LIVE from the 2007 PLUG Awards: Quick drink-grab with Stephen Malkmus

I got a phone call about 45 minutes ago from Stephen Malkmus' manager asking if I could dip out for a minute to do a quick interview. He and Malkmus were next door to Irving Plaza at Galaxy - a cafe that reportedly used to put hemp in most/all of their dishes...? (Focus, Jamie, focus.) As I walked in, Malkmus and his manager were already heading for the door.

"Come on, Jamie. We're heading to get drinks."

I introduced myself to Malkmus en route...

At an across-the-street pub, we filed into a large wooden booth and chatted a bit about his New York apartment on the lower Lower East Side, the Dallas music scene (where I'm from) and the fact that he unfortunately has a cold right now. He struck me as a really laid back, easygoing person - which didn't suprise me as I've always found his music to be relaxing even in its erraticism.

JL: Being in Pavement vs. Being solo - Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks

SM: The way Pavement started - it started in a more willie-nillie way. Just a couple of friends, we made some records and got bigger than we imagined, sort of. I just called it (the new band) my name because I didn't think the rest of the band would stay with me. But now, it (Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks) is just like a band (as opposed to a solo endeavor.) Even more - it's more a cooperative. The girls in the band especially are very much about getting shit done. And we have a new drummer. We're rehearsing together more.

JL: Thoughts on the PLUG Awards?

SM: Well initially it (the awards) were just like a gig to me. A friend of a friend went last year and said, " I went to the PLUG Awards and it was really fun." I love coming to New York. Plus, it gives us something to do and we're about to record. It's a gig and people seem pretty genuine.

We discussed how the PLUG Award recognition/prospect was an honor, but for him, it's getting to perform live in New York that matters most. At this time, the bartender brought over a pint of beer for Malkmus, who already had a glass of whiskey in front of him.

"This is from the guy in the wool hat at the end of the bar. He's going to see you perform tonight, big fan."

Malkmus turns to me: "You want this?"

If only I were a beer drinker, I could tell my friends Stephen Malkmus gave me his beer...

Anyway, Stephen Malkmus is a legend. Even in a practically empty bar, someone is a fan of his.

Enough said.

LIVE from the 2007 PLUG Awards: Quick drink-grab with Stephen Malkmus