Wilco

Episode 447: Wilco's 'Ode To Joy'

Episode 447: Wilco's 'Ode To Joy'

2015’s Star Wars and its 2016 follow up Schmilco delivered a shot in the arm to one of indie-rock’s most lauded and revered acts: Wilco. Both were shaggier affairs then what had come before — 2011’s The Whole Love, while it had its moments, was a more near-miss-than-hit power-pop extravaganza. And both showed that, at least for Wilco, smaller albums necessarily meant better albums as the band pushed into its second decade with the current, and most stable lineup in Wilco’s history.

Enter Ode To Joy.


Episode 408: Wilco's 'Summerteeth' at 20

Episode 408: Wilco's 'Summerteeth' at 20

Twenty years ago, riding high off of the dual successes of their second album Being There and Billy Bragg collaboration Mermaid Ave, Wilco was still 2 years away from becoming one of the most revered band’s of their generation. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot would propel Jeff Tweedy and crew into the stratosphere, but it was on 1999’s Summerteeth that they truly found their voice. Experimental, lush, and heartbreaking to its core, Summerteeth is a record that captured the soul of Wilco like nothing they have created before or since. 

Tune in as guests Casey Rae and Eduardo Nunes join us in celebrating twenty years of the album that changed Wilco, and arguably modern music, forever.


Best of 2016: Patricks Take

Best of 2016: Patricks Take

Most years I struggle to find ten albums that I enjoy listening to, from start to finish. This year, I struggled to narrow the list to a mere ten because excellent albums abound. Genre did not limit the excellence, nor did age or visibility. The musical landscape is more diverse than ever. Whether the lack of major label control has led to true creative freedom for all musicians remains to be seen, but it is beginning to look like artists are increasingly willing to make music on their own terms. And, in a year that many considered to be terrible, that is a bright, shiny ray of hope. Celebrate with me by listening to these albums and songs and supporting these artists.


Episode 217: Wilco - Schmilco

Episode 217: Wilco - Schmilco

It's official, the headphone jack is no more...at least according to Apple. We're parsing the pro's and con's and abusing the word "dongle" excessively in the process.

WILCO'S BACK MOTHER F@#@ERS! But you knew that. 3 lifelong fans of the band weigh in on the alt-country fixture's latest, Schmilco.

The Flat Five (feat. Kelly Hogan) are from Chicago. The Flat Five are groovier than you, or anyone you know. We have proof. Put it in your ears.


Episode 207: Nels Cline - Lovers

Episode 207: Nels Cline - Lovers

Rumor has it that despite the constant cries of “foul”, 98% of all videos (over ONE BILLION) on YouTube are 100% kosher from a licensing perspective. Say what?

Twenty-five years in the making, Nels Cline’s Lovers captures the passion and history of an artist who has spent a lifetime pursuing his musical truth. On his Blue Note debut, Cline mashes together original compositions with interpretations of the music that has informed his career to craft a delicate statement about relationships, the worth of self-indulgence and jazz’s place in the modern music space.

And speaking of modern jazz….

Guitarist Julian Lage - a frequent collaborator of Cline’s - put out a slightly phenomenal album in 2015. We’ve got a taste aof World’s Fair to jog your memory


Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 3 of 3]

Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 3 of 3]

Two longtime Wilco fans and conscientious hedonists journeyed to Solid Sound 2015. One is a free-lance writer by trade and the other is a regular contributor to ChunkyGlasses. With a shared history of two previous Solid Sound Festivals, countless Wilco shows attended together, and a friendship built around their shared experience of love for the band, Dave and Patrick plan to describe all that is great about Solid Sound in a personal and experiential way. Think Chuck Klosterman at a Kiss festival. They will explore not only what they love about Wilco, but also why the band is important to them as they age, how their perspective has changed over time, and what it all means -- the Festival, the band, and life.

This is how their journey ends...


Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 2 of 3]

Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 2 of 3]

Two longtime Wilco fans and conscientious hedonists journeyed to Solid Sound 2015. One is a free-lance writer by trade and the other is a regular contributor to ChunkyGlasses. With a shared history of two previous Solid Sound Festivals, countless Wilco shows attended together, and a friendship built around their shared experience of love for the band, Dave and Patrick plan to describe all that is great about Solid Sound in a personal and experiential way. Think Chuck Klosterman at a Kiss festival. They will explore not only what they love about Wilco, but also why the band is important to them as they age, how their perspective has changed over time, and what it all means -- the Festival, the band, and life.

