Riff: Stephen Malkmus – “Middle America” (Acoustic)

May 22, 2018

Crush me back to where I belong/Hold me down there anchor strong/Fill me up ’til I overflow/In the wintertime/In the wintertime/When we get down to it/You wanted to

from Middle America lyrics by Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks

51-year-young indie shred lifer Stephen Malkmus just keeps aging with perfection here, blending little flares of his Seussian charm amidst one of the most reflective, politically-tinged narratives he’s cut. “You know you should be winning, time won’t wait for you to grow,” he sparkles atop one of his more yearning melodies in this little aging-rocker rallying cry “to underdogs everywhere,” as Malkmus framed it in a press statement. A few self-deprecations later built around an ever-encroaching winter and you’ll be “blushing to a hue of Robitussin” with the hindsight that all those early Pavement days of dressing for success, for success that never came were just growing pains. With “Middle America,” Malkmus master-taps nostalgia for a new future, if you want it.



Riff by Gavin Paul

Gavin Paul is SONGLYRICS' Editor-in-Chief. Chicago-bred, New York-sculpted, his words and ideas have appeared in publications ranging from Spin and Rolling Stone to The Chicago Sun-Times and Arborist News.

What is a RIFF?

A RIFF is a bonsai-trimmed song review in 300 characters or less, plugging your favorite lyric. Create your own, vote others to the TOP - the lyric is your oyster.