Posts tagged "Wilco"

“Paste” Makes A Very Tasteful Illinoise

Yesterday, Paste released its list of the 50 Best Albums Of The 2000s, and the list was topped by none other than Sufjan Stevens’ Illinoise, which honestly seems like it was released way longer ago, so established has he become in the indie-rock firmament. Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the Arcade Fire’s Funeral, Radiohead’s Kid A, and Bright Eyes’ I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning rounded out the top five. Full rundown after the jump, but first, a few reactions.

THE GOOD: Hey, look, Stankonia! At No. 8! Three places beneath… Bright Eyes. Sigh.
THE BAD: Instead of noting the male-white–breadiness of the list—because that is, after all, the way of Paste, and you can’t expect them to change their stripes just for the sake of a mid-autumn pageview-generation ploy—I’m going to zero in on one totally questionable choice. Namely, the selection of M.I.A. albums on the list. Arular (No. 10) and not Kala? Really? I mean, Arular is fine, but Kala is kinda next-level. Is it because of the (admittedly unfortunate) Timbaland track?
THE WHAAAA? Dear Paste fact-checkers: Not for nothing, but Radiohead’s In Rainbows was not entirely “self-released,” as you claim. I know that would screw up the “it changed everything with its revolutionary pricing methods” that serves as the angle for your gushing write-up of the record. Pity that you muffed the opportunity to write about something so (yawn) groundbreaking by regurgitating a tired, half-true spiel.

50. Björk, Vespertine (Elektra, 2001)
49. Libertines, Up The Bracket (Rough Trade, 2002)
48. Loretta Lynn, Van Lear Rose (Interscope, 2004)
47. Arctic Monkeys, Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (Domino, 2006)
46. Music From The Motion Picture Once (Columbia, 2007)
45. Radiohead, In Rainbows (Self-released, 2007)
44. The Jayhawks, Rainy Day Music (Lost Highway, 2003)
43. Jens Lekman, Night Falls Over Kortedala (Secretly Canadian, 2007)
42. Jay-Z, The Blueprint (Roc-A-Fella, 2001)
41. LCD Soundsystem, Sound of Silver (Capitol, 2007)
40. TV on the Radio, Return To Cookie Mountain (Interscope, 2006)
39. Arcade Fire, Neon Bible (Merge, 2007)
38. Gentleman Jesse, Introducing Gentleman Jesse (Douchemaster, 2008)
37. Iron & Wine, Our Endless Numbered Days (Sub Pop, 2004)
36. Pedro The Lion, Control (Jade Tree, 2002)
35. Animal Collective, Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino, 2009)
34. Music From The Motion Picture O Brother Where Art Thou? (Mercury, 2001)
33. Coldplay, A Rush Of Blood To The Head (Capitol, 2002)
32. The Flaming Lips, Yoshimi Battles The Pink Robots (Warner Bros., 2002)
31. Death Cab For Cutie, Transatlanticism (Barsuk, 2003)
30. Damien Rice, O (Vector, 2003)
29. Bon Iver, For Emma, Forever Ago (Jagjaguwar, 2008)
28. Paul Westerberg, Folker (Vagrant, 2004)
27. Drive-By Truckers, Decoration Day (New West, 2003)
26. Over the Rhine, Ohio (2004)
25. Sigur Rós, Med ud i eyrum vid spilum endalaust (XL, 2008)
24. The Shins, Chutes Too Narrow (Sub Pop, 2003)
23. Ryan Adams, Heartbreaker (Bloodshot, 2000)
22. The Decemberists, The Crane Wife (Capitol, 2006)
21. Vampire Weekend, Vampire Weekend (XL, 2008)
20. The National, Boxer (Beggars Banquet, 2007)
19. Beck, Sea Change (Interscope, 2002)
18. Amy Winehouse, Back To Black (Universal Republic, 2007)
17. Kanye West, The College Dropout (Roc-A-Fella, 2004)
16. Rufus Wainwright, Want One (Dreamworks, 2003)
15. Patty Griffin, 1000 Kisses (ATO, 2002)
14. The Strokes, Is This It (RCA, 2001)
13. Josh Ritter, The Animal Years (V2, 2006)
12. Spoon, Kill the Moonlight (Merge, 2002)
11. The Hold Steady, Boys And Girls In America (Vagrant, 2006)
10. M.I.A., Arular (Interscope, 2005)
9. The Avett Brothers, I And Love And You (Columbia/American, 2009)
8. OutKast, Stankonia (Arista/LaFace, 2000)
7. Gillian Welch, Time (The Revelator) (Acony, 2001)
6. The White Stripes, Elephant (V2, 2003)
5. Bright Eyes, I’m Wide Awake, It’s Morning (Saddle Creek, 2005)
4. Radiohead, Kid A (Capitol, 2000)
3. Arcade Fire, Funeral (Merge, 2004)
2. Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch, 2002)
1. Sufjan Stevens, Illinois (Asthmatic Kitty, 2005)