Their journey continues...


Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 1 of 3]

Patrick and Dave Go to Solid Sound 2015 - An Oral History Transcribed from Imaginary Basement Tapes… [Part 1 of 3]

Two longtime Wilco fans and conscientious hedonists journeyed to Solid Sound 2015. One is a free-lance writer by trade and the other is a regular contributor to ChunkyGlasses. With a shared history of two previous Solid Sound Festivals, countless Wilco shows attended together, and a friendship built around their shared experience of love for the band, Dave and Patrick plan to describe all that is great about Solid Sound in a personal and experiential way. Think Chuck Klosterman at a Kiss festival. They will explore not only what they love about Wilco, but also why the band is important to them as they age, how their perspective has changed over time, and what it all means -- the Festival, the band, and life.

This is how it begins...


Episode 126: Wilco - Star Wars / Tame Impala - Currents

Episode 126: Wilco - Star Wars / Tame Impala - Currents

This week on the podcast, we’re talking BIG releases from two of the biggest indie bands around.

First up: Wilco got their start out of the ashes of alt-country legends Uncle Tupelo, and while their sound might not have fallen far from the tree at the beginning, over their twenty-plus year career they’ve consistently reshaped their sound, lineup, and even the musical landscape around them to become known as one of the most adventerous bands in rock history. For their latest “trick” the band released Star Wars, their ninth album proper, unannounced and for free last week on their website. Kevin, Patrick and Carrie dig into the history of the band, why this album matters, and most importantly: is it any good?

Next: Kevin Parker and his band Tame Impala are your guides through a headtrip worthy of the roller-rink most hip, but is their new album Currents a sonic step forward for the band, or a cold, harsh reminder of how cruel a Bee Gee’s B-Side could really be? We buy the ticket and take the ride to get to the bottom of this critically acclaimed sonic adventure.

PLUS! You want a hot new track from North Carolina’s See Gulls? We got you covered! Deep thoughts on the sad double standards of entertainment journalism? CHECK! It’s a smack-talking, mega-fanboying, super-catified hour of fun, and it’s all for you on Episode 136 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!


Best Of 2014: Wilco - Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014

Best Of 2014: Wilco - Alpha Mike Foxtrot: Rare Tracks 1994-2014

Sounds Like:  

The Band had a baby with Television; Midwestern Radiohead

Why You Should Care:

So, an important person in your life likes Wilco. Should you buy this person Alpha Mike Foxtrot, the recently released set of B-sides and live cuts? The answer depends only on your loved one's level of Wilco fandom. The hardcore completists will have chased down these tracks on 90s alt-country compilations, soundtracks, and hard-to-find releases, and may, as a consequence, be underwhelmed by the lack of never-before-heard material. But even the most hardcore fan will find value in the high sound quality of the release, the live cuts, and Jeff Tweedy's track-by-track liner notes, replete with his trademark self-deprecation.


Episode 89: Nels Cline

Episode 89: Nels Cline

You may know him as the shred-tastic lead guitar player for Wilco, but with his trio the Nels Cline Singers, and more recently an upcoming collaboration with jazz guitar virtuoso Julian Lage, Nels Cline has proven to be a major player in the jazz/avante garde world for over 30 years now. We sit down with the man who Rolling Stone listed as “the 82nd greatest guitarist of all time” to discuss his beginnings as a musician and music fan, his ability to effortlessly hop styles/genres, his work with the Nels Cline Singers and their latest record Macroscope, and much, much more. Tune in and catch a fascinating discussion with one of the greats on our latest episode of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!


Episode 81: Tweedy - Sukierae

Episode 81: Tweedy - Sukierae

In our latest episode: We review the new album Sukierae from Tweedy. Wilco front-man Jeff Tweedy and his son Spencer may have the most appropriate band name ever, but does that familial familiarity translate to record? Is it nepotism, genius or somewhere in between?  PLUS! Rawk feuds, U2 proposes a new music format that will “save the industry” and snacks - oh so many snacks - on Episode 81 of ChunkyGlasses: The Podcast!


