Dear Stephen Malkmus,
I hear that you and your band* played Ege Bamyasi in its entirety in Cologne last week. So, I'm just dying to know:
Were you there in 1968? Were you there at the first Can show in Cologne?
Are you losing your edge to the drunk sixteen-year-old kids whose footsteps you hear on your roof?
Are you losing your edge to the internet seekers who can tell you every member of Pavement, the Silver Jews, and the Jicks?
Are you losing your edge to all the kids from Tokyo and Berlin? (Of course you are. You live in Berlin now, don't you?)
Are you losing your edge to the art-school Brooklynites with "sunset nostalgia" for your unremembered 1989 EP Slay Tracks?
Were you there in 2000 at the Kim's Bedroom exhibition in a museum in the Netherlands?
Were you there when David Berman started up his first band? Did you tell him, "Don't do it that way; you'll never make a dime"?
Were you the first guy playing The Fall for the punk kids? Did you play it at the Whitney? Did everybody think you were crazy?
When you worked at a radio station, did you have everything before anyone? Were you there in the WTJU DJ booth with James McNew from Yo La Tengo?
I hear that you're on a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody. Every great song from Slanted & Enchanted. All the underground hits. All the Quarantine the Past tracks.
I heard that you have a vinyl of every Faust record on German import. I heard that you played Ege Bamyasi every night before you went to sleep for three years. (By any chance was that 1985, '86, '87?)
I hear that you bought a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and threw the rest of your band out the window because you wanted to make something real. You wanted to make a solo record.
I hear that you and the Jicks traded in John Moen for Janet Weiss.
I hear that you and the Jicks traded in Janet Weiss for Beck.
I hear all the musicians that you've met are more relevant than all the musicians that I've met. (After all, you did just meet Jaki Liebezeit and Irmin Schmidt.)
But can I see your records?**
P.S. I omitted the line about losing your edge to better looking people with better ideas and more talent, because I couldn't think of anyone who is better looking and has better ideas and more talent than you do.
*Okay, maybe Van Spar isn't your band yet. BUT THEY WILL BE.
**According to Perfect Sound Forever: The Story of Pavement, a list of Stephen Malkmus's records would probably look something like this: "Pell-Mell, The Fall, Minutemen, the Stranglers, the Eagles, Can, the Kinks, Melvins, The Fall, Wire, Jim Croce, Faust, the Groundhogs, Mission of Burma, Captain Beefheart, Beat Happening, Desperate Bicycles, New Order, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Guided! By! Voices!, the Cleeeean, Dinosaur Jr., The Velvet Underground, Gang of Four, Brian Eno, R.E.M., Echo & the Bunnymen, the Pixies, the Black Flag, Sonic Youth... Sonic Youth... Sonic Youth... Sonic Youth..."