Author Topic: Wilco - If You Like Guitars  (Read 6524 times)

Ron S

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Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« on: May 05, 2008, 03:34:04 PM »
We had the pleasure of seeing Wilco here in Bozeman. In fact, the gig was five blocks from our front door, at the 700 seat Emerson Theater. They were last in Montana five years ago, when they opened for REM. The line up has changed since then, with Nels Cline now on guitar. No, they are not an "alt-country" band. No more than Help Yourself, who they sound more than a little like. They played about two hours, and seemed to draw from their whole career. I own all their cds, but I can't say I know every song. There were plenty of songs from the last two records, which I think are the best of a very good catalog.

Wilco had played here early in their career. I guess it was a small crowd, and Jeff Tweedy was sort of rude. (We were out of town so were weren't able to go) He apologized, and by the end of the evening, promised Bozeman would be a regular stop on their schedule in the future.  This show was the smallest venue of the whole tour, so we were pretty lucky to get to see their very simple presentation in an intimate setting. They took advantage of the six piece line up, and made some very amazing sounds. Check out the song Impossible Germany from their new album and then go from there.

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Rob the Organ

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Re: Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« Reply #1 on: May 06, 2008, 01:36:32 AM »
Ron,

Funny you mention Wilco - I've just been rehearsing a version of "Theologians" with my new band. Great tune - sort of Helps as you say but with a very brief whiff of Procul Harum. Very brief, mind - blink and it's gone and you have to wait for it to come round again!

Like you say also - not just another alt country act. I used to like all that stuff and look back fondly on the night I saw the Jayhawks make an early UK appearance plugging Hollywood Town Hall, with Joe Henry tagging along and guesting on a couple. Now, Gary Louris truly IS a man that wields the psychedelic SG torch borne by Micky, Cippo, Garcia and Frank Z before him. As well as Wilco, The Gourds are a favourite at the moment.

I was going to email you anyway to introduce myself as I play in a soul band with ex MJ Band basist Al MacLaine. He remembered you in one of his tales recently and has LOTS of MJB recordings in his vault.....

Anyway - hi for now and feel free to email me. I think you'd like my new act as The Band/Help Yourself/Brinsleys are our blueprint. In fact we even had Brinsley on guitar in a very early attempt a few years back but he retired again, sadly. Instead, East of Eden founder Geoff Nicholson is my partner in crime, on guitar, lap steel, pedal steel and dobro. We won't be doing "Jig-A-Jig" though, fortunately. 

Rob Millis

Allan Heron

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Re: Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2008, 09:42:37 AM »
I saw Wilco a few years ago when they were promoting Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and it was one of the strangest gigs I've ever been at.  I think this was durin Tweedy's troubles with pills as he was simply not there.  On a technical level, the gig couldn't be faulted but it was one of the most uninvolving concert experiences of my life.

Albums are all worth a listen, but I do need to work on the last one.  Initial reactions was that it was some kind of regression but I've not really given it a chance to bed in with me.
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Ron S

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Re: Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« Reply #3 on: May 06, 2008, 03:27:46 PM »
I saw Wilco a few years ago when they were promoting Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and it was one of the strangest gigs I've ever been at.  I think this was durin Tweedy's troubles with pills as he was simply not there.  On a technical level, the gig couldn't be faulted but it was one of the most uninvolving concert experiences of my life.

Albums are all worth a listen, but I do need to work on the last one.  Initial reactions was that it was some kind of regression but I've not really given it a chance to bed in with me.

It's a grower, and there are rewards in the end. I think it's their best. It collects the things they had added for Ghost Is Born, but now use those sounds more effectively. The live album is a good transition. There are good live radio broadcasts from show in February that cover a lot of material. They played every song they've recorded, over a five night stand! When I saw them with REM they were very good, but some of the noise elements seemed forced. Now, at least other night, they worked in the "odd bits" in a more orgaanic way. It was impressive when Tweedy and Cline were trading licks, or Nels and the other guitarist, who's name I don't know...

You must find the version of the last album with the DVD. There are performances of several songs, very impressive.

