Since parting ways with Pavement in 1999, and subsequently reuniting on occasion, Stephen Malkmus has been one of indie rock’s most celebrated free spirits. His work with the Jicks has been especially loose and limber, proving Malkmus is more than the tightly wound frontman for one of the defining bands of 1990s alt-rock. On “Wig Out at Jagbags,” his sixth outing with the Jicks, it’s interesting to hear Malkmus reflect on growing older (he’s 47) as a family man (he’s married with two kids) with different concerns. He wonders aloud what happens to ageing punk rockers on “Rumble at the Rainbo” and waxes nostalgic on “Lariat.” “Independence Street” summons his reverence for Lou Reed with lyrics so wry and a vocal delivery so laconic that Reed himself would have approved: “I don’t have the stomach for your brandy/ I can hardly sip your tea/ I don’t have the teeth left for your candy/ I’m just busy being free.” (Out Tuesday)
Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks perform at the Paradise Rock Club on Feb. 25.