TRACKING: Saintseneca - "Acid Rain"

TRACKING: Saintseneca - "Acid Rain"

SOUNDS LIKE: Punky indie folk.
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: Saintseneca recently signed to Anti Records, home to Wilco, Neko Case, and many other Chunky favorites. 

Ohio’s Saintseneca is one of those just-slightly-off-the-radar bands that is waiting to take its place in the spotlight. And as Anti Records’ newest signee, Saintseneca’s rise from playing the house show circuit to the likes of Black Cat is just around the corner.

Although now a couple years old, Saintseneca’s full-length debut Last, and the opening track “Acid Rain” in particular, declare the band’s flair for crafting catchy indie folk, punk-tinged tunes with profound lyrics. However, in the live setting is where Saintseneca truly shines. Frontman Zac Little and fellow band members Maryn Jones, Steve Ciolek, and Jon Maedor bring songs like “Acid Rain” to vibrant life using instruments like the mandolin and bağlama, stomping on wooden boxes for percussion, and harmonizing beautifully. 

 

 

Be sure to keep Saintseneca on your radar as the band begins its journey with Anti. Surely a new release and a quick rise to fame are on the emerging band's horizon. 


TRACKING: The Blisters - "Through You"

TRACKING: The Blisters - "Through You"

SOUNDS LIKE: The sons of Wilco. (Which they kinda are.)
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The Blisters are probably the best high school band you'll ever hear.

Think back to your high school days. Weren’t most of the groups you saw playing local battles of the bands pretty lame? Allow us to introduce you to a young band that will break that corny mold: The Blisters. Chicago-based high schoolers Henry Mosher (lead vocals/guitar), Hayden Holbert (guitar/background vocals), Tory Postillion-Lopez (bass/synths), and Spencer Tweedy (drums/Jeff Tweedy’s son) create highly intricate indie rock that will make you wonder how the students managed to do well in school when they undoubtedly dedicated so much time to fine tuning their sound.  

“Through You,” the first track on The Blisters’ debut album Finally Bored, makes known the influence “dad rockers” Wilco have had on the young band as a result of drummer Spencer Tweedy being Jeff Tweedy’s son. The Blisters emulate the experimental sound for which Wilco has become well known in the wake of 2001’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but with a young, fresh outlook. Lead singer Henry Mosher’s voice, which will surely become less shaky post-puberty, is the only thing that betrays The Blisters’ youngness. It is outweighed, however, by the maturity The Blisters exhibit both lyrically and musically. The fact that The Blisters have been creating music together for a decade, from ages 7 to 17, gives them an advantage that most young bands have not had and implies that these boys are not your typical side-project high school band. The Blisters take their music seriously and have the finished Finally Bored to speak to that for itself. With Wilco’s entourage as support, and access to Wilco’s Loft and dBpm Records, The Blisters’ future in music is set, and it will be interesting to hear what they produce next.

 Download Finally Bored (for free until July 4) on The Blisters’ Bandcamp.

 

 


WIN STUFF: Win 2 tix to Americanarama Festival of Music at Merriweather Post Pavilion!

CONTEST CLOSED

We're sure you, like most of the ChunkyCrew, are dying to attend the Americanarama Festival of Music. Chances are the mini-festival's incredible bill doesn't need introduction, but here it is anyway - Bob freakin' Dylan, freakin' Wilco, and My Morning freakin' Jacket. But we've got one question...can you handle all the RAWK?! If you think you can, read on to find out how you can enter to win a pair of lawn tickets to the stellar, star-studded show at Merriweather Post Pavilion on July 23! 

As we all know, Bobby Dylan has aged quite a bit since his fresh-faced days playing Newport Folk Festival in '60's, but the legend is still going strong. Over fifty years into his career, at age seventy-one, the singer-songwriter released his thirty-fifth studio album, Tempest, in 2012. Although his unique voice is fading, music lovers and Dylan diehards continue to flock Dylan's live shows and soak up any new material the creative genius releases.


ROCKTOBER 2012: 2002 - Searching For A Radio Cure

The musical landscape in 2002 cannot be written about without considering the effects of 9/11 and their immediate aftermath. The lingering shock of those tragic events influenced both artists and listeners, changing the artistic environment of the country as surely (if less importantly) as it did the political landscape. It would be overly simplistic (and inaccurate) to say that every album released in 2002 dealt directly with the events of September 11th, yet it is impossible to view theses releases even ten years later without contemplating the effects of the terrorist attacks on the American psyche.