Tweedy was very engaged, and very funny. Joking with the band and audience all night.
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Allan Heron

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Re: Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« Reply #4 on: May 06, 2008, 04:44:17 PM »
You must find the version of the last album with the DVD. There are performances of several songs, very impressive.

That's the one I've got.   My problem is that buy too many CD's to be able to listen to them.  (There's a logical solution to this but it's never been of much attraction to me!!)  Awful things like work get in the way.  What I need is a nice lottery win so that I can quit my job and become a full-time listener to music and reader of books  ;)
It's Just My View

Information is not knowledge
Knowledge is not wisdom
Wisdom is not truth
Truth is not beauty
Beauty is not love
Love is not music
Music is THE BEST........

Rob the Organ

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Re: Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« Reply #5 on: May 06, 2008, 08:57:58 PM »
You must find the version of the last album with the DVD. There are performances of several songs, very impressive.

That's the one I've got.   My problem is that buy too many CD's to be able to listen to them.  (There's a logical solution to this but it's never been of much attraction to me!!)  Awful things like work get in the way.  What I need is a nice lottery win so that I can quit my job and become a full-time listener to music and reader of books  ;)

When the wife and I moved from a pokey flat in Wimbledon to a decent sized house in the suburbs (as you do) we never took a TV with us, saying we'd buy a posh flat screen blah blah blah when the occasion demanded. Would you believe it but we've yet to buy one - and this was Feb 2006. It just goes to show how much the dross on the telly chips away at listening time. I think I've listened to everyone of my 1000ish vinyls - or at least the ones still worth listening too (you do buy crap as a kid, to be fair).

It's not like we're puritan/Quaker/Amish or anything. We just decided that we'd forgo the expense of a decent telly until we absolutely needed one and haven't yet. Nor will we until the standard mix of Talent Show/Celebrity reality show/See what you can get for some antiques with some orange weirdo/"You go away for a bit and we'll ruin your house for you" programming is belatedly overhauled.

So there you go Allan - there's my fourpenn'orth - the evil TV is the lowest hanging fruit until you can give up work. Try it - it's surprisingly easy. This being a senisible forum, I will refrain from explaining the added "bedroom benefits" that eschewing the device also brings. However I will add that when a sports-nutter mate threw in that the plan is flawed if you want to catch essential matches, he went away smiling when I replied "well, you'll have to go down the pub more often then".

Anyway, Wilco - can anybody suggest a surefire list of the best work, or even better - the ones to avoid? I've only got "A Ghost Is Born" and an older one on vinyl that I can't find - but remember that it had the headstock of an Epiphone guitar on the cover. There's a lot of inconsitent acts now - Ryan Adams being a very good example - where theres dross on one hand but some of the finest muisc you'll ever hear on the other.

Rob W

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Re: Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2008, 09:39:03 PM »
Interesting post by Rob the organ regarding TV's.  I've given away a decent sized tv, I just have a small thing (tv I'm talking about!) and mainly have that to play DVD's! I hardly ever watch TV, and when the kids come round, they know not to turn it on, we have to talk. After a shaky start, they love it.
Regarding your sports mates, better than the pub, tell them to do it. Or at least watch sport live.
And spookily, my name is Rob as well. Wondr if there's a link there.... 

Rob the Organ

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Re: Wilco - If You Like Guitars
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2008, 11:06:28 PM »
Interesting post by Rob the organ regarding TV's.  I've given away a decent sized tv, I just have a small thing (tv I'm talking about!) and mainly have that to play DVD's! I hardly ever watch TV, and when the kids come round, they know not to turn it on, we have to talk. After a shaky start, they love it.
Regarding your sports mates, better than the pub, tell them to do it. Or at least watch sport live.
And spookily, my name is Rob as well. Wondr if there's a link there.... 

Rob - maybe there's a link - answer the following questions:
1) Do you collect Hammond organs and have a very "understanding" wife that condones it?
2) Are you obsessed with The Band's 2nd (brown) album?
3) Do you play an instrument yourself, and if so have you ever tried to sneak a Man song into a pub band set?
4)....and when you did, were you told "No" and looked at weirdly by the rest of the band???!!!

The truth is out there.....