Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Share "Sparkle Hard: The Movie" Album Making Of Documentary | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
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Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Share “Sparkle Hard: The Movie” Album Making Of Documentary

Sparkle Hard Due Out May 18 via Matador

May 09, 2018
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Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks are releasing a new album, Sparkle Hard, on May 18 via Matador. Now they have shared Sparkle Hard: The Movie, a 10-minute documentary on making the album, among other things. It shows the band recording in the studio, along with Malkmus being interviewed, playing tennis, and riding horses. Brook Linder directed the film, which you can watch below, followed by the band's upcoming tour dates.

In a press release Malkmus had this to say about the documentary: "Since watching this doc, I've improved my tennis game immensely... I've shortened my follow through on the forehand and made progress on a buttery topspin backhand."

Linder had this to say: "I have long been a Malkmus fan, and for years have thought very hard about what I would make with him given the opportunity. He's such a unique character and there's obviously so much history involved - making anything at all seemed pretty formidable.  To me he is mysterious and nothing is obvious. The idea of making a typical visual to match the sound was out straight away." 

Linder first saw Malkmus play live at Pitchfork Fest 2007 and commented on how that also impacted the documentary: "The set was mostly Malkmus and an acoustic guitar, and it was so raw and funny and vulnerable and felt rare and weird. I wanted to capture that side of Malkmus somehow - to grab the mundane details of his life - and it turns out they're as enigmatic as he is."

In February the band led by the former Pavement frontman shared a brand new song, "Middle America," which is featured on the new album (and was one of our Songs of the Week and was also featured in our Soundtracking the Resistance music and politics column). Then when Sparkle Hard was announced in March they shared its next single, "Shiggy," which was also one of our Songs of the Week. Then they shared another new song from it, "Refute," which features the guest vocals of Kim Gordon (formerly of Sonic Youth). 

Sparkle Hard is the band's seventh album and the follow-up to 2014's Wig Out At Jagbags. The band features singer/songwriter/guitarist Malkmus, along with Mike Clark (keyboards), Joanna Bolme (bass), and Jake Morris (drums). Malkmus started writing the album in 2015. All the demos were recorded in one day in April 2017. Then recording of the album started in May 2017. Chris Funk of The Decemberists produced the album, which was recorded in Halfling, a new studio in Portland managed by Funk.

In February, the day before "Middle America" was released, the band shared a 20-second teaser video via their Twitter account that appeared to be a clip from a new music video, with Malkmus singing on the roof of a building.

A previous press release described the album as such: "Self-indulgent escapism has never been The Jicks' bag, but on Sparkle Hard, the reality of modern life sits closer to the surface, communication cutting to the chase whether it's a proto-punk grind or a back-porch country duet doing the talking. A cleaner burn for dark and complex times."

Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks Tour Dates:

6/1/18 - St. Paul, MN - Turf Club SOLD OUT
6/2/18 - Milwaukee, WI - The Back Room at Colectivo SOLD OUT
6/3/18 - Chicago, IL - Thalia Hall SOLD OUT
6/5/18 - Columbus, OH - Ace of Cups SOLD OUT
6/6/18 - Pittsburgh, PA - Rex Theater
6/7/18 - Cleveland, OH - Grog Shop
6/8/18 - Detroit, MI - Magic Stick
6/9/18 - Toronto, ON - Lee's Palace SOLD OUT
6/11/18 - Montreal, QC - Theatre Fairmount
6/12/18 - Cambridge, MA - The Sinclair SOLD OUT
6/14/18 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg SOLD OUT
6/15/18 - Brooklyn, NY - Music Hall of Williamsburg SOLD OUT
6/16/18 - Philadelphia, PA - Theatre of Living Arts
6/17/18 - Washington, DC - Black Cat
6/19/18 - Carrboro, NC - Cat's Cradle
6/20/18 - Athens, GA - The Georgia Theatre
6/21/18 - Nashville, TN - Mercy Lounge
6/22/18 - Louisville, KY - Zanzabar
6/23/18 - Cincinnati, OH - The Woodward Theater
7/17/18 - Petaluma, CA - Mystic Theatre
7/18/18 - San Francisco, CA - Slim's
7/20/18 - San Diego, CA - Casbah SOLD OUT
7/22/18 - Phoenix, AZ - The Crescent Ballroom
7/23/18 - Albuquerque NM - Launchpad
7/25/18 - Austin, TX - The Mohawk
7/26/18 - Houston, TX - White Oak Music Hall
7/27/18 - Dallas, TX - Granada Theater
7/28/18 - Tulsa, OK - The Vanguard
7/29/18 - Kansas City, MO - Record Bar
7/31/18 - Englewood, CO - Gothic Theatre
8/1/18 - Salt Lake City, UT - Urban Lounge
8/3/18 - Vancouver, BC - Rickshaw Theatre
8/4/18 - Seattle, WA - Neptune Theatre
8/5/18 - Portland, OR - Star Theater

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Hey, that’s cool… I live in Cleveland OH. The Grog Shop is located in between The Whiskey Bar and it’s inside the B Side Liquor Lounge. The address is 2785 Euclid Heights Blvd, Cleveland Heights, OH for Cleveland local residents.

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