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Derek Phillips

Next Wilco Album

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I actually like the song alright until I can hear Nels' part. :lol I really don't like his soft-rock vibe when he whips it out, and unfortunately he whips it all over W(TA). Diff'rent strokes, I guess.

 

Re: the soft rock vibe. I think this might have something to do with Nels wanting to find his spot in the music, which can be difficult when you have so many people in a band. Maybe he feels that if he raunches up his sound it won't fit in with the band sound. But all one has to do is listen to Miles Davis circa late '60s through mid '70s (which Nels is definitely extremely familiar with) to know that a musician in a band with six members can play some very nasty sounding stuff without dominating the sound of the band.

 

In other words, I think Nels generally plays it safe in Wilco.

 

Maybe he's just taking advantage of the opportunity to play lighter melodic music since virtually all of his non-Wilco playing is way out there in comparison.

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In other words, I think Nels generally plays it safe in Wilco.

 

 

I don't see it that way. He certainly doesn't play it safe live on things like "via chicago" or "Shot in the Arm." I think he just want to do the songs justice, but the catch is that the songs themselves are decreasingly adventurous on the records he's played on.

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Guest Speed Racer

I don't see it that way. He certainly doesn't play it safe live on things like "via chicago" or "Shot in the Arm."

 

Yeah he does. Ending every song with "super loud and scratchy and lots and lots of notes" every time isn't adventerous.

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Oh I'll be going to see wilco and buying the albums as long as they come out. I also don't think I said they aren't making albums with the "valid" wilco sound, because that changed from album to album.even though sbs is not many members fav, I like it, and it's definately a different direction than agib.

The 100% part, it doesn't sound like they did at all with wta. No demos from wta or sbs is dissappointing and makes me wonder how much time their spending on each song. But yes I have no clue since I'm not there.

And nels is a fucking guitar god, but I don't think that's always a good thing. Granted,yes, live it makes for quite the show, but it does make studio easier,positively and negatively.wilco isn't a typical rock band that needs perfect guitar licks, or hasn't in the past.

And I'm not some wilco snob,I got into em in 00.

My basic theory is that the bands earlier work is what made them famous(?).if wilco was a new band and had only released wta,they wouldn't have near the fanbase they have now, but who knows.I'm not trying to argue with you,just disagree.especially on liking wta.besides country dissapeared it's a pretty typical album,and that's new in the wilco catalog. But ,as with you, I am dying to hear the new album.

 

No arguing here - we just have slightly different points of view. That's the beauty of music, everybody hears something different.

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I'll say this again: one of my least favorite things about Nels is that while he can mimick any sound - country-western, rock, whatever W(TA) was - it sounds like he's mimicking. Jay played country-western licks; Nels plays licks that sound like country-western licks. Jay and Jeff play(ed) from the gut; Nels does on his own, but in Wilco it sounds like he's playing-by-numbers for each style that is not his own.

 

 

I disagree. It doesn't sound like Nels is mimicking to me, just playing the parts he needs to play. Having listened a bit to Nels other work, I'm glad he tones it down a bit for Wilco, but that's just me.

 

This reminds me of a sports argument, where Player A is definitely more skilled at what he/she does, and Player B, although not as skilled, plays with more heart and grit and is beloved by all.

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Guest Speed Racer

But it's not the same thing to me, perhaps because I just don't care about how someone plays baseball if they're playing well. Nels is a talented guitarist playing a lot of different sounds - much like those neato keyboards that can do "strings" or "voice" or "organ" settings but are still just a keyboard. Jay really could play country-western guitar, he really could play classic 70s rock; Nels can proficiently play in the spirit of country-western. He can play a sound a lot like the one Jeff played on Hell is Chrome, but it's just not the same.

 

Guitars play like voices, and while I can sing with a twang that doesn't mean I can ever sound exactly like Johnny Cash.

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Guest Speed Racer

Not meant to be an exact analogy, for future reference. Nels sounds like Nels, everyone else sounds like themselves. I don't care for Nels' interpretation of country or rock licks because they sound like imitations to me. You like them, and think that the last 30 seconds of W(TA) are adventurous. So it goes.

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I never said I liked them. At least I don't think I did. Anyway, it's funny to see you defending Jay (who has been the target of your ire and jibes), when it is jay i actually prefer.

 

I think this comment gets to the heart of it...it's a preference thing, which is not really reflective of somebody's absolute value as a guitarist. If Jay sounds better to you, then he does, it's really not something that needs defending. I don't really have a preference for Jay or Nels, I think they are both great, and I think each one brings/brought things to the band that the other doesn't. Of course they're gonna be different, they're different people, and Nels has the disadvantage of having to follow Jay, and has to basically play songs/licks that Jay presumably wrote (or helped to write). It seems that whenever a guitarist takes over for another in a band, these same issues always crop up. Warren Haynes comes to mind with the Allmans and the Dead. Great player, some people love him and think he's god, others see him as somebody who basically tries to play like the originals, but ultimately falls short.

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Nels has the disadvantage of having to follow Jay, and has to basically play songs/licks that Jay presumably wrote (or helped to write).

 

actually i think this gets closer to the heart of it. Nels does just fine when he's just being Nels. What would Jay have sounded like doing the solo for IG or SWTS?

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Guest Speed Racer

I didn't mean to turn this into a Jay/Nels thing, but it's impossible not to when I compare Nels live on songs Jay recorded the original parts for. Jay would probably really suck at emulating the Either Way solo (not that anyone ever should), because that's Nels doing a Nels thing.

 

Everyone in Wilco has been the subject of my ire and gibes (not "jibes," btw). Almost everyone in my life has, because as much as you love anything you will always have something to tease about in good spirit, or something to be frustrