22 June 2006


"1% Of One" by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks which clocks in at 9:13

Achtung! We are set for another guest post here on EAR FARM's 8+ series. This one comes to us from my good friend Mike. You may remember reading a contribution or two (or three or four) from him here on EF in the past... If you missed those previous posts, fear not. I'll tell you all you need to know in one simple sentence: Mike's immense desire to stalk and grope Stephen Malkmus is only surpassed by his immense desire to talk about Stephen Malkmus and the music he makes. And I'm only half joking. Excited? Heck yes. Want to contribute yourself? Go ahead then, send me something. In the meantime, let's have your full attention focused on Mike.

1% Of One. The title alone scares up an image of the Malkman chewing on a pen cap and thinking of clever new ways to smoosh words and phrases together as a reminder that he's smarter than us. How much is 1% of one? I try not to think about that; math slows my breathing. Just say it out loud though - 1% Of One - sounds cool, right?

Yes, and the actual song sounds nice too. Real nice. And isn't that the point? How much meaning are we to glean from a blind soundman in the Netherlands mixing a record that sounds both a bit like the Zephyrs and a bit like the Jicks? I don't know. I don't think Malkmus knew either, which is why at around 1:08 he nudges and winks at us saying, "And there my friend the story ends, short though I know it may be," and then proceeds to shred our collective faces for nearly the next eight minutes with an absolutely jamming breakdown.

Here is the fact: Malkmus is the best guitar player on the face of this earth. No, he doesn't have his own model of Fender Strat like Yngwie Malmsteen (or even the guy from Blink-182 for that matter). No, he's not the most technically efficient. You won't see a Malkmus DVD showing on loop behind the counter at Guitar Center. But, similar to his way with words, he has an uncanny ability to attack melodies, toying with them and rearranging them in such a tasteful and endearingly sloppy way that you can't help but want to drink a bottle of Robitussen and play along on air guitar.

And there my friend the story ends, short though I know its not. Over nine minutes of Malkmus perfection. Carry on.
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EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"
Wilco - "Spiders (Kidsmoke)"
Isis - "From Sinking"
Lemon Jelly - "A Tune For Jack"
Herbie Hancock - "Sly"
New Order - "Temptation"
Polvo - "El Rocio"
Pulp - "Countdown"
Morrissey - "The Teachers Are Afraid of the Pupils"
Dungen - "Du är för fin för mig"
Loose Fur - "Wreckroom"
The Who - "A Quick One, While He's Away"
Destroyer - "Rubies"
Neu! - "Fuer Immer (forever)"
Iggy Pop - "Mass Production"
The Cure - "Fascination Street" (Extended Mix)
Yo La Tengo - "Let's Be Still"
George Michael - "I Want Your Sex, Pts. 1 &2"
Digital Underground - "Doowutchyalike"