Some artists dealt with the fear and anxiety of the post-9/11 state directly. Most of the more direct tracks released in the months immediately following the tragedy were, predictably, not very good (fortunately, since Paul McCartney, Alan Jackson, and Toby Keith were kind enough to release their singles in 2001, they need not be addressed here). However, many albums released the following year addressed facets of the attacks and the subsequent social and political climate of the country in thoughtful and moving ways.

Notably, many of the songs on Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising were written as a direct response to the events of September 11th. Indeed, a possibly apocryphal story has it that Springsteen was inspired to write the album when a stranger rolled down his car window days after the attack and said “we need you now.” Regardless of the veracity of that anecdote, the sentiment proved to be true for many as The Rising became Springsteen’s highest charting album of new material since 1987.


2012 Newport Folk Festival Recap: PART 1

Words by Andre and Kevin

2012’s Newport Folk Festival is now a thing of the past, and as expected the weekend ended up being yet another glorious celebration of music - albeit a slightly soggy one.

For fifty three years now, the Newport Folk Festival has been, and continues to be, the greatest American music festival in existence. Sure, it has evolved, and continues to evolve, beyond its “strictly folk” beginnings – that ship sailed in 1965 the moment Dylan plugged in – but it is that spirit of exploration,  that willingness to take risks, that makes this annual weekend by the bay what it is.

While other festivals try to include practically every band in existence, the organizers of the Newport Folk Festival picks acts that embody the spirit of the fest. Each artist is complementary in some way to the others,  which is a good thing because you’re lucky if you can make it through even one set with out a sit-in, or multiple sit-ins, by artists at the fest that weekend.

While other festivals seek to grow into the biggest MEGA FESTIVAL that they possibly can (looking at you Coachella /ACL), Newport welcomes a measly ten thousand people through its gates. Could they fit more? Sure. But by keeping attendance relatively low, it creates a familial vibe that permeates the festival grounds at Fort Adams.  You’re just as likely to run into an old friend walking around as you are Jackson Browne eating some clams from a local vendor.

The Newport Folk Festival is the place where music consistently comes alive in a way that is utterly unique, and this year was no exception. Yes, the rain came – at times in buckets - shortening sets and boosting poncho sales through the roof. But nothing could dampen the enthusiasm of the artists or fans in attendance.

We’ll be talking about the fest in greater detail on a special edition of our podcast out later this week, but here are some of the highlights of the fest as we saw it.

 

HIGHLIGHTS

 

FRIDAY – ONE BIG HIGHLIGHT
(See all of our shots from Friday right HERE)


MEGAFUAN
We’ve managed to miss this crew from North Carolina each and every time they have come through DC. NEVER AGAIN. Delivering a set that was a gripping blend of psychedlia, folk and foot stomping rock, it is absolutely inconceivable that a stage smaller than the one at the Fort could ever contain them. Biggest surprise of the weekend, and it was the first one out of the gate taboot!


PRESS PLAY: White Denim - Street Joy (live)

Sounds Like: Roky Erickson on a steady diet of HORDE Festival, Garage-jam
Why you should care: White Denim is currently opening for Wilco, ie., BLOWING UP.

Hailing from the small town of Austin, TX, these seekers of jam/garagepunk/pop truth have been kicking around for a good while now, but it wasn't until their 2011 album, D, that the band's blend of rough-around-the-edges, homemade, jam rock started to gain them national attention. So much national attention that they guys opened a leg for Wilco on their current tour. So....BOOYA!


Press Play: Wilco - Dawned On Me

Sounds Like: You don't need us to tell you that.
Why you should care: You don't need us to tell you that either.

Well blow me down! Wilco, long absent from music video space (they haven't made one since 1999)  have gone and teamed up with Popeye for an animated rendition of the track "Dawned On Me" off of 2010's The Whole Love. This video marks the first time that Chicago rockers have taken the trip to toon town, but more importantly, it represents the first new Popeye cartoon since 2004 and the first hand-drawn, frame-by-frame rendering for Popeye cell animation in more than 30 years!


