Man in the Mirror
by Steve LaBate
In sweltering L.A.—Hollywood, to be exact, right on the Sunset Strip—Stephen Malkmus and his band, the Jicks, are hard at work inside the hallowed, wood-paneled walls of Sunset Sound. The legendary studio is aglow with the halo of countless Gold and Platinum Records past, strewn with historic framed photos of Neil Young lounging in the control room, and young upstarts Van Halen, empty beer cans piled high at their feet as they stand smug, foil-wrapped-cucumber-deep in hit-making, Sunset Sound pixie dust. This is ground zero for classic rock ’n’ roll—the very same building where, four decades ago, Janis Joplin’s...