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Wilco (the stream)
May 13, 2009 2:31 PM   Subscribe

Wilco has just started streaming their new album, Wilco (The Album) The band has done this since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and is asking those who download the entire thing to donate some cash to The Inspiration Corporation charity in Chicago.
posted by TheDonF (84 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite

 
(Jumps up and down with excitement!!!11!!) Metafilter introduced me to Wilco circa YHF and I've been a huge fan since. Best concert I ever saw.

Your favorite band does not suck!
posted by double block and bleed at 2:45 PM on May 13, 2009


My favorite band is Il Divo.
posted by mazola at 2:53 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Wilco is a band for people who think they are intellectuals about music, the Wilco man is always unhappy so his songs start very quietly in order that people don't wake up with a start. It is all for nothing because halfway through someone will play a guitar solo with a chairleg." - Shelly Winters
posted by now i'm piste at 2:57 PM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


whew. i needed confirmation that the indie music hype machine is still working per usual. sacred cows need to moo every once in awhile to remind me that the yuppie worldview is still in effect on the gentrified parts of the internet.
posted by the aloha at 3:15 PM on May 13, 2009


Let your hatred flowwwwww
posted by cavalier at 3:21 PM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


i hate when people like things too.

asshole high five!
posted by ND¢ at 3:22 PM on May 13, 2009 [8 favorites]


Hate their music, I don't care. But if you say something bad about the cover for "Wilco (The Album)", you're flat out wrong.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 3:29 PM on May 13, 2009


Whew. I need confirmation that people are still working to tell other people that their favorite band sucks, and finding the least interesting, and most insulting, ways of doing it, thus assuring themselves that their own musical tastes are beyond criticism. I take it that those of you who do this only listen to music that no one else listens to (because if more than three people have heard of it, that means it's bad!), and that the bands you listen to are uniformly and consistently brilliant? And that your definition of brilliance is the only one that counts, of course. And anyone who doesn't agree with it is intellectually bankrupt.

I'm so tired of that shit.

Anyway. I've listened to about half the album so far (yes! I'm actually going to make a comment based on having listened to the thing the link goes to!), and I'm not wild about it so far. We'll see what the rest of it brings, and if I like it any more the second time around. I didn't much like A Ghost is Born, but every band/musician I've ever liked has put out at least one album that made me go "No." Maybe this won't be (another) one.
posted by rtha at 3:34 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I like to define myself by my hatreds.
posted by dirigibleman at 3:35 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


YAAAAAAAAY!
posted by padraigin at 3:35 PM on May 13, 2009


But I already have Big Star's first three albums.

(Oh SNAP!)
posted by basicchannel at 3:42 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


That is truly one of the best album covers I've ever laid eyes on.
posted by naju at 3:50 PM on May 13, 2009


rtha, whatever dude. Your're just all touchy because your favorite band still sucks.

Hey, lookit my new shirt!
posted by eyeballkid at 3:59 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


You'r'r'r'r're, is obviously what I meant to type.
posted by eyeballkid at 3:59 PM on May 13, 2009


the Wilco man is always unhappy

No, no, no. Jay Farrar, the other guy from Uncle Tupelo, is the unhappy guy.
posted by R. Mutt at 4:00 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Your favorite band has sucked since A.M.
posted by spicynuts at 4:23 PM on May 13, 2009


dude, your new shirt totally sucks.

(I am contemplating ordering one and wearing it to a 10th anniversary meetup. Or maybe I'll wear the bacon/donuts shirt. Decisions decisions....)
posted by rtha at 4:28 PM on May 13, 2009


I don't what you haters think, Wilco says that it loves me.
posted by octothorpe at 4:48 PM on May 13, 2009


I've been looking forward to this since I saw them play Wilco (the song) on Colbert. I nearly cried with joy when I saw this post. Now I can't get it to work and I am more disappointed than I have been all week. And that is saying something, considering the fact that I have been getting grades back for all my old projects this week.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 5:06 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


I believe that Wilco will never surpass YHF, which I also believe was a flawless album. Everything since then has been a little less and a little less. (Though their album designs have been incredible, this one as well.) But there is still enough there to make me check this out. Let's just hope they hand even more space over to Nels Cline. Because he is a total fucking bad-ass.
posted by barrett caulk at 5:17 PM on May 13, 2009


Nice timing: the public filing in Jay Bennett vs. Jeff Tweedy was released last week.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 5:21 PM on May 13, 2009


I don't what you haters think, Wilco says that it loves me.