Live Music: Wilco @ Merriweather Post Pavilion - 9/25/11

WilcoHeader.jpg

Words: Jack     Photos: Kevin

Kevin here. When you've seen a band like Wilco so many times you can't keep count, it's hard to really be objective about them. Which is why we sent Jack to see Wilco, for the first time no less. For those unfamiliar with Jack, click here, to find out more, but in a nutshell it's this: Jack loves rock. Jack plays rock. Jack thinks about rock all day. Jack is sort of the embodiment of why this site exists in the first place. Jack is also 15 years old. Everything you read and see from hear on out is unfiltered, unedited Jack and we couldn't be more pleased to have him on board. This is how most of us used to see music, but there's no reason we can't see it this way again. So get ready, because here comes pure, unfiltered JACK!

Boy, do I love going to concerts on school nights. Especially when it’s a band I love but have inexplicably missed two shows by in the past. Yes, Wilco, one of the first bands I discovered/got into when I started dabbling in being a serious music fan several years ago. Though I started with Wilco (The Album) I eventually grew to love much of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and a lot from all of their albums. Needless to say a trip to see them was long overdue, and when I showed up to see them at Merriweather I was quite pumped.

  Nick Lowe

Nick Lowe holding the crowd captive.Nick Lowe was first, and I don’t think an opening act has ever impressed me quite so much. I’d heard of him, and eventually recognized him as that guy who wrote “Peace, Love and Understanding”, but no longer is he that guy to me. Why? Because he’s Nick Effing Lowe, that’s why. His voice sounded rich and his performance was just excellent. The songs were all crafted beautifully and if I weren’t such a sucker for Wilco I would’ve bought some of his music on the way out. He joked about only being there to test the PA, but he did far more than that. He ended with probably the most touching version of “Peace, Love and Understanding” I’d ever heard.

Wilco arrived on stage and immediately tore into “Art of Almost,” the weird, synthy, building opener of The Whole Love. The lights added even more intensity to the song, and the inevitable rock out at the end was pleasingly energetic and crazy. They then tore through “I Might,” which I particularly liked with the added electric guitar Tweedy played (a quite expensive one, too).

Then came “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” with its chaotic breakdown and singalongs on the chorus, followed quickly by two (The Album) cuts, “One Wing” and “Bull Black Nova”. The latter was especially exciting with its noisy outro. Then things got quiet, the crowd calmed down, and they slowly eased into the beautiful “One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)”, one of the most relaxing and touching pieces of music I’ve heard by Wilco. I almost didn’t want it to end, but it was only the seventh song, and I knew there was much more to come.

wilco_92511_13.jpg

Nels Cline stuns the crowd (as usual) on "Impossible Germany"Next came “Impossible Germany”, always a delight, with Nels cutting loose on the soloing in the second half of the song, and another new song, “Born Alone” which had yet another intense, sprawling outro. Around this time in the set Tweedy finally started talking to the audience, talking about the show being broadcast on NPR, and noting we were quite a scruffy bunch for a Sunday evening. “Handshake Drugs” came next, a typical rendition with Cline and Pat Sansone trading solos, and it was followed by a beautiful singalong on “Jesus, Etc.” The atmosphere was wonderful, and I love the song to begin with, and I sang along through all of it.

The rest of the set was a mix of new and old. The noisy pop of “Dawned On Me”. The twang of “Box Full Of Letters”. The impossible catchiness of “Standing O”. All of it running up to Wilco classics “War On War” and a stellar version of  “A Shot In The Arm” complet with synthy breakdown. And that was the end of the show.

Just kidding.

No Wilco show would be complete without riotous encores! They returned and started playing a pretty version of “Via Chicago”, which was interrupted periodically by bursts of thundery noise, but was excellent nonetheless. “Whole Love” was poppy and sweet, after which Nick Lowe came back onstage for a performance of his song “36 Inches High” backed by Wilco, a wonderful bluesy stomp. Then was a fast, rocking performance of “Heavy Metal Drummer” and the powerful combined punch of Being There jams “Monday” and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”, and when Tweedy said “see you next time” before leaving the stage.

I'm sure I will Mr. Tweedy. I’m sure I will.

Don't forget, you can now stream the show, it's entirety courtesy of those crazy communists over at NPR.org.

Wilco performing at Merriweather Post Pavillion. Photos by Kevin Hill