Underneath the Pavement, The Beatles.

Stephen Dalton