"I am the band that loves you"?
posted by joe lisboa at 5:21 PM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Some Wilco albums are showers and some are growers. YHF was the former. But I didn't like Sky Blue Sky at all until I saw them perform some of the stuff live.
posted by padraigin at 5:37 PM on May 13, 2009


I love most of their stuff but still haven't made a real go of Sky Blue Sky; I listened it for the first time when it came out (and I think maybe said some disparaging things about it in the mefi thread at the time) and then just sort of left it alone for a long time.

I gave it a listen again more recently and warmed up to it a little, but only a little. I think it's just a case of Tweedy focusing on precisely the things I don't find particularly interesting about his music. There are a few hooks in it that have been coming back to me occasionally now, which is probably a good sign, but I dunno.

Which, I guess what I'm saying is I'm a little afraid to do Wilco Streaming New Album, Take II. Superstition, I guess. I'll give it a shot tomorrow.

I didn't much like A Ghost is Born, but every band/musician I've ever liked has put out at least one album that made me go "No." Maybe this won't be (another) one.

For all of A Ghost Is Born's wankiness, it has so knockout great moments, I think. And Theologians and Hummingbird are just ridiculously nice pieces of pop writing.
posted by cortex at 5:42 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


For all of A Ghost Is Born's wankiness, it has so knockout great moments, I think. And Theologians and Hummingbird are just ridiculously nice pieces of pop writing.

"A Muzzle of Bees" made me weep at the time. However, I just could not get into Sky Blue Sky.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:49 PM on May 13, 2009


Yeah, the problem I have with Sky Blue Sky is that there are no SONGS on it. It's too noodley.

But lord, they made it work live.
posted by padraigin at 5:50 PM on May 13, 2009


"Yuppie"???
"Gentrified"????

Geez. You missed "drivel." Only then will have you completed your thread crapalanche.

Look, I'm no fan of their music either but christ, really - give it a rest.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 5:57 PM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


He's got a point though. It's like indie rock fell into a coma in 1992
posted by dydecker at 6:06 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


So, uh... how do I download songs? This damn player keeps playing, but other than that I can't make jack happen.
posted by unixrat at 6:20 PM on May 13, 2009


I will listen to any band that has Nels Cline playing guitar in it. I will then go see that band live, because Nels fucking owns. I couldn't give two shits about Jeff Tweedy, though he sometimes writes lovely confectionary pop songs.

Nels is The Man.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 6:29 PM on May 13, 2009


The album is sounding less dadrock than the previous, which is great. Though I can already tell it aint what they used to be, but I expected that. It's still pretty badass, a lot of which I think is Nels. Also, YHF is their 'masterpiece' while A Ghost Is Born is actually the better album. (Kinda like Kid A and Amnesiac)
posted by saul wright at 7:01 PM on May 13, 2009


Like or hate Wilco, it is cool that they fall into the "let everyone listen to everything on the new album and then decide if they want to buy it or maybe even help a charity instead" camp instead of the "IF YOU POST MY FUCKING SONG ON THE INTERNET I WILL HAVE MY BASSIST PUNCH YOU IN THE THROAT" camp.
posted by Joey Michaels at 7:06 PM on May 13, 2009


unixrat: "So, uh... how do I download songs? This damn player keeps playing, but other than that I can't make jack happen."

Um, you wait until it's actually released and download through iTunes or Amazon.
posted by octothorpe at 7:20 PM on May 13, 2009


I'm liking this album a lot. I think I've said that about every one of their albums since Summerteeth, though maybe those took me a few more listens.

Bull Black Nova knocked me over the head second go-round.

The album is over much too quickly.

I don't really hear any filler.

Two thumbs up.

Way up.

Back to the stream...
posted by BoatMeme at 7:22 PM on May 13, 2009


For all of A Ghost Is Born's wankiness, it has so knockout great moments, I think. And Theologians and Hummingbird are just ridiculously nice pieces of pop writing.

True. And I do like A Muzzle of Bees.
posted by rtha at 7:22 PM on May 13, 2009


Wow, lots of haterade in the blue tonight...