The Best Albums Of The Decade [Paste]

Alanis Morrissette And Alicia Silverstone Miss The Days When Music Videos Were Only Four Minutes Long

Two icons of the ’90s, Alicia Silverstone and Alanis Morrissette, have teamed up for a cause that affects all of us (especially knowledge-worker types who have extra time on their hands to read blogs): Movies with no discernible purpose other than throwing a bunch of highly bloggable artists on the soundtrack and using those songs to score long stretches of dialogue-free “pondering” about “life.” (Oh, and their cutesy credit sequences give work to animators, I guess.) They teamed up to make a trailer for a movie called MY Mother’s Red Hat (you can already figure out the “plot,” right?), complete with soundtrack almost as long as its script—and Vampire Weekend’s “A-Punk” soundtracking the commercial’s requisite “music crazily stopping to portray a crazy scene in the movie” bit. Clip after the jump.

And in case you’re a completist, here are all the bands namechecked in the trailer. Can you spot the fake ones? I’ll give you a hint: “Slightly Stoopid” is not one of them!
Vampire Weekend
Ra Ra Riot
Minus The Bear
Kingdom Flying Club
Fleet Foxes
Slightly Stoopid
Preston School of Industry
Bright Eyes
Lions Dentures
Aspiring Waiters
Aural Sax
Burgundy Beer Bellies
Jody Foster’s Army
Cross Eyed Chicken
Tokyo Police Club
The Weakerthans
Muscular Lesbians
Husker Du
Sonic Youth
Dr. Dog
Frou Frou
Conor Oberst
Mates Of State
Lykke Li
Straylight Run
The Rural Alberta Advantage
The Umbrella Sequence
The Juliana Theory
Red Team Blue Team
Four Non Blondes
Shiny Toy Guns
And the premiere of an instrumental drum track played by a kitten

My Mother’s Red Hat [Funny Or Die]

Wilco (The Irresistible Journalistic Construct)

Yesterday Wilco’s new album was made available for purchase, and the double-whammy of it being titled Wilco (The Album) and having its first single be called “Wilco (The Song)” proved to be too much for some writers out there to resist. After the jump, a selection of Wilco (The Parenthetically Assisted Reactions) that have appeared over the past few days, rated on a scale of zero to two camel humps in honor of the album’s cover:

Dorothy Hernandez, Red Eye: “For those who want lunch, they can try Wilco the sandwich. It’s not typical Denny’s fare but how about a prosciutto sandwich for the alt-country band? Get it? Prosciutto is an alternative to the typical ham. Hahahaha, I slay me.” If only forgetting the parentheses was this non-joke’s biggest problem. ZERO HUMPS.

Relix: “Wilco (The Sit-In).” Sadly, it’s about a Feist guest appearance, not a Jeff Tweedy-led protest. HALF A HUMP.

Anonymous copyeditor at the Associated Press: “Wilco (the article): Jeff Tweedy and co. celebrate rock with self-aware Wilco (The Album)” Obvious, but I’ll be nice because the story’s lede is actually not as cheesetastic as the headline. ONE HUMP.

Simmy Richman, The Independent: “So what, then, is Wilco (The Verdict)?” Have to be honest: I probably would have said something similar, appositive “then” and all. ONE HUMP.

Michael Saba, Paste: “Wilco (The Gas Station).” Sample line: “Wilco (The Gas Station) runs on a series of clumsily executed pop-philosophy clichés that reflect the sensibilities of a once-great truck-stop empire in its twilight, struggling for relevance in a world it no longer understands.” Made me want to read more cultural criticism of roadside service stations by this guy, which is saying something. TWO HUMPS AND AN EXTRA CANTEEN.

bennettFormer Wilco member Jay Bennett’s death last month was the result of an accidental overdose of painkillers, according to the Champaign (Ill.) County coroner’s office. Bennett apparently overdosed on fentanyl, which is used to treat moderate to severe chronic pain. The coroner’s office is now treating Bennett’s death as an accident. [Chicago Tribune]

Will “Vinyl Saturday” Drag People Back To The Record Stores?

The people behind the one-day indie-music-retail blowout Record Store Day are hoping so; they’ve declared the third Saturday of every month Vinyl Saturday, on which limited-edition vinyl releases will be available at participating indie shops. The first installment is Saturday, June 20, and there will be four special releases on shelves that day:

• A Wilco seven-inch (“You Never Know” b/w “Unlikely Japan,” recorded in 2003);
• A Green Day seven-inch (“Know Your Enemy” b/w “Hearts Collide”);
• A Modest Mouse seven-inch (“Autumn Beds” b/w “Whale Song”–this will actually be at all record stores on the 23rd, but Vinyl Saturday participants will allegedly get it in time to sell it Saturday); and
• A Pete Yorn/ScarJo seven-inch (a duet b/w a Yorn demo).

