It’s been quite a few weeks since the last update, so I figured I’d give you guys a kind of Wilco News Lightning Round (patent pending).
The moment we’ve been waiting for since it was announced almost four months ago has finally come. The result? The Whole Love is pretty awesome.
Many of us were treated to a 24-hour streaming party of the album a few weeks ago, but as many Wilco fans know, every album requires a few listenings to really get into it; now that it’s been out for a couple of weeks, I’m surprised that my vinyl copy of The Whole Love isn’t just a pile of string by now.
I thoroughly dig the new album (it goes without saying), as does almost everyone else, apparently.
- Rolling Stone gives The Whole Love 4 Stars, picking it as the editor’s pick of the week two weeks back.
- Spin gives it an 8/10, saying “Whoever has been dismissing Wilco as “dad rock” must have pretty complicated relationships with their fathers.”
- The LA Times gives The Whole Love 3.5/4 Stars. “Nearly every song contains some tangential surprise, odd hook, sonic back flip or midsong redefinition.”
- Reuters claims that The Whole Love shows shades of Beatles, stating that “[The Whole Love] thoroughly [summarizes] the disparate sides the beloved band has developed over the last 16 years.
Critics’ opinions are always welcome, but what really matters is what the band thinks of the record.
Jeff Tweedy, the Wilco frontman himself, discussed a select few tracks from The Whole Love in a recent interview:
“I Might”— The music that always feels the most like home to me is ’60s garage band music, “Pebbles”- and “Nuggets”-type (garage band compilation albums) of one-hit-wonder garage band music. That’s just the stuff that’s the most deeply ingrained in my DNA and my blood. It’s kind of weird that it doesn’t shine through that much. But it seems like it does on this record. That Farfisa (organ) sound is a pretty major part of that. It wasn’t even directed, actually. Mike (keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen) is just a big fan of that sound too. So that’s what he went for.
Art of Almost”— It was always the first track, from the second we started working on it. It opened the door the widest to the rest of the record. I think it’s the least categorizable song. We’ve had a string of records that have really hammered home this theory that whatever you put first on a record basically becomes the shorthand that that record has to endure critically. “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” would be talked about very differently if “Heavy Metal Drummer” was the first song on that album. “Either Way” was the first song on “Sky Blue Sky,” and of course that’s the “really mellow” record. I thought this was a chance to say, “What is this? You tell me.”
I also thought (it) would be interesting to start a record with hard drives starting up. The way it was described in the studio is the sound of data dying. The record kind of moves from that to the opposite end of the spectrum, to the most organic and pastoral kind of sound that you can put on a record.
“One Sunday Morning (For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend)” — “Art of Almost” is a collage, and “One Sunday Morning” is one long performance. We never really played it again. That was just the one time we played it.It really doesn’t have much to do with Jane Smiley. I have met her boyfriend. The best I can do to explain it is I really like the guy, and we had a really poignant conversation for two guys that don’t really know each other. I did my best to reflect what I thought was powerful about that discussion.
You certainly know how to cut to the core of us, Tweedy.
In other Recent Tweedy-related interview news, The AV Club put out an outstanding interview with J. Tweed (I imagine he’d be cool with me calling him “J. Tweed”) last week. In it, he discussed the new record, Nirvana’s Nevermind, Wilco’s success and stability as a band, and the idea of “monoculturism.”
It seems like we have very fractured perceptions of reality. People shop for their own realities to reinforce the way they feel already, politically or—I don’t know. I guess there is a sense that you can kind of use the way the media works now to just build your own little universe. – Jeff Tweedy
Check out the whole interview here.
Yeah, that’s right. Last week, the boys from Wilco curated YouTube. Just nod and pretend you know what that means.
Basically, the guys picked bunch of cool YouTube videos from around the interweb and put them in a sweet playlist.
Here’s a little taste of the selections:
Os mutantes – Fuga Nº 2
Reggie Watts – Big Ass Purse
Rock Vocals, Part 2 – May
Want to see more? Of course you do! Check out Wilco’s playlist, “Wilco Says: Watch!”
