Music: New Ground

The former Pavement front man goes his own way

Every touring rock star deals with sarcastic audience requests. Very few deal with them like Stephen Malkmus, who, when asked to perform an Oasis song at a recent New York City show, deadpanned, "Sounds like we have some Vassar people here tonight." As lead singer and guitarist of Pavement--one of the most influential indie rock bands of the '90s--Malkmus was a hero to the college nerdoisie with his wry humor, obtuse lyrics and a string of critically lauded albums that failed nobly at the cash register. Pavement broke up last year, and Malkmus has wasted little time in recording a solo...

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