Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks Crescent Ballroom Friday, February 24
Okay, Phoenix. First, the good news: According to no less an authority than Stephen Malkmus, godfather of slacker cool, genuinely tall and good-looking former frontman of Pavement and current leader of The Jicks, Portland now considers Phoenix a rival city. "We've been driving through [Phoenix]," Malkmus said, looking lanky and shaggy with a Fender Stratocaster slung at his waist. "It's like the Phoenix renaissance. Phoenix is rising from the ashes . . . the city is officially livable."
Now, the bad: According to the same indie-rock hero, Phoenix Sun Steve Nash is a big fan of Foster the People. Or something. "Steve Nash is saving his energy for Foster the People," Malkmus joked. There was plenty of that -- playful banter among bassist Joanna Bolme, guitarist/keyboardist Mike Clark, and drummer Jake Morris.