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A really weird (and good) song about Brandon Jennings

Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks – led by Malkmus, the former lead singer and guitarist of Pavement – has a new song about Brandon Jennings: “Chartjunk.” It’s mostly about Jennings’ time with Scott Skiles in Milwaukee, but parts still apply

Malkmus, via Andrea Warner of CBC Music:

This tune is inspired by the NBA and a specific player, Brandon Jennings. He’s a prima donna point guard. He went to Italy young, he didn’t go to college, he just went straight to European league and then he came back and he’s a real hot dog gunner. He had a relationship with a specific coach, his name is Scott Skiles, he’s a very bossy, my-way-or-the-highway-type coach. They butted horns. Skiles was also an ex-NBA player, and he was saying, ‘I’ve been there, I know what you’ve been doing, and I can tell you,’ and Jennings was like, ‘You’re not my mother, I’ve got a contract and I don’t need you to tell me what to do. I’m my own man.’ This all happens over a Chicago Transit Authority, ham and eggs, rock ’n’ roll song, complete with Chicago-style horns and sort of “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet”-song, which might be a Canadian band, Bachman-Turner Overdrive-style singing…You can make this metaphorical about anything. There must be some Freudian angle or early Greek — Odyssey, Icharus, something going on there. But on the second verse it gets specifically into things like dropping dimes and dipsy doos and the D-League in Wichita, which is a minor league basketball league, so that’s pretty specific. I can’t really get away with that.

You can listen to “Chartjunk” here and read my thoughts on the song at ProBasketballTalk.


  • Jan 12, 20146:44 pm
    by Alex


    Well apparently we can’t read your thoughts at probasketballtalk.com. Page not found.

  • Jan 12, 20149:21 pm
    by pablum


    Here’s Malkmus the genius riffing on falling in love…”help me languish here..”

  • Jan 13, 20142:37 am
    by gtg2013


    The album that has “Chartjunk” also has a track called…. “J Smoov.”

    • Jan 13, 20145:19 pm
      by jg22


      Here’s the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wd5AaDgylMc

  • Jan 13, 20148:14 am
    by ZekeKhaseli


    Im a malkmus fan and a musician from Jakarta, Indonesia. Im here in Tokyo just bought his new CD in tower records, havent got a chance to open it yet. I’m beginning to enjoy Swag’s PG play in Detroit. Once he settle down in his PG position he will bypass PG like Teague and other 2nd tiers PG. Thanks for the news Dan. It’s like two of my favorite teams collide into one. Btw Freeze the Saints is also my fave song from face the truth.

  • Jan 13, 20145:13 pm
    by jg22


    If a musician is going to trash talk someone else’s craft, they might want to make sure their own is flawless. Didn’t hear anything there musically to where they have room to talk. Average musicians and poorly engineered recording.

    • Jan 14, 20142:07 am
      by Russell


      That’s their style, dude.  Pavement and Steve moreso lately have been a ‘sloppy’ band that tries to make their records sound like they are performing live.  That’s his thing.
      Also, I dont think he’s making fun of Brandon Jennings.  I think he loves that about him.  What an american archetype.  The bravado (false for the most part) the backing it up (spectacularly at times) the fuck you’s to people trying to tell him to change.  All that. Steve has been a star too.  He gets Brandon I believe.  Thats why he is fascinating to him. 
      That’s why Jenning is so fascinating to me too.  Its frustrating as hell to have him by my favorite team’s point guard.  But he is a true character.  Like almost cartoonish at times.  I will definitely remember Brandon Jennings for a long time.  Better or worse in the long term, I’m pretty glad its happening and I get to watch it.  Its entertainment after all.  Some of the most intriguing stuff comes out of failure, and the flawed stars who are constantly trying not to fail.

    • Jan 14, 20143:44 pm
      by pablum


      jg22, do you know anything about rock-and-roll??? Because putting the word “flawless” — unless you’re Freddie Mercury — together in the same sentence as rock music is like having sex with a sheep and saying it was just as good with Kate Upton. And for the record, you bean-bag brain, Malkmus/Pavement is universally considered as one of the greatest rock bands in history. No embellishment here…

  • Jan 14, 201412:10 pm
    by Jacob


    Pretty sweet song….

  • Jan 14, 20142:33 pm
    by T Casey


    Not familiar with Stephen Malkmus, but the song was actually pretty good.

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