Malkmus On Shins, Smiths, Thermals, Mullets

Stephen had a chat with Seattle’s The Stranger, touching on northwestern bands, cities, and fashion styles. Some thoughts on the region’s music (via LHB):

What about Portland’s music scene?
There’s stuff going on, you know. There’s all varieties. I’m not totally privileged to know. There’s the Kingdom and the Get Hustle. I like this band, the Get Hustle; I think they’re weird. The Shins, of course, they’re a big… multinational… corporation. The Decemberists, the Shins, that’s like… the new black or something.

The new Nike?
[Laughs] Yeah. There’s just crazy stuff… Marriage Records, this guy Curtis, has got some good stuff. Hutch Harris’s band [the Thermals] is good. Modest Mouse live here now?they’re on the top of the food chain here by far. I’ve seen Johnny Marr around town….

Are you a Smiths fan?
Yeah, I always liked them. They were kind of unique in a good way, a weird band with a weird sound. I never paid attention?I thought it was just all jangly, but it’s more than just jangly, what [Marr] does. I was anti-jangle back then. I liked R.E.M., but the jangle had to go when the ’90s came, I’m sorry.

Well you guys get jangly here and there….
Yeah, sorta, but it’s not fey and drenched in reverb. It’s probably a more country jangle. It doesn’t come with a mop top. I like a bit of jangle, don’t get me wrong, but sometimes it’s gotta go. You can be in love with your mullet, but it has to go when you decide to try to get off welfare.

That’s fair fashion advice. Head over for Malkmus’s thoughts on the Seattle debate (“there is a Scandinavian reticence,” but at least there is also an awesome yoga instructor). And on entering his fifth decade, Stephen said, “I don’t scream like a teenager. You shouldn’t scream if you’re 40; that’s just ridiculous.” Greg Dulli could not be reached for comment.