Archive for the Wilco Category

Random Weekend Post: Caution… May Contain Wilco like Substances

Posted in JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound, Wilco on June 26, 2010 by AmericanaPulse

Two related… if bizarre videos today.

The first is Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy giving a dramatic reading of “Single Ladies”…

The second is a cover of Wilco’s “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” by a band called JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound.

I wish I could remember which blog I saw this on first. I can’t. I just remember hating it at first, and then being slowly sucked in as it went along. I think it’s the combination of the infectious groove coupled with the absolute nonsensicalness of the lyrics that left me amused and bemused by this video. It’s actually a lot of fun.

Stream the New Wilco

Posted in Wilco on May 14, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Wilco releases their new album on June 30th…. but you can stream the whole thing now at their website for free.

I’m still going through it for the first time right now, and I’m really enjoying it so far. It already feels a little punchier than Sky Blue Sky. It’s sounding like a winner so far.

You can stream Wilco (the album) here.

Record Store Day/Wilco Hits Knoxville

Posted in John Paul Keith, Van Eaton and Friends, Wilco on April 17, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

Saturday is one of my favorite days of the year… National Record Store Day… a day to celebrate the dying breed that is the brick and mortar independent record store. It’s a day when many artists release exclusive music to independent record shops, and many stores feature live, in-store performances from local artists. It’s a great time all around.

This year… it seems one of the biggest events for Record Store Day is taking place right here in Knoxville.
Wilco is performing Saturday night at The Tennessee Theatre. Wilco is also releasing its new concert DVD Ashes of American Flags as part of the NRSD hoopla. Ergo… Wilco will appear at Knoxville’s Disc Exchange Saturday afternoon for a screening of the new DVD. The first 150 fans to buy a copy of the film will also get the chance to meet the band and get their DVD’s autographed. It’s generating quite a buzz here in town.

Of course… Wilco is just a small part of the festivities. Blog favorites Van Eaton and Friends and John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives will both be performing at the Disc Exchange during the day. Record Store Day will also see exclusive releases from Whiskeytown, Pavement, The Flaming Lips, Jenny Lewis, Tift Merritt, and more. I’ll be picking up the live Tift Merritt CD for sure and will probably be tempted by several other offers as well.

You can find out more about National Record Store Day over at the official website.

Please go out and support your local record store Saturday and everyday. Nothing makes me happier than knowing that someone has gone out and purchased an album because of something I’ve written here or because of some music they heard in this space. Remember… the free downloads are great for sampling. But if we don’t support these artists by actually buying their records, they won’t be able to keep making the music we all love. Similarly… if we don’t support our independent record stores, these artist won’t have as many outlets for their product.

Now… for sampling purposes… here is a track from Wilco called “Ashes of American Flags” from their Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album. It’s also the title track from the new concert DVD being released on Saturday.

Wilco: Ashes of American Flags (Buy Album) (Buy DVD)

Notes for a Friday

Posted in Jompson Brothers Band, Robbie Fulks, Wilco on February 13, 2009 by AmericanaPulse

*** This is The Jompson Brothers Band (and friends)… a new Rock & Roll ensemble out of Nashville.

Yes… that is Chris Stapleton of The Steeldrivers on the left in this picture. He’s the lead vocalist and guitar player for the Jompson Brothers Band and a vocal force as always. The guy in the middle is J.T. Cure, the bass player, and another talented acquaintance of mine from Morehead State University back home in Kentucky.

The Jompson Brothers Band is still working on its first album… so I don’t have any tracks yet. You can hear part of a live demo and watch a few videos on the band’s myspace page. Head on over there and “Go Jomp Yourself.”

***Over at Star Maker Machine this week, we are celebrating the year 1989. Head on over there now for your fix of all things B-52’s, Martika, and The Lemonheads. My only contribution so far highlights Rhett Miller’s ultra-rare 1989 solo album, Mythologies. If you want to know what the Old 97’s frontman sounded like as an 18-year-old high school student… go check it out.

***This is why I love Robbie Fulks. Later this month, Robbie will release 50 brand new songs… all at the same time… at his website, Robbie’s last studio album, Georgia Hard, came out nearly four years ago. I’ll be very interested to hear something new from my favorite Americana smart-ass.

***Tomorrow is Valentines Day, and Wilco has a little advice for all of us guys out there of what not to do tomorrow… “Forget the Flowers.”

Wilco: Forget the Flowers (Buy Album)

Essential Albums: A.M. by Wilco

Posted in Essential Albums, Wilco on October 21, 2008 by AmericanaPulse

It’s been a while since I’ve done an essential album post. Today, I’ll be focusing on an album that I feel doesn’t always get the respect it deserves.

Wilco’s A.M. was originally released in March of 1995 as the highly anticipated first project by Jeff Tweedy after the dissolution of Uncle Tupelo. Inevitably, it would be compared to Jay Farrar’s first release with his first post-Tupelo project, Son Volt’s Trace. Of course, Trace (released in Sept. 1995) is one of my favorites albums of all-time and is widely regarded as Farrar’s greatest achievement and one of the seminal releases of the alt-country genre. It’s no surprise then that A.M. is often undervalued when compared to its 1995 counterpart.

The extra dilemma for A.M. is that it also seems to get lost in comparison to Wilco’s later output as well. The band earned “critical darling” status in 2002 with the release of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The praise for that album was earned as much for the rights battle surrounding the album’s release as it was for the album itself. Wilco’s label, Warner/Reprise, wanted the band to change the album to make it sound more commercial. Tweedy refused, bought the rights to the album, and released it on the indie-label, Nonesuch. In doing so, he was able to release the album he wanted with a sound that mixed deft pop sensibilities with wild sonic experimentation. There is also a large contingent of Wilco fans that prefer 1996’s double album Being There to A.M. due to its country flavored experiments and departures.

So… If A.M. isn’t a genre defining blueprint for the alt-country sound like Trace… and it isn’t a bold artistic statement that stretches the band’s sound into strange new places… Then what is it and why is it essential listening?

To me, A.M. is a sterling example of a straight forward country-rock album that doesn’t skimp on either the country or the rock. When Uncle Tupelo split, many of the group’s side players and road musicians stayed with Tweedy. Drummer Ken Coomer, multi-instrumentalist John Stirratt, and producer Brian Paulson are all holdovers from Tupelo’s final album Anodyne. Tweedy also enlisted steel guitar legend Lloyd Maines and Bottlerockets frontman Brian Henneman to join the party for the album. The result is a studio crew with the chops to blast out the muscular Stone-style riffs of rock flavored tracks like “Casino Queen,” the right amount of twang to pull off country numbers like “That’s Not the Issue,” and the plaintive restraint to bring the proper emotion to weepers like “I Thought I Held You.”

A.M. is nothing fancy, but what it does… it does very well. Again, it may not make the artistic statements or garner the indie cred of the band’s later work. It does, however, provide a very accessible jumping on point to Wilco, and one that can be approached by fans on either side of the rock/country spectrum.

Here are three songs that show off the stylistic range that the album achieves all while not straying too far from the roots of country-rock.

Wilco: I Must Be High (Buy Album)
Wilco: Pick Up the Change (Buy Album)
Wilco: Passenger Side (Buy Album)