Friday, July 3, 2009

Wilco (the readings)

Wilco (the album) was officially released this week and I've been getting some pressure to post on it. You may remember that Riley wrote up a preview of the new album back in May when it leaked online. If that doesn't leave you satisfied the 6/30 release of Wilco (the album) inspired a couple written items of interest.

Frontman Jeff Tweedy was interviewed in the New York Times this week. You should go read the whole exchange, but I particularly liked his take on being pegged a 'Midwestern' band.
"Your Chicago-based band strikes me as fundamentally Midwestern in spirit, with its earnest artistry and catchy, country-inflected sound. Do you see yourself as Midwestern?"

"It never meant anything to me until I traveled to the coasts and realized there are people there who don’t have any idea that anybody lives in between."

Me neither.

Mike Powell from the Village Voice
also chipped in his two cents on Wilco the band and their latest offering. As someone that has never been crazy about Wilco, but does enjoy their music, Powell's analysis hits home. You have to read the whole article, but some highlights:

First on the band in general,

"Oh, Wilco: middle-aged Midwesterners with stubble and suit jackets. Precise instrumentalists who make mushy, edgeless music."

"Is there anything dangerous about Jeff Tweedy? Is there anything dangerous about a pale father of two, comfortable in soft denim, mewling his way through a prescription-pill addiction with songs about how dishwashing just isn't the same without his wife around?"

And then on the new album.

"Here, the band remembers what they do best and shakes off most of what they don't."

"The band bucks a couple of times, hardest on "Bull Black Nova"—actually, it's the hardest they've bucked on record since before Foxtrot."

"Wilco finally seem to have gripped, firmly, what they're good at: heavily supervised rock music with a little bit of grit, a few funny noises and production tricks, and enough bromides and nostalgia amid the poetry to make it hit, glancingly. God's will for Wilco? Maybe it's something like, "Give white people something to relax to." There is no way in this beautiful world for me to object to that."

Something for white people to relax to. I can't argue with that either.

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