What shitty bands do you like the aloha?
posted by schyler523 at 7:25 PM on May 13, 2009


I didn't love either A Ghost Is Born or Sky Blue Sky for a while, but now like them both a whole lot. They both fit together really nicely as albums rather than collections of singles. Good Sunday music.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:48 PM on May 13, 2009


I never understand why people who don't like a band or an artist think that the most effective, persuasive means of expressing that dislike is to pretend their purely subjective dislike represents some objective reality about what is and is not good music. It's MUSIC. Some people will like it. Others will not. It's that simple.
posted by eustacescrubb at 7:57 PM on May 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


A Ghost is Born made a believer out of me - Theologians especially.
posted by tizzie at 8:04 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Wow, great timing. I just got my tickets for a upcoming Wilco show in the mail today.

Hopefully this album has a bit more to it than Sky Blue Sky. I have a feeling the addition of Nels to the band before the recording changed the dynamic enough to where that album, while alright, never seemed to go anywhere to me. Not knocking Nels though. That man can do crazy things to a guitar. If any LA mefites ever get the chance, go see a Nels Cline/Jon Brion show at The Largo. It'll knock your ass off.
posted by fishmasta at 8:06 PM on May 13, 2009


(...wait until it's actually released.)

So what the hell is the word download in the title for? I should donate to the charity if I just listen to the stream?

ObMusic: I -like- Wilco, just confused by the story.
posted by unixrat at 8:08 PM on May 13, 2009


YHF=awesome!
A Ghost is Born=pretty good!
Sky Blue Sky=Impossible Germany and a bunch of songs I never listened to again.
posted by Rangeboy at 8:11 PM on May 13, 2009


I got into Wilco because of internet peer pressure on the blue, with YHF and Ghost. There were a few songs on both of those that I really liked, but Sky Blue Sky is more to my liking because it sounds to me more like their earlier work.

The new album is OK on first listen. Only a couple of tracks have really grabbed me so far.
posted by emelenjr at 8:48 PM on May 13, 2009


I listened to it on my roommate's computer and I like it a lot. Most of Wilco's albums have taken me some time to get into but I can definitely see myself listening to this over and over.
Side note: I had my music library on shuffle recently and after I heard a Wilco song, a Loose Fur song and a song from the Minus 5 album that Wilco played on all in a row, I realized that I had a lot of Jeff Tweedy music. I decided to calculate exactly how much and I realized that Jeff Tweedy was involved with 11% of the music in my library (by time). I have more Jeff Tweedy than any 2 other musicians put together. With that, I have probably just revealed myself as the least hip person on the internet, but he can write a damn good pop song and I'd take his half of Mermaid Avenue over Billy Bragg's any day so I guess being cool is overrated.
posted by martinX's bellbottoms at 9:11 PM on May 13, 2009


Metafilter introduced me to Wilco circa YHF and I've been a huge fan since. Best concert I ever saw.

Now there's a man who never attended a Sun Ra concert.

Or, if he did, he forgot about it.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:44 PM on May 13, 2009


Well I find myself about as tired and strung out as I've been in a good long while this evening and I should probably just go to bed, but the aggression earlier in this thread will not stand, man.

I'm giving the thing a listen and "One Wing" is speaking that kind of deep glandular truth to me that Wilco at its best always does, moreso maybe on first listen than anything on Sky Blue Sky did. And for that alone - for the warm friendly tingling hand on the shoulder on a particular kind of night - I'm ecstatic about this new Wilco album. I'd been missing them, and I'm delighted they're back.

Don't think I've ever said this with greater sincerety of intent: Suck it, haters.
posted by gompa at 9:45 PM on May 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


Hate it, suckers !?= Suck it, haters

I approve.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:55 PM on May 13, 2009


Alternately, *SPOILER ALERT* once you turn twenty + x you'll see the folly of defining yourself in terms of what you loathe. If you don't, then best of luck to you, sir(s). I'll see the rest of you at the show.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:57 PM on May 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


Gosh, people sure can get all worked up about this here little band!

Oh, and Bitter Old Punk is right: Nels Cline is the man.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 10:13 PM on May 13, 2009


this post reminded me that I used to love wilco. now I'm not sure, because it has been awhile. I've got their previous albums in a weird file situation on another computer, which I am currently transferring to my current computer, so that I may once again listen to wilco. It is taking a bit. wilco was such a love for myself and friends for a long time a long time ago; it's wierd I've never come back to them.

For now, I am listening to the stream. I kind of like, but I'm not sure yet.
posted by localhuman at 10:20 PM on May 13, 2009


There are a few bands that I can't stand. The Rolling Stones, Poison, Loverboy and Saving Abel are some examples. I don't say that they suck because they provide entertainment to the people who do enjoy them and because I'm an adult who understands that those who don't share my musical tastes are not wrong, just different.

I like Wilco. You don't. Why do you find it necessary to come into a thread that is of interest only to those of us who like or least are interested in Wilco and shit all over our thread? I promise that I won't come into your thread about the Rolling Stones and tell you that you are a bad person for liking the Stones and you that should feel bad.
posted by double block and bleed at 10:47 PM on May 13, 2009


The post is not just for people who like or are interested in Wilco. Some of us had never heard them before this post. I hadn't, I gave it a click and try, it sounded far too grown up and polite and like a sensible version of old Teenage Fanclub/Big Star/Neil Young records, so I turned it off. It's not hate, it's just a reaction. No need to take it so personally.
posted by dydecker at 11:02 PM on May 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Long-time Wilco fan who was also sort of left cold by SBS; still, I'll definitely be giving this a listen, thanks for the heads up!

But I already have Big Star's first three albums.
(Oh SNAP!)


Two more than you need, ain't it? (OhSNAP!2)
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:11 PM on May 13, 2009


The album is sounding less dadrock than the previous

Yeah, they need to rediscover their angstrock roots with more enuiinfusions of selfloath.
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 5:18 AM on May 14, 2009


BEST WILCO ALBUM = MERMAID AVENUE WITH BILLY BRAGG!!!
posted by njbradburn at 5:21 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The post is not just for people who like or are interested in Wilco.

Repeated for emphasis. Saying "I don't like this album because etc." or "Listening to Wilco makes me want to put q-tips in my ears" is one thing. But the early-thread "This sucks and you are stupid for liking it" is old and tired and should go elsewhere (though I know it won't).
posted by rtha at 5:53 AM on May 14, 2009


Listened twice, it's not grabbing me yet though it still sounds better than Sky Blue Sky. But I've always found Wilco albums to be growers - only Summerteeth hooked me instantly. I'd take Neil Young/Big Star ripoffs over Eagles pastiches, anyway.

Perhaps this is a good place to mention the fabulous Wilcobase, home of far more information than you need about Wilco live shows, and the Just A Fan project, whereby Wilco fans created a site to raise money for a charity of the band's choice, as a way of saying thanks to Wilco for streaming Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and for a similar response when A Ghost is Born was leaked on filesharing networks: "Wilco’s newest album, A Ghost is Born, shows up on Soulseek. How does Wilco respond? By posting the correct order of the tracklisting and releasing the cover art and liner notes" (Source; justafan.org is down now, apparently).
posted by Infinite Jest at 6:04 AM on May 14, 2009


When will people realize that the 'your band sucks' thing is a troll and picking up the argument is pointless? Let. It. Go. Every music thread ends up with half discussion of the actual band, half discussion of this stupid trope (even I have been guilty of it). Just ignore the shit about 'X band sucks'. Really. The world won't end if you don't pick up the argument.

As a woman on TV once said: "You can't lose if you don't play the game".
posted by spicynuts at 7:05 AM on May 14, 2009 [2 favorites]


the aloha: whew. i needed confirmation that the indie music hype machine is still working per usual. sacred cows need to moo every once in awhile to remind me that the yuppie worldview is still in effect on the gentrified parts of the internet

The bolded phrase is one of the most hilarious I've read in a while..

Oh shit Aloha, we didn't know you were from the gritty ungentrified parts of the *internet*! Where is that again, somewhere on usenet maybe? In any case, we'd love to know what the music is like there!
posted by malphigian at 8:15 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


Thanks for this! I really mindmelded with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, which doesn't happen to me that often, but then I sort of forgot to keep up with Wilco. Listening now and enjoying.
posted by yarrow at 8:26 AM on May 14, 2009


gritty ungentrified parts of the *internet*!

Yahoo Answers? Geocities?

Instead of writing things like: yuppie worldview is still in effect on the gentrified parts of the internet

Wouldn't it be easier to just wear a t-shirt that says "I'm a ludicrous blowhard"? Gentrified parts of the internet, forsooth.




I like Wilco, thanks for this.
posted by Divine_Wino at 8:36 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


"Whew. I need confirmation that people are still working to tell other people that their favorite band sucks, and finding the least interesting, and most insulting, ways of doing it, thus assuring themselves that their own musical tastes are beyond criticism. I take it that those of you who do this only listen to music that no one else listens to (because if more than three people have heard of it, that means it's bad!), and that the bands you listen to are uniformly and consistently brilliant? And that your definition of brilliance is the only one that counts, of course. And anyone who doesn't agree with it is intellectually bankrupt."

