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jbray

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About jbray

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    Pop Quiz Kid
  • Birthday December 3

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  1. He produced the last two Ryley Walker albums, Golden Sings that Have Been Sung and Deafman Glance. You can hear it too. An underrated contributor to the Wilco sound of that era.
  2. From the balcony, it was clear that the whole band was trying to contribute with Pat and Mikael kind of struggling (it's hard to describe). The amps were still on, just unmic'd. It was extreme due to the fact that their amps overpowered his voice quite a bit (think about how "Everyone Hides" take 1 sounded. They knew it and they were trying to accommodate. It was completely unscheduled. As Knotgreen wrote, they cut out the encore ritual to compensate for the lost time. It was pretty clear that they did not plan to add an additional song and had improvised.
  3. I’d say that “New Madrid” wasn’t solo then full band. All of the amps were on and the band was playing incredibly quietly as not to drown out Jeff’s voice. I could absolutely hear John’s bass following along and Glenn has his brushes out. The had just gotten Mikael a melodica when the system came back up.
  4. Different fans, different takes: "I'll Fight" is one of the most forgettable songs in the catalog and "On & On & On" is one of the best. Would never call them a sequence other than being about death. For one, "I'll Fight" contains nothing like the "we're going to try..." crescendo. I'm in a minority on this one because it seems to get requested and played at live shows, but I sure never want to hear it. I think the back half of SBS is definitely weaker than the front side but it's not dramatic. "Leave You Like You Found Me" is the culprit because it all but kills the engine. All of the other songs on the back half hold their own and work for the record.
  5. I wouldn't be so sure. Back then, Wilco was still attracting new listeners with SBS (like myself) and I am not so sure that is true with each release. It is at least less new listeners. I'd be more surprised by a WtA reappraisal than a SW or OTJ one.
  6. Show me the Wilco waltzes. My most frustrating thing about this whole process has been people conflating Jeff's solo work and Wilco. I get it to a certain degree, but also, nobody looks at Thom Yorke like he's Radiohead and listeners surely don't conflate The Eraser, AMOK, Tomorrow's Modern Boxes, and Anima with Radiohead. The trajectory for Wilco is Sky Blue Sky, Wilco (The Album), The Whole Love, Star Wars, Schmilco, and Ode to Joy. So again: Show me the waltzes. Not that there are none, but I bet the ones you're thinking of are on Sukierae, Warm, and Warmer. This isn't meant to be personal, but just a perspective: I would never put AM as an essential Wilco album. So if that's essential to you, I can see how this album wouldn't be exciting.
  7. Now that you've said this I cannot but hear "This is New" every time I listen to "Before Us". Good call! Quite a few of us got warped copies of the orange Schmilco and we got them replaced or got black copies, myself included. The only way we found out was because we opened and played it. They'll need a picture and in some cases they need to see a destroyed copy. At least that was the case then. Give it a try. Agreed. Kind of like how "War on War" jumps in after "Radio Cure".
  8. First spin impressions: half of the record abandons verse chorus verse chorus bridge verse chorus which was really nice because I've been frustrated with Jeff writing to the formula too much. It sounds like they actually cared about production on the record which in a large part if because they let Glenn do interesting work on the drums. I described it to my brothers as "Schmilco mixed with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" because the noise doesn't sound thrown in like it did on Schmilco and even in the live set*. It sounds purposeful and thematic. Weird choice of singles as they do sound like singles, but do not really represent the record well. Kind of like "I'm A Wheel" representing A Ghost is Born. *I'm not always on board some of the noise tracks live such as "Muzzle of Bees" or "Via Chicago" because it seems like the new members of the band are making noise just to fill the space. There's a version of "War On War" with Leroy Bach live that slays the current lineup because he was clearly there to care about what they sounded like. It's for this reason that while "Pot Kettle Black" is my second favorite song, I never want to hear it live because all of the hyper-curated things I enjoy in the song are liquified and regurgitated poorly.
  9. I think the new record is pretty impressive on first listen and I also like Star Wars more than Summerteeth and Being There so take that as you will. As for the Star Wars overlook in general, it seems like a matter of perspective. If a listener came in on Phase 1 (AM, BT, MA) or Phase 2 (ST, YHF, AGIB) Wilco, then it looks to this observer that many in that group slept on Phase 3 (SBS, WTA, TWL), and got off the train before Phase 4 (Sukierae, SW, SCH). That album was fun, lyrically interesting, brought a different musical style to Wilco, and was cohesive as an album which was something that The Whole Love lacked to a fault. "Random Name Generator" is a top single in the catalog and I count "Cold Slope/King of You", "Magnetized", and "Where Do I Begin" amongst my favorite Wilco. That said, if "Random Name Generator" is not your jam, Star Wars will never be your jam and that's totally cool.
  10. Yeah, there's two ways to look at my assertion. The first is that it's interesting to see how they reconfigure that type of song to fit the record and the other is that they are writing a version of the same song over and over. I come from the perspective of the former as it helps me understand the vibe of each record. It's not like any song in that list is one to one a copy of the other, its more that certain elements connect them with others in that list be it tight drumming, a loopy guitar line, or whatever.
  11. I really like "We Were Lucky". It's disquieting and almost feels like a Tom Waits song circa Swordfishtrombones. Take that with the grain of salt that this is Jeff's voice not Tom's, but that guitar tone is straight up "Shore Leave" and the drums are approximate to "Underground". Maybe a much more successful realization of unease than "Common Sense".
  12. Having been at Solid Sound, this version of "White Wooden Cross" is way more interesting. In the live setting it came across as boring version of "Summer Noon" but the choices on the mix are kind of, well, weird. The echo/reverb on the piano which sound more like stabs here than they did live was unexpected. The vocal delivery is much more vulnerable. Plus, there are so many tiny pieces moving around in the background that get lost in the live wash. The piano arpeggios stood out, as did the actual background vocals that sound like they were only recorded with a room mic, as well as the guitars that sounded akin to "We Aren't The World (Safety Girl)" or just John Lennon's mid-70s output (like "#9 Dream") which is what I always associated that song with.
  13. The Riff magazine review is hard to believe. He compares "Everyone Hides" and "White Wooden Cross" to "Jesus, Etc" which seems like a weak comparison at best. So, when the rest of the review is full of comparisons, It becomes hard to believe they are not as poor. That said, someone of the Facebook group declared "Everyone Hides' the worst song to ever come out of Wilco and promptly sold their tickets for the upcoming tour. I think it was shocking to me because there is an "Everything Hides" on nearly every Wilco album: "Summerteeth", "Kamera", "I'm A Wheel", "Just A Kid", "Sonny Feeling", "I Might", "Random Name Generator", and "Someone to Lose". I felt like they had never listened to Wilco before if they didn't see this song coming.
  14. I've missed this combo since they dropped it for >Art of Almost (not that that combo doesn't also work really well). Glad to see somebody got to hear it.
  15. Congrats TCP! I’m glad this came through for you. Boston got skipped on the Schmilco tour and that sucked. Granted, we get spoiled with Solid Sound, but, ya know.
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