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About Al.Ducts

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    Grasshopper Greensnake
  • Birthday 01/18/1990

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    Minneapolis, MN
  1. Hey all, with OTJ floating out there now (and officially arriving on Friday), I'd figured we might as well kick off some reactions. I've been posting on here since my freshman year of college (2008), and while many of you have been following the band for much longer, you still have to admit that a lot has happened in Wilcoworld over the last decade. Not to get all apocryphal on your asses, but I think we can all agree that tales of Wilco’s demise have been greatly exaggerated. I haven’t been on here as much as I was in the heady days of tracking down and downloading every taper-recorded set I could find, but this seems as good a time as any to dive back in. I have listened to OTJ a couple times through now, bought tickets to one of the St. Paul shows, and I am, in general, feeling more fizzed-up on the band than I have in a long while. Before breaking down my thoughts on the record, I wanted to provide a little insight into my fan boi history. 100% fine to scroll to the last paragraph though, if you DGAF. I know the impulse to judge new Wilco releases against their past output can be a frustrating and broadly pointless exercise, but I think that building and sharing some sort of personal context in this way can be helpful in explaining our relationship to the music over time. The first new record cycle I was able to experience as a dyed-in-the-wool Wilco Head was (the album). I appreciated that collection for what it was, but frankly I could never fully shake the tiny, shadow-feeling of having to qualify my enjoyment of the new thing against what came before. I could make logical sense of this feeling pretty easily with what I understand about youth, nostalgia, etc. and I have more-or-less approached every album since with that same attitude: “This is Wilco. My favorite band. They have a new record out, and I’m going to like most of it quite a bit.” With the benefit of hindsight though, I think it's fair to say that Wilco (the album) represents the start of a later-era™ for the band. This period has had some great songs, and a few stinkers, but I think is fairly understood to be a period of relatively steady, if unremarkable releases. And honestly? That’s fine! But if I’m being completely honest, I have really really really been waiting for a Wilco record that feels like it approaches the “essential”-ness of of the BT-SBS era. The build-up/rollout of OTJ has definitely set the table for something that feels a little more “important” than the past couple records, and I know this idea is something JT has loosely alluded to in interviews as being sort-of intentional. Now, let me just say — I’m not *sure* OTJ reaches those heights…but it’s pretty fucking exciting to not be sure about that. Welcome to the #NewEra folks. I don’t know if it’s the power of persuasion at play, but listening to this certainly feels like we are walking onto more hallowed musical ground than anything since, maybe, AGIB? At the very least, I think it's deserving of the "best in years" that some publications have slapped onto their reviews. The studio really seems to have been brought in as an essential instrument again, and the architecture of this record finds unique and rewarding sonic fingerprints smudging the corners of nearly every song. This being the case, my initial impulse is not to highlight any songs in particular, but rather the record as a whole - which speaks to the quality of the thing, I think. With OTJ, I don’t feel there’s any reason to look for consolation prizes. Many have written about this at length, but big blocks of bass-drum-thump and snare-crack really push this record front to back. Muscular, visceral, hypnotic. It's relentless. If Glenn’s drumming is the huge, brutalist hospital building, then the rest of the band acts as surgeons, slicing and building simple folk songs into something altogether more bewitching. Instead of honking organs, and glammed-up guitar riffs, we get something more subtle, and dare-I-say, tasteful. There is gently rumbling bass, chirping and burping electronics, fingers scraping over strings, yawning feedback, and whimsical piano and guitar accents. It’s a record that’s gentle without being slight and patient without being slow. We do get a little proper guitar freakout and it’s dropped in a great spot, sequence-wise. Would I like just *a little* more guitar tangle & skronk? Sure. Of course I would. But situated as it is here, the moment is brief and deeply satisfying. Lastly, it’s clear at this point that JT has found an approach to vocal performance that sits more comfortably with him at this stage. We know this. Call it a world-weary sigh if you want. On OTJ, it still sits in a fairly reserved space, but I found the performances to be a bit more lively than the near-whisper/talk that can be found on a couple of songs on Schmilco-Warm-Warmer. So while some of the bark has faded, I can report that the bite is still very much intact here. Okay then. Everyone will hear it Friday. I’m sure I’ll have more to say with later listens (esp. w/ full access to the lyrics), and I’m excited to see what people think!
  2. He did some production work/played guitar on a couple tracks from the latest (very very very good) Parquet Courts record, "Human Performance".
  3. I've been hoping for another negative space-heavy Wilco album for quite some time and it looks like I got my wish with this one. There have been great songs on the last couple of records but I think what's been lacking a bit for me is that cohesive atmosphere for the songs to sit in. I like my Wilco weird, melancholy, and biting. Power pop mode is always a fun face for them to put on, and they're damn good at it, but I'm less likely to chew on those songs the way I would some of their more left of center stuff. A couple of listens in and I can echo others who've said its a really strong set of lyrics. Favorite Tracks (so far): Common Sense, Locator, Quarters, We Aren't The World (Safety Girl), Just Say Goodbye
  4. Nope. Nah. Take that out of here.
  5. Al.Ducts