By some measures, this list is certainly impressive. But like the list of Record Store Day exclusives before it, I can’t help but feel that the organizers aren’t doing themselves any favors by being so genre-narrow, particularly when one looks at the types of records that sell lots of copies on days when indie retailers aren’t banding together to fight for survival. And that restrictiveness is certainly not a question of whether or not major labels will participate; all four of the bands above are signed to subsidiaries of The Big Four.

I’d think that people invested in the survival of record stores would want to broaden their consumer base, rather than superserving a slice of the pie that in recent years has proven hostile to paying for music on an aggregate basis. (Divide the number of words written about your recent-vintage bloggo darlings’ albums by said records’ sales; chances are that number will be much greater than one.) Plus there’s even more chance for cross-pollination between genres then: A 7-inch of Chrisette Michele’s “Epiphany” backed with her cover of “Don’t Speak” could draw in fans of No Doubt / Gwen Stefani, for example. Or, heck, William Beckett’s cover of “Heartbeats” could be a nice b-side for a single by The Academy Is…; his band has a rabid fanbase, and I’d think bringing them into new retail realms would be a greater boon in the long run for those businesses’ survival than clinging to some outdated notion of “cool.”

Record Store Day Presents – Vinyl Saturday! [Each Note Secure; HT Radio Exile]
[Pic via Collector’s Quest]

Jay Bennett, R.I.P.

Jay Bennett, a multi-instrumentalist and producer, passed away in his sleep Saturday night, according to a statement from his management company. Bennett was perhaps best known for his time with Wilco, with whom he played from 1994 through 2001; he also played in the ’90s powerpop act Titanic Love Affair and had an extensive list of musical credits. Last year, he put out the solo album Whatever Happened I Apologize, which he distributed for free under a Creative Commons license, and there’s currently a project underway to collect funds from fans for a vinyl release of the album. After the cut, a few tracks from his wide-ranging body of work.

Titanic Love Affair, “Planet Strange” (from Titanic Love Affair, 1991)

Wilco, “A Shot In The Arm” (from Summerteeth, 1999)

Wilco, “Pot Kettle Black” (from Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, 2002; Bennett provided “Wall of feedback, Electric guitars, Mellotrons, Synth, ‘B-Bender electric guitars,’ and Manual keyboard effects”)

Jay Bennett, “I’ll Decorate My Love” (from Whatever Happened I Apologize, 2008)

There’s also a 1999 Austin City Limits appearance by Wilco on YouTube.

Earlier this month, Bennett made headlines when he sued former bandmate Jeff Tweedy for breach of contract stemming from unpaid royalties; in a post on his MySpace blog shortly before the news of the lawsuit came out, Bennett blogged about upcoming hip replacement surgery and his work on his long-in-the-works album Kicking at the Perfumed Air.

Jay Bennett was 45.

UPDATE: Jim DeRogatis at the Chicago Sun-Times has spoken to former Bennett collaborator Edward Burch: “Early this morning, Jay died in his sleep and an autopsy is being performed.”

Jay Bennett [MySpace]
Jay Walter Bennett [Undertow Music Collective]

wilcothealbumAs a card-carrying music blogger, it’s my duty to let you know that Wilco is streaming the camel-coated Wilco (The Album) from its Web site right now. Apparently it leaked last night, leading to the stream being hastily put up on a “beta” section of the band’s site and a bunch of people making “Wilco (The Leak)” jokes. (That’s one somewhat disheartening thing about the Internet: You get to see just how many people have the same sense of humor as you. No more special snowflakes allowed, despite parental protestations!) [Wilco World]

Wilco Sure Knows How To Throw A Roof Party

Kind of makes you feel bad for whoever’s saddled with cleanup duty, but hey, at least the presence of a camel will give even the most persistent wallflower something to talk about. Which makes you wonder who’s going to be the first Wilco fanatic to “ironically” appropriate the above concept for a theme party of their own.

Wilco (The Album) Cover [Pitchfork]

Christina Aguilera’s New Role Is Going To Be Quite A Stretch

Christina Aguilera to appear in movie about burlesque club directed by brother of Pussycat Dolls cofounder; somewhere, Nicole Scherzinger is having a fit [Variety]
Jay Bennett suing Jeff Tweedy over unpaid Wilco royalties [AP]
• Faith No More playing one-off show at the Brixton Academy, which has added a corporate sponsor to its name since the release of You Fat Bastards all those years ago [NME]
• Rihanna cancels show in United Arab Emirates–which would have been her first performance since the Grammys–because “it’s just not the right time” [GulfNews]
• However, she does think it’s the right time to wear tuxedo jackets with gigantic shoulders [Jezebel]

tupelo.jpegLooking for another summer festival to hit, but not wanting to go much farther than say…Jackson Hole, Wyoming? Well get psyched for the weekend of August 16th, when the Black Crowes, Medeski Martin and Wood, Kaki King, Wilco AND Son Volt entertain folks at the inaugural two-day Jackson Hole Music Festival. Wilco and Son Volt, people. Wilco and Son Volt. I smell the unthinkable. [Jackson Hole Music Festival]