Hipstamatic Cassette Contest
Because vinyl is getting “too mainstream” for most hipsters, Wilco has announced a limited edition cassette release of The Whole Love. In fact, they have partnered with Hipstamatic on a contest to create the cover art for said cassette!
All anyone has to do for this contest is submit photos to Hipstamatic titled with the song from The Whole Love. The top five pictures, selected by members of Wilco themselves, will be on the cover of The Whole Love’s limited edition cassette!
I’m not much of a photog, but I call this one “Art of Almost”
See, because I had to wait a long time for UPS to get here. Never mind. It’s a “think-piece.”
Anyway, to submit a photo, or for more info on the contest, check out Hipstamatic.
Also, if anybody is interested in entering the cassette contest, send me your pictures on Twitter @WilcoNews, and I’ll retweet the best ones!
- Didn’t get tickets to see Wilco in concert this year? The good folks at NYCTaper were kind enough to record these incredible quality bootlegs of the New York gigs at Summerstage. Download them here!
- ‘Art of Almost’ one of the (many) standout tracks from The Whole Love has quite a history. Check out the band members’ thoughts on the track here.
- Check out Tweedy and the gang on “Talk Stoop,” just in case for some reason you doubted their talent or wit.
- Here’s another excellent article from The AV Club, discussing Wilco’s label as “The American Radiohead.” “If anybody wanted to model themselves after us, they better be fucking be patient,” says Tweedy.
- Dig the artwork for The Whole Love? Check out this sweet interview with Joanne Greenbaum, the artist behind the album artwork on wilcoworld.net.
Wilco has announced yet another (!) Chicago performance, bringing their grand total to 4 shows at 4 different venues in Chi-Town this year. Tickets for their show at The Metro go on sale at 10 AM this Saturday, October 16th. Get ’em here!
Another leg of the North American tour has been added: West Coast dates for the early 2012 have been announced. More info about tickets will be provided as it becomes available. For now, here’s the dates so far:
1/19 Denver, CO – Fillmore
1/21 Tempe, AZ – Gammage
1/22 San Diego, CA – Copley Symph. Hall
1/24 Hollywood, CA – Palladium
1/28 San Jose, CA – Civic Aud
1/29 San Francisco, CA – Warfield
1/31 Oakland, CA – Fox Theatre
2/1 Davis, CA – Mondavi Center
2/3 Eugene, OR – Hult Center
2/5 Vancouver, BC – Orpheum
2/6 Spokane, WA – INB Performing Arts Center
2/7 Seattle, WA – Paramount Theater
2/8 Portland, OR – Schnitzer Theater
2/10 Santa Barbara, CA – Arlington Theater
And the remaining shows for this year:
10-24 Glasgow, Scotland – Glasgow Royal Concert Hall
10-25 Manchester, England – Manchester Academy
10-27 Bristol, England – Colston Hall
10-28-29 London, England – Roundhouse
11-01 Madrid, Spain – Teatro Circo Price
11-02 Barcelona, Spain – Palau Musica Catalana
11-03 San Sebastian, Spain – Kursaal Auditorio
11-04 Vigo, Spain – Pavillon das Travesas
11-07 Basel, Switzerland – Kaserne Basel
11-08 Frankfurt, Germany – Alte Oper
11-09 Munich, Germany – Circus Krone
11-11 Weissenhauser, Germany – Rolling Stone Weekender
11-12 Berlin, Germany – Tempodrom
11-13 Utrecht, Netherlands – Vredenburg Leidsche Rijn
11-14 Tilburg, Netherlands – 013
11-29 Dallas, TX – The Music Hall at Fair Park
12-01 Austin, TX – Austin City Limits Live at the Moody Theater
12-03 Kansas City, MO – The Uptown Theater
12-04 De Moines, IA – Val Air Ballroom
12-06-07 Minneapolis, MN – The State Theatre
12-09 Milwaukee, WI – The Riverside Theater
12-10 Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
12-12 Chicago, IL – Civic Opera House
12-13 Chicago, IL – Riviera Theatre
12-15 Chicago, IL – The Vic
12-16 Chicago, IL – Metro
Well, that’s enough out of me. I now leave you with this clip of Nels Cline playing Duane Allman’s ’57 Les Paul during a performance of California Stars on 9/29/11. Enjoy it.