    Man, I like this track as well as anything on Star Wars. The guitar tones and fragmented production remind me a lot of SW, and it seems to be pretty clearly from the same sessions. I would really like a record full of driving, dry, noise-speckled tunes like this. That's the Wilco I've always loved : )
  6. I buy cassettes, have put out a cassette, and a lot of my friends in diy music circles do the same. For younginz without much disposable income, a $5 tape is a much easier way to support a band and take home a little tangible, physical copy than a $25 vinyl record. They almost always come with a download code as well, so you can access the record digitally. Audiophiles may well poo-poo their sound quality and general fragility, but that misses the point I think. On a personal note, I also have a tape player in my car and no disc drive on my laptop, so CD's don't make that much sense for me at this point. Plus cd's are kind of dope-y (to quote a certain rock critic from a certain documentary on a certain band).
  7. I'm really digging it as well. My expectations were pretty reasonable this time around I think, and this record delivered, and then some. It feels wiiiiiide open. I think Greenwood's film score work the past decade is very evident in the scope of this thing.
  8. Hey, so, uh... any thoughts on this?
  9. The new record is out in a week or so and I've had a chance to give it a listen already . A ton of variety in the sounds on this thing. Really excellent production (some of the tracking was done at the Wilco loft actually). EDIT: according to this review, Jeff Tweedy actually played a bit on the record!! "memorable guitar parts on Human Performance—the main riff on “Dust” and the piercing solo on the lazy strummer “Keep It Even”—are played by Jeff Tweedy, who recorded part of the album at the Wilco Loft in Chicago." Think Wire's Chairs Missing, the Velvet Underground's softer s/t side, and a ton of tight, scrappy tunes. And ICYMI, the video for "Berlin Got Blurry" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hv0bBjMc6FY
  10. Parquet Courts tonight in minneapolis
  11. update. It's frreal. Here's the tracklist and a video for the studio version of "Dust". Sounds pretty great! http://pitchfork.com/news/63339-parquet-courts-announce-new-album-human-performance-expand-tour-share-dust-video/
  12. As VC's resident Parquet Courts fanboy, here's the latest: A new record, teased: http://www.stereogum.com/1856592/parquet-courts-tease-new-album-human-performance-with-brooklyn-mural/news/ A new record, confirmed. Songs, played: http://www.stereogum.com/1856759/watch-parquet-courts-play-new-songs-dust-and-outside-at-wfuv/video/ Also...what did ya'll think of Monastic Living? I know it sent many mainstreamindiebros running for the hills.
  13. I want a Loose Fur record. This year and forever.
  14. If anyone here is from the Twin Cities area, my band will be opening this little DIY festival on Saturday afternoon. http://www.citypages.com/music/luck-machine-fest-how-a-mystic-collective-rocked-rural-mn-7600095 Here's a video we shot for a promo (and also our first proper recording ). Also I wear wig and play a punk song. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o0DSR4w_lXg
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