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Lemme Get an Encore: Wilco

on August 31, 2011, 12:30pm
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wilco Lemme Get an Encore: Wilco

Wilco’s past two albums haven’t exactly set the world ablaze. Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (The Album) have their ardent supporters, but both pale in comparison to the band’s earlier output. And that will do it for any negativity concerning the band Wilco. Whatever faults can be laid at the feet of bandleader Jeff Tweedy and his cohorts are just about made up for via their live performances. Just look to the group’s live album, Kicking Television, or concert film, Ashes of American Flags, if you need any clarification.

For a band that’s been around, in one form or another, for about 20 (!) years, nearly every song from every record is bound to be or have been performed. Sometimes a song gets played hundreds of times, sometimes just the once. For such a terrific back catalog, some songs sadly fall by the wayside more often than not. But, that’s why we launched Lemme Get an Encore, where we can throw our pennies into the well that is our music site, and hope for the best. With a new album, The Whole Love, just a couple of months away, here are 10 songs we’d love to hear at least once during the upcoming tour. Okay…more than once.

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September 4, 2011 at 4:03 am

One of the greatest live bands. 14 shows in and I’m still as excited as ever to see them each time. I know this feature is nothing more than a filler and there is no need to exute any more of my energies on how lame it is and how it magnifies the CoS staff’s lack of musical understanding, but if you are attending Wilco shows any time in the last 10 years and are walking away feeling “they should’ve played this song”, you are not understanding the show you just saw. Name me one relevant band that has a standing like Wilco in modern music who are constantly and succesfully re-interpreting their sound and their old songs to put on one of the most musically engaging and unpredictable shows you could ask for. Or just complain that they’ve changed and your brain hasn’t been able to keep up.

“Play Freebird!” – the CoS staff at any show 

At least use this dumbass feature (which totally could be good) to focus on bands who we still feel have potential, but have been rather stagnet in their set lists on the last three or four tours. Bands that are still good (so no Incubus please) and we all still see, but we are also probably sharing the same sentiment, that “something needs to change or I’m out”.      

James Lacy
September 1, 2011 at 4:35 am

“And it beats the ever-loving hellout of “On and On and On.” ” This quote on page six disgusts me.  The instrumental outro of On and On and On is trememdous and life changing.  Terrible statement by the author.

Michael Roffman
September 1, 2011 at 2:05 pm

The intro is good. The rest of the song? Meh.

James Lacy
September 1, 2011 at 10:27 pm

I can understand how the bulk of the song is boring, but I was referring to the OUTRO, not the intro.  GET YER FACTS STRAIGHT!

September 1, 2011 at 12:03 am

How about some songs from Being There or AM – which are my two favorite
Wilco cds, by FAR. 

August 31, 2011 at 10:40 pm

Sky Blue Sky is one of the best albums in the last 15 years.

Andy Morgan
August 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I’ve been a fan of Wilco since its inception (back in the days of the Uncle Tupelo split, when first bastard albums fell and all money was put on Son Volt having the future, not Wilco).  And for you to come off saying that Wilco’s last two albums pale in comparison to their earlier works is laughable.  In what respect are Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (the Album) lesser in quality than YHF, Being There, or A Ghost Is Born?  I won’t mention AM or the Mermaid Avenue albums, because, well, come one, you know.

The addition of Nels Cline’s fret work added more than anything they ever lost with Jay Bennett.  If anything, Wilco is now more nuanced in their writing, with a fresh clarity of sound which has forced them to become evermore creative structurally, and Tweedy’s lyricism only gets stronger, particularly when held against the same themes he has written about for nearly two decades now.  He keeps talking about the same concepts, but he speaks more clearly, deeper, and concisely than he ever has.

I don’t mean to be harsh to Bennett, but with his departure from the band, Wilco mostly lost a lot of chaotic background noise… or more simply put, Wilco is focused.

I’m not saying Yankee Hotel Foxtrot isn’t a masterpiece, but it nearly belongs on Hipster Runoff as a hipster cliche where you can’t say one damn word other than ultimate praise about it or you’re shot down as being totally off the mark in regard to what good music/art truly is.

A Ghost is Born is amazing.  Summerteeth was Wilco first masterwork.  Being there is real alt country.  Sky Blue Sky and Wilco (the Album) are just as good as any of these.  I think you probably just haven’t listened to them.  Impossible Germany?  You Are My Face?  One Wing? 

Don’t hate the albums just because they somehow ended up in the rotation at Chipotle or were sold at Starbucks.

Now, on topic, I like your song choices.

Michael Roffman
August 31, 2011 at 5:30 pm

I don’t mean to be harsh to Bennett, but with his departure from the band, Wilco mostly lost a lot of chaotic background noise… or more simply put, Wilco is focused.>>>

Not sure I agree with this statement. At all. There are several outlines, even online, that reveal how complex Bennett’s contributions were. Also, YHF and Summerteeth are far more focused efforts than SBS or their 2009 self-titled effort.

Andy Morgan
August 31, 2011 at 6:46 pm

Michael (and Justin), I just happen to think Wilco is one of those extremely rare bands that continues to get better as it ages.  We’ll just have to agree to disagree on whether SBS and W(tA) live up to Summerteeth and YHF.

September 4, 2011 at 4:05 am

Dude, did you ever see them with Bennett live? If so you’d laugh at yourself for talking so funny.

Paul de Revere
August 31, 2011 at 5:51 pm

butthurt old-school Wilco fan says what? ;P

Andy Morgan
August 31, 2011 at 6:41 pm

attention whore with no real input says what?

September 4, 2011 at 4:19 am

Agree with everything except the last part where you throw a Shit Sandwhich Cos’ way. Keep these fuckers accountable, half of everything they write should come with the disclaimer “I don’t know or understand a whole lot about this type of music because I really like and usually listen to different music, music which I will wrongly use as an anchor to compare this music I am currently reviewing to”. I think honesty is important, plus it would save some of you from looking like morons. I’m sure I will get the stock, “Go read Pitchfork instead you hater!”, I’m not a huge Pitchfork fan at all, but they at the very least seem to pick people who are well suited and knowledgeble to the genre of music they are talking about, It feels like assignments are just drawn out of a hat here, it is only on the rarest of occaisions that you can gain some insight into something on this website. I hate treading through all the pretensious writing at Pitchfork, but at least you read some intelligeble insight more often than not.

I don’t know how so many people can put up with this place? Most of the time it’s like reading a travel guide on China wriiten by a person whose never been to China, but likes going out for Vietnamese food regularly.

August 31, 2011 at 4:48 pm

once saw Wilco a few years back. they played for 3 hours. they’re encore was over an hour long.

Paul de Revere
August 31, 2011 at 5:49 pm

0_0 that’s some Springsteen shit


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