The Jicks are Jake, Mike, Steve & Joanna. We somehow got lucky enough to play 13 shows with these crazy guys between late-March and mid-April 2014.
When it comes to choosing amazing cover songs, few bands own as hard as The Jicks. Sometimes the covers arrive during soundchecks, and sometimes as surprise bonuses during the set (often during encores). Sometimes they're Pavement covers (which is always nice), but usually they're '60s and '70s AM Gold hits. Accordingly, we've included a "Jicks covers" section where we'll try our best to remember all the random shit they pulled out of nowhere.
3/27/14 San Francisco, CA (Slims)
Jicks covers: "Fly By Night" (soundcheck), "Outdoor Miner" (soundcheck)
We overheard someone in The Jicks' backstage room singing "Ex-French Tee Shirt." Eventually, Darl hit it off with Steve thanks to the magic of smoke breaks. BFFL.
3/28/14 Los Angeles, CA 90048 (El Rey)
Jicks covers: "Smells like Teen Spirit" (soundcheck), "Stereo" featuring Spiral Stairs (whoa, headline)
The Jicks and Speedy both got interviewed separately for a video series, and the guy holding the camera turned out to be the touring keyboardist for Marilyn Manson. For whatever reason they didn't include the part in the video where the girl asks "what bands would you like to tour with?" and we all chanted "Marrrilyyyn Maaansssson" really slowly and loudly with big, dumb smiles on our faces.
3/29/14 San Diego, CA (Casbah)
Jicks covers: "Eminence Front," "Brandy (You're a Fine Girl)."
Malkmus and Sadie both caught some shitty pneumonia around the same time. The story goes, he tried to buy antibiotics off her, and she was like "hell naw," so he just ended up using her inhaler. This was the night when Jicks' merch seller (a.k.a. Rebecca from Wild Flag) informed us of the secret insider news that Sleater-Kinney's next album was all finished and ready to roll. Of course, this album has since been released, so the news isn't nearly as interesting as it was months prior. But at the time, we were all gasping and shouting expletives such as "hell," "damn" and "gasp."
3/30/14 Pioneertown, CA (Pappy & Harriets)
Jicks covers: "Outdoor Miner"
Stuff: Pappy & Harriets. An old west family restaurant & bar in the middle of the desert (literally surrounded by sand) where they'll get bands like Spiritualized, Camper Van Beethoven, TV On The Radio and Sleep to play shows. Ice Cube shot a video there, and I forget what other famous peeps were on their wall of fame. There was a dirty little pig hangin' out, and I think she got pissed when we tried to pet her through the fence.
3/31/14 Los Angeles, CA
No show. Back to LA for video stuff. We shot our bit for the "American Horror" video.
4/1/14 Phoenix, AZ (Crescent Ballroom)
Jicks covers: "Never My Love" (soundcheck), They possibly did "Stereo" again. I recall some dude towards the front losing his shit over a Pavement cover.
Stuff: Joanna's big birthday celebration. Sadie presented her with a cake on stage.
4/2/14 Las Vegas, NV (Beauty Bar)
Jicks covers: "Box Elder" (coming out of "Do Not Feed the Oyster")
Stuff: In "New Vegas," I got an absurdly large sugary alcoholic fountain icey drink in a plastic bong for $12. Darl did not gamble. In "Old Vegas," we saw this praying mantis thing that shot fire out of his antennas. (See video below.)
4/3/14 Salt Lake City, UT (Urban Lounge)
Jicks covers: "Fly By Night"
Stuff: This was the night when we figured out that The Pie Hole has better pizza than The Pie.
PUP OF THE DAY
4/5/14 Missoula, MT (Top Hat)
Jicks covers: "Touch of Grey" (soundcheck), "Fly By Night," "Age of Consent," "Sister Ray"
4/6/14 somewhere in Montana
It's my birthday. Buh b-b-b- birthday. Went bowling with The Jicks. I got "most improved" because they thought I was serious when I started out doing the thing where I throw the ball really high up in the air and it thuds onto the alley.
4/7/14 Calgary, Alberta (Republik)
Jicks covers: "Summer Babe," Medley: "25 or 6 to 4," "Brain Stew," "Sweet Child O' Mine"
Stuff: The border patrol guy made fun of our passport pictures and was like "you must be with those guys who came through here earlier," referring to The Jicks. Pretty sure there was a nearby RV engulfed in flames while all this was happening. Pro-tip: Try to find this entrance to Canada.
14 VHS copies of Jerry MacGuire.
4/8/14 Edmonton, Alberta (Starlight Room)
Jicks covers: "Harness Your Hopes," "Range Life"
This was probably around the time when Mike Clark started joining us on stage for the cowbell part on "Taylor Swift," which ended up becoming a nightly ritual. Darl has a good picture of a dude falling asleep at this show.
4/10/14 Vancouver, BC (Rickshaw Theater)
Witnessed legit crack deals in the alley behind the venue.
4/11/14 Victoria, BC (Lucky Bar)
Jicks covers: 15-minute version of "Victoria" by The Kinks (soundcheck)
4/12/14 Seattle, WA (Neptune Theatre)
Jicks covers: "In the Mouth a Desert"
So yeah, we crashed the stage. As far as I can recall, the story goes like this:
Throughout the tour, Malkmus tried to hide it from Sadie that he secretly knew about her old cover band Babement. They were a Pavement cover band with 5 megababes who played 2-3 times back in like 2010/2011-ish. So not long before the show starts, he asks Sadie, "Any interest in a Babement reunion tonight?" which was his way of asking, "Do you wanna sing on 'In the Mouth a Desert?'" Darl was around and casually mentioned that he used to sing the "It's what I want" part when they covered that song in his old band Daysleeper. And Malkmus was like, "cool, you're in." So of course, when I heard about all of this insanity, I tried my best to sneak in with some "hey guys, am I cool too?" shtick. And so Steve said I could do the ooo-ooo part because he heard me sing harmonies on a few Speedy songs (and possibly because I was wearing a Gummo shirt that day). And of course we had to have Matt there, because we couldn't do it without all of us. So Matt joined me on the ooo-ooo thing.
Being on their stage was as surreal as it sounds. Like a very weird dream. But it was also really fun. After the song was finished, we huddled off-stage while someone from the audience yelled "FUCK YOU STEVE." I guess he was bummed that the only Pavement cover of the night was sung by the loser squad. Tough break, guy.