Coming August 23 : Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks’ ‘Mirror Traffic’ LP/CD/digital album

On August 23, 2011, Matador will be releasing ‘Mirror Traffic‘, the 5th post-Pavement album from Stephen Malkmus and the 3rd or 4th to bear the Jicks name (depending on whether you’re looking at spines, sleeves or labels).  Produced by Beck Hansen, ‘Mirror Traffic’ makes a compelling case that after some 22 years in the public eye, Stephen Malkmus’ full range of musical and lyrical capabilities had yet to be previously explored. The casual virtuosity (and staggering guitar invention) won’t necessarily come as a shock, nor will the rapier wit of one of contemporary rock’s brightest minds.  But without dissing prior works that we deeply love, we can promise that ‘Mirror Traffic’ is the album that ties together Stephen’s skill-set like none of its predecessors.  The recording is nothing short of gorgeous, the songs crackling with confidence.  Calling this an album of the year candidate is really selling the record and the talented ensemble behind it short — what’s so special about this year, anyway?

It is with regret — and deep appreciation for one of our favorite players of all-time — that we can confirm ‘Mirror Traffic’ is the final Jicks album to feature the drumming of Janet Weiss. Jake Morris, best known to many of you as the drummer for The Joggers, will assume the same position in the Jicks for upcoming shows, which we’ll be announcing very soon.  We’ll also get on with the business of previewing an MP3 from ‘Mirror Traffic’ on a date in the very near future.

28 thoughts on “Coming August 23 : Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks’ ‘Mirror Traffic’ LP/CD/digital album”

  1. I’m all up for Malkmus hyperbole and bolding of sentences, but it’s “its”, not “it’s” for that sentence.

  2. Awesome. Only hate that I have to wait until August – is this gonna make it borderline hard to give reviewers time to really know it before they make their Best Of lists?

    Will there be a Buy Early, Get Now for this album?
    The Real Emotional Trash BEGN was a really great deal with the Live show, and EP worth of bonus tracks.

  3. Very excited to hear this record. Malkmus is on a roll. Sad to hear that Janet Weiss is leaving, but hope that means Wild Flag will become a full time concern.

  4. I have a feeling those kind words about the album are not hype. I read somewhere that Steve said it was \awesome and in the Protools stage.\ I can’t imagine what it’s going to sound like.

  5. Disclaimer: I’m not ripping labels. Always loved Matador and back in the 90s I spent thousands (plural) on their products while making $5/hour plus tips (usually singular).

    Question: If the album is in the can, why not just sell it now? I’d BUY it now.

    Instead, there is an announcement, an MP3 or two, press, a leak and then a release.

    I suppose everyone would just steal it in the end either way. But why the wait? Just for the retro aspect of how things used to be?

  6. Jojo:

    A few reasons –

    1. This is an incredibly competitive market. More releases come out now in a given week than used to come out in a month. It takes time to build up the word & anticipation for a record. A proper marketing campaign will get the maximum possible sales & chart position for a new album on release date, which in turn drives the media to pay attention and drives further sales.

    2. Long-lead print press still exists, and their deadlines for features in August is NOW. They won’t run features about a new release 3 months after a record comes out – by then, there will be a whole new batch of records competing for their attention. And they need to spend time music to confirm features, and then spend time writing them.

    3. Physical retail, including chains, still exists. Our distributor’s deadline for getting into their August 23 book, driven in turn by their big customers like Best Buy and Target, is NOW. And of course it takes time to manufacture records… you see a cover image above, but we don’t have the full packaging in for the CD and vinyl. The final EQ’d master is in today, and then it needs to get made into a glass master for CD and cut for lacquers for vinyl, which in turn will need test pressings, for approval. Once the records and the print are made, they need to be assembled, shipped to distributors, who in turn ship to stores – and for chains this means depots who ship out to branches, or drop-shipping to individual accounts – all to arrive on a certain date before release date.

    Even for digital stores, there’s a time-consuming process which includes metadata for royalty tracking, audio polishing and checking, lots of uploads and downloads and tests.

    Then there’s booking advertising, planning the marketing campaign, designing banners, and all the rest.

    It’s a delicate balancing act setting up a record properly for release. 3 months is about the minimum lead time possible from delivery to street date.

    Lots of people fortunately do still spend money on music!

  7. Patrick, Thanks for the detailed response to the question of “why not just sell it now”. I quoted your response on on our music blog–hope that’s cool. Cheers, David

  8. awesome insight Patrick, thanks for letting us behind the curtain, id wondered the same as Jojo but suspected some of what you said was true, now i know it is

  9. Oh yeah. Can’t wait. Even though I tend to “borrow” music from the webz, I’ll be buying this bad boy without question. Rock!

  10. Thanks Patrick.

    Makes sense that it still takes time for interviewers to interview, writers to write, marketers to create campaigns, etc. I tend to be a digital-only person these days. Will grab the occasional pice of vinyl, but see no use for CDs as a storage medium. Suppose we’re not at the point where the CD is completely gone, though.

    BTW, I still do purchase releases like SM, though I will “borrow” if it’s something I’m taking a flier on. Not going to plunk down cash for something like Tyler the Creator. Will also borrow just to hear it early and then pay the $10 on iTunes or Amazon.

    Anyway, looking forward to it. Sad to hear Janet Weiss will no longer be on tour. She was an amazing drummer to watch. Thanks again for the look inside the process.

  11. Glad they did the PAVE shows! Caught ’em in Philly and it was f’ing rightous baby!! Now onward and upward. Let’s hear it all you Malkmusteers!!!! Hip, Hip…

  12. Buy Early Get Now would be spectacular. Super-excited to hear a song and see a tracklist for this. Every album Malkmus has had a part in has been one to dominate my ears and keep me coming back.

  13. BEGN would be excellent. Can’t wait to see Malkmus solo after seeing Pavement last year.

  14. any info. on when the terror twilight reissue will drop?
    im looking at you matador staffers

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