Come on. Were a lot of comments deleted before this? If not, this is a total bizarro over-reaction, and so full of wrongness that I'm amazed you could get the lid on.

I gave this one a try and gave up about three songs in because the streaming kept lagging for me, and it was driving me crazy. It seemed OK, more engaging than anything they've done in a long while, but I do admit that I still hold a grudge over forking out money for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, since it was an amazingly overhyped and boring album. I think I was in Nashville when I did it, I needed new music and had liked Summerteeth, and I got this warm porridge instead of an album.

As for what I listen to, well, y'know, I'll stake my listening habits against anyone's—I know they're right, because I listen to what I like. But the idea that because someone (rightly) hates the boring mush that Wilco puts out, and is even further annoyed by the hype-hype-hype from folks who have elevated Wilco to a badge of enlightened taste, they must listen only to obscure stuff (scary!) or hate the mainstream is silly.

You can look at what I listen to on my computer pretty easily—my Last.fm is linked through my profile. Most recently, it's been the new Yeah Yeah Yeahs (B), Icarus Line (C-), Loveliescrushing (B+), Pink Mountaintops (A-), Wavves (B+), Outrageous Cherry (B), FUA (B-) and The-Dream (B). This isn't super-secret music, and I'm kind of mentioning it in the hopes that more people listen to it (if you like Wilco, you'll likely dig Outrageous Cherry and Pink Mountaintops).

But I will say that it reinforces my belief that people who listen to Wilco and really get into Wilco do so because they don't listen to very diverse music, and instead want something that has a lot of craft to it but not much innovation or passion or surprises. That may be insulting, but hey, you're in good company—lots of professional music critics also want something with more craft than art.

Hence the domination of the totally boring indie rock hegemony, of which Wilco is a part. But I'll give Wilco another chance one I think the initial surge of listeners is over, so that I can see if it will stream without glitching (though if the glitching is intentional, I will have a newfound respect for Wilco).
posted by klangklangston at 9:10 AM on May 14, 2009


Oh shit Aloha, we didn't know you were from the gritty ungentrified parts of the *internet*! Where is that again, somewhere on usenet maybe? In any case, we'd love to know what the music is like there!

It's an acoustic Korn set, 24/7. I dare you to go there.
posted by ryoshu at 9:20 AM on May 14, 2009


OK, I finished the Wilco album (seemed nice but I have to listen to things like a billion times before I have any opinion/memory of them at all - and if I manage to do so that tends to mean I like them q.e.d.). Now am listening to Outrageous Cherry on last.fm about whom I feel the exact same way for now. I am way too slow about music to be offended by other people's tastes or by other people's opinions about my tastes, but I do like finding new things to like, so thanks, klang!.
posted by yarrow at 9:44 AM on May 14, 2009


As for what I listen to, well, y'know, I'll stake my listening habits against anyone's

Dude. It's not a contest. Or at least it doesn't have to be. Maybe-- and I'm not trying to snark here, I'm serious-- maybe it's enriching to you to think in terms of your listening habits versus those of other people. I've been that way before, and it's exhausting. I guess in the end, I think diverse habits are good, but diverse listening habits aren't really a laudable end to themselves. OK, your habits or more diverse than people who like Wilco. Gold star. But if people get something out of what they're listening to, why give a shit about what it is?

Music's unbelievably subjective. I like Wilco a lot; but a big part of that probably ties back into my personal history, listening to them growing out of Uncle Tupelo and going to a shitload of Wilco shows in my formative years and just generally having their first couple of albums function as a soundtrack to a chunk of my life. And all of this colors how I approach them now... meaning that my Wilco-listening experience is markedly different (not better, not worse, just really really different) from yours or The Aloha's or Divine Wino's or Yarrow's or Dick Cheney's. Just like you and I would come to the Pink Mountaintops with different head-baggage and thus inevitably have a different listening experience.

This is why taste comparisons drive me nuts. Every different person experiences something different hearing the same music, so it's never an apples-to-apples comparison.
posted by COBRA! at 9:45 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


One thing to add: reading back on my post, it comes off a little more defensive than I meant it to. And other people upthread get a little defensive, too. But that's just it: people who really like a band tend to like them because something about their experience with the band meshes with some facet of their personality. So a dismissal of the band can easily feel like a dismissal of the person. That's a hard habit to get out of.
posted by COBRA! at 9:48 AM on May 14, 2009


But I will say that it reinforces my belief that people who listen to Wilco and really get into Wilco do so because they don't listen to very diverse music, and instead want something that has a lot of craft to it but not much innovation or passion or surprises.

