“Stephen Malkmus, the Dad of Indie Rock”

By James Yeh, originally published on (2018)

Photo by Ben Sklar

It’s 2018 and, like the rest of us, Stephen Malkmus is on the Internet.

Unlike most of us, however, the man behind Pavement, one of indie rock’s most beloved and influential bands, seems to be having fun: tweeting about Kanye, Wild Wild Country, and W. B. Yeats (“OG slacker,” noted SM). Appearing on YouTube with a “kind of nerdy” but rocking rendition of the Squidbillies intro. Penning a gleefully snippy quiz for Sparkle Hard, his seventh and newest post-Pavement album with the Jicks. (A sample: “You are going for a casual stroll on a beach in Malibu. You run into Bob Dylan. He’s all alone. You: Whistle the chorus of ‘One Headlight.’”) At 51, Malkmus, who famously took shots at bigger fish like Stone Temple Pilots and the Smashing Pumpkins, is no less flip—only more digitally accessible, and grayer.

“My daughter is playing cello now,” Malkmus says. “She’s on the Suzuki path. So, you know, we’re padding her resume for future intents, to get accepted to a nice school.”

Just don’t confuse Steve the Dad for Malkmus gone soft.

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