Occasionally a greatest hits album can seem like a celebration. As good as the music it contains might be, however, the current EMI compilation bearing Radiohead's name can't help but seem more like baggage from a previous relationship. Still recognisably the same group, but now operating with a new experimental vigour - the giveaway of their current In Rainbows album being an obvious case in point - the band appear to have dumped all burden of responsibility, only to pretty much instantly deliver their best songs for years. Now leading a double life as a lo-fi experimental group, while still one of the world's most iconic bands, Radiohead are having their cake and eating it, gluttony of a kind it's hard to imagine them approving. All of this is to our benefit, of course. Having resolved problems with the medium, the band are now free to concentrate on the message. And, of course, the tunes.
· Malahide, Dublin, Fri 6
Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks
College rockers don't grow old, they simply graduate. At any rate, that's the case with Steve Malkmus, once the wryly stoned, beflannelled wordsmith with 1990s group Pavement, but for a while now embarked on an interesting, and fairly different course of further study. Of course, some things about the man have not changed: hip commentary on the music business is a core tenet of his work, while his searching guitar playing continues to plot a happy course between versatility and inspiration. With his new album Real Emotional Trash, however, he may have found the most comfortable fit yet for his unique talents. Though now enjoying a godhead status among the new wave of wordy, Pitchfork-approved rockers, Malkmus has himself moved on to new pastures. Filled with a labyrinthine folkiness and a continued sense of fun, the instrumental noodling and shaggy dog stories on his new album suggest above all, the work of a hippy prankster. Dope jams. Deep thought. It's a trip.
· Shepherds Bush Empire, W12, Thu 5
The Dodos are a band operating as if indie guitar music were an "all you can eat" buffet. From San Francisco, the group are, after all, most impressive in the way they display an enormous appetite for prevailing rock styles: from the psychedelic sounds of Animal Collective to melodic alt rock that's reminiscent of Pavement, and the bluesiness of Jason Friedman's the Boggs, the band aren't afraid of casting their net wide to ensnare some listeners. All round, it's no bad thing. Of arguably far weirder intent than the highly polished music on their second album Visiter might suggest, the group originates with the meeting of solo acoustic guitarist Meric Long and student of African drumming, Logan Kroeber. In principle, then, this should all be a pretty minimal affair. As it turns out, the surfeit of ideas the pair generate make this a pretty engrossing, multi-layered business.
· Bar Academy, Birmingham, Sun 1; Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, N1, Mon 2; Pure Groove, EC1/Amersham Arms, SE14, Tue 3