This is pretty insulting. I may have to add it to my list of least favourite holier-than-thou music arguements.
posted by kersplunk at 9:56 AM on May 14, 2009


(others include:

“I don’t like it, but many other people do, therefore it’s overrated” (because I'm right and they're wrong)

“I don’t like it, therefore anyone who claims to like it is just saying that to seem cool”

and of course

“I don’t like the sort of people who like this, therefore it is worth my contempt” (see Star Trek, LoTR, Led Zeppelin)

)
posted by kersplunk at 9:58 AM on May 14, 2009


As for what I listen to, well, y'know, I'll stake my listening habits against anyone's

I said things like this when I was eighteen and getting really into Dali's Car.
posted by applemeat at 10:02 AM on May 14, 2009


I need confirmation that people are still working to tell other people that their favorite band sucks,
guess you will have to look elsewhere. my earlier comment can easily be reworded "your favorite band's marketing sucks and some of your favorite band's more cultish members suck." i thought i would be a little bit more snarky about expressing that viewpoint since snark seems to be a celebrated form in this community. while my response is still not even a snark masterwork, i guess i underestimated both the reaction that people would have to one person's over-the-top opinion and thought i would win at least a point or two for s t y l e. "This sucks and you are stupid for liking it" and "defining yourself in terms of what you loathe." are choices on how to interpret what i wrote, but have little to do with what i did write.

pepsi blue that enough people like becomes crystal pepsi, but does either truly taste that good? a single link to promotional material about an act which already has enormous hype in a selected number of overlapping subcultures behind everything it puts out is not wrong to post, but is also not very inspiring.

annoyed by the hype-hype-hype from folks who have elevated Wilco to a badge of enlightened taste, they must listen only to obscure stuff (scary!) or hate the mainstream is silly.
klangklangston provides a rewording of the point that i was making earlier in the thread.

The bolded phrase is one of the most hilarious I've read in a while..
thank you for what i read as a backhanded compliment, but nonetheless at least hints at the level of seriousness with which i composed that paragraph. i knew that i'd get some flack for posting a dissenting opinion in admittedly an over-the-top fashion. i had no idea how much further over the top some people would respond with. i am glad that at least someone else found some humor in what i wrote albeit in a different sense.

we didn't know you were from the gritty ungentrified parts of the *internet*! Where is that again, somewhere on usenet maybe?
let's not kid ourselves. indie rock is marketed to a certain demographic as a different kind of mainstream. i do not know if wilco, the band, intentionally went directly for that audience when they started out. wilco the br through marketing sure does and should continue to do so in order to get more money. remember, i was not talking about the band but about the marketing and some of the cult member fans that any group of any popularity ends up attracting.

Geez. You missed "drivel."
i provide the drivel by what i write.

Wouldn't it be easier to just wear a t-shirt that says "I'm a ludicrous blowhard"?
a tattoo would be even easier.

What shitty bands do you like the aloha?
i am actually indifferent to wilco. alt-country, as a genre, does not do it for me. wilco just happens to be releasing an album soon. my point would have been no different if, for example, aphex twin, bjork, or r.e.m. were releasing a new album though i enjoy most of the music each of those exceedingly hyped acts put out very much. granted, i like more than just those three acts which attract similar types of indiscriminate audience members. luckily, we can still hear the music and come to our own conclusions.

if you care about my musical tastes beyond how their marketing hype plays out i can email you privately.

It's an acoustic Korn set, 24/7. I dare you to go there.
eh, no. i mean, i would be untrue to take you up on that. korn is most certainly worse than wilco.

Music's unbelievably subjective.
truth.
posted by the aloha at 10:32 AM on May 14, 2009


Uh, yeah, you guys got that the part about my habits versus others was in specific response to the bit from RTHA about not liking popular music, or only liking esoteric stuff, right?

I'm more defending the right to dismiss Wilco as bland yuppie wash than I am trying to lord my tastes.

Though they are, frankly, amazing tastes, and anyone who doesn't like what I like can get bent. (Which is easier to say that granting that I know that a fair amount of stuff that I listen to isn't for everyone, and isn't even for me all the time, something that often seems forgotten by proponents of canon bands like Wilco.)
posted by klangklangston at 10:49 AM on May 14, 2009


Not only have I moved on past "What I listen to is so great and I am cool because I listen to it", I have moved on past getting mad when people say "What you listen to, that you thought was so great and made you cool, is really just bland yuppie pablum that every wannabe poser asshole frat boy listens to merely because they think it makes them cool." I have moved so far past all that shit I am like the fucking High Evolutionary motherfuckers. I HAVE EVOLVED. I am sitting here blasting Neil Diamond and laughing at you single celled motherfuckers!
posted by ND¢ at 11:16 AM on May 14, 2009


Neil Diamond? Fuck you, puny man-animal. I am mashing up the Jonas Brothers and Judy Garland and I am nigh unto a God.
posted by COBRA! at 11:18 AM on May 14, 2009


Seriously though, if there is a better song than Cracklin' Rosie, I haven't heard it.

Play it now.

Play it now!

PLAY IT NOW MY BABY!
posted by ND¢ at 11:23 AM on May 14, 2009


There's a late-70s X-Men comic where they're trapped in Calgary and Wolverine's reminiscing about an old Calgary whore he used to patronize named Cracklin' Rosie. I assume "play it now!" would usually be yelled at some point during her patronage.
posted by COBRA! at 11:26 AM on May 14, 2009


Married to a catchy and dynamic melody and arrangement, the lyrics suggested to some a devotion to a woman of the night . . . But in actuality, Cracklin' Rosie is a type of wine drunk by a native Canadian tribe that Diamond had visited in Canada. Apparently the tribe had more men than women. Cracklin' Rosie was the nickname they used for their homemade alcoholic brew, which the single men, who did not have dates, would sit around the fire and drink together. (wiki)
posted by ND¢ at 11:32 AM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I was, and still am, really unimpressed with SBS. Really middle of the road, really dull, really safe. I'm wth Saul Wright - YHF is seen as their masterpiece, but AGIB is a far better album. I miss the days of Being There and Summerteeth, especially as I can't ever see Wilco abandoning the sound they've got these days.
posted by TheDonF at 11:44 AM on May 14, 2009


But I will say that it reinforces my belief that people who listen to Wilco and really get into Wilco do so because they don't listen to very diverse music, and instead want something that has a lot of craft to it but not much innovation or passion or surprises. That may be insulting, but hey, you're in good company—lots of professional music critics also want something with more craft than art.

There may be some truth to this but I have a different take on it - I think it's possible that some of the Wilco stuff asks too much of the listener - it asks you to be open emotionally to feelings and ideas that are relatively sincere and have an element of vulnerability to them. A lot of people I know who like 'cool' music don't respond well to directness and sincerity because to take it seriously is to admit that you have feelings that everybody else has. You are not special and weird, you are just another human being. Far from lacking passion, I think the lyrics to many Wilco tunes are pretty heart-on-sleeve. Right, there's not a lot of screaming and distortion compared to some bands butt to mistaken that for passion is pretty shallow.

I'm not saying this is true of all people who dislike Wilco - only that I have noticed a correlation.

And, just to be clear, I like a lot of diverse music - free jazz, dubstep, punk rock, old-timey country and blues, metal, whatever. When I heard that my favorite guitarist was joining my favorite current rock/pop band, I was pretty happy.

I recommend the live double-CD 'Kicking Television' to get a taste of what kind of passion and energy Wilco brings to their dad-rock.
posted by lukievan at 1:38 PM on May 14, 2009


I don't what you haters think, Wilco says that it loves me.

"I am the band that loves you"?


"This is a fact,
That you need to know,
Oh, oh, oh, oh Wilco,
Wilco,
Wilco will love you Baby"
posted by Infinite Jest at 2:13 PM on May 14, 2009


"There may be some truth to this but I have a different take on it - I think it's possible that some of the Wilco stuff asks too much of the listener - it asks you to be open emotionally to feelings and ideas that are relatively sincere and have an element of vulnerability to them. A lot of people I know who like 'cool' music don't respond well to directness and sincerity because to take it seriously is to admit that you have feelings that everybody else has. You are not special and weird, you are just another human being. Far from lacking passion, I think the lyrics to many Wilco tunes are pretty heart-on-sleeve. Right, there's not a lot of screaming and distortion compared to some bands butt to mistaken that for passion is pretty shallow."

That's fair, but I don't think that reflects my experience with it. I'm fine with sincere emotion, I'm fine with vulnerability, honesty, whatever. But I think my point of disagreement is that I think those are neutral markers for me—I don't really care if someone is sincere or not (I think sincerity is kind of a fraught metric to begin with).

It's like when I was the editor of my college paper's opinion pages, and I'd get new writers in, and they'd turn in columns that were just their opinions. From an audience perspective, it's not enough to have an opinion or to be sincere or to honestly express it. It's not even enough to be vulnerable or emotional. Why should I care? Why should I take the time to read your opinion or listen to your song?

From your point of view, it's to remind us that we're all human, not special or weird. Ok, I got that. Other people have feelings like me. But why do I need a mid-tempo mope to tell me that? It's not like the trials and tribulations of middle-class, middle-aged white people are especially hard to find, and that's what I get out of Wilco. It's not the what of Wilco that bores me, it's the how.

I don't want to over-state my case, because first off, it's not like I hate Wilco. I think they do what they do in a competent manner. But their articulation of these universal feelings doesn't add anything to my understanding, and they don't articulate these feelings in a way that I find aesthetically pleasurable to overcome the banality (like, say, a lot of stupid pop does). Second, from what I've heard of this new album, it's more poppy and interesting than anything they've done in years. But with the sheer volume of music out there, I doubt that I'll ever get so far down my list that I have to buy it.

But, frankly, I will grant you this: I tend to not connect at all with the New Sincerity movement, folks like Fleet Foxes or Frightened Rabbit or Two Gallants or Sufjan Stevens or Wilco. I don't care for facile irony either—The Ting-Tings, Matt and Kim, Noisettes, Black Kids, 3OH!3, bands that pick up '80s pastiche or half-assed lo-fi in order to cover up a lack of craft. I tend to be annoyed and bored when musicians act like sincerity is a question that matters.

I'll also grant that I can be snobbish—when people start gushing about the Animal Collective I tend to assume that's as far-out as they've ever gone. But if they can tell me what they like about it and make me hear it in a new way, I'll gladly listen.
posted by klangklangston at 2:41 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


But why do I need a mid-tempo mope to tell me that?

He's a really talented mid-tempo mope with a strong lyrical bent, nice vocal sensibilities, and good pop-arrangement instincts, is all.

Excessive hype is annoying. I really, really like Wilco, and I agree that they've gotten a disproportionate amount of hype and attention. But the hype machine is a weird, useless beast that has very little to do with anything other than its own strange eating-and-shitting habits. The conflation of this packaging and marketing shit with the actual music itself is one of the weirder things about music discussion for me to behold, as someone who mostly stays the hell out of it.

An under-hyped band isn't better because it's under-hyped, and an overhyped band isn't worse for being over-hyped; Jimi Hendrix being dead doesn't make him a better musician, and if he were alive today and churning out crap it wouldn't make his stuff from the sixties suddenly crap. That's not to say you can't feel, somehow, that those things are true or important or come into the value of a band based on the intersection of their work and your personal experiential deal with them and so on, but it looks like relatively silly bullshit from a distance.

It's cool with me if people don't like Wilco, and I'm all ears for commentary on the substantive "why" behind that. I'm more interested in the musical arguments than the meta stuff—I don't like Coldplay very much but I don't give a soaring handjob whether or not you're annoyed at them for being popular—but as long as it's more "this is my issue with how they go about making music" and less "oh god they're so overrated blaaaargh" it's probably all good.

Acknowledged: I'm rambling here.
posted by cortex at 2:58 PM on May 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


So, to sum up:

Some people like Wilco. Some do not.
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:09 PM on May 14, 2009


NO U
posted by cortex at 3:30 PM on May 14, 2009


cortex writes:...but as long as it's "this is my issue with how they go about making music" and less "oh god they're so overrated blaaaargh" it's probably all good.

This is a very good point. Thank you for making it. I happen to enjoy expressing opinions about music that I like, and music that I don't especially like, and I enjoy reading other's opinions of the same. Too often, though, in music threads, expressing any opinion that is not strictly positive about a band someone has posted about is automatically seen as crapping in the thread. People can really jump on you for holding and expressing any opinion other than "oh yeah, this is my favoritest band EVER!"

Ideally, opinions expressed in a music thread could be wide-ranging, with an interesting back-and-forth, and people wouldn't immediately push the 'JUST-STAY-OUT-OF-THE-THREAD-IF-YOU'RE-A-HATER" button as they jerk their knee...
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:44 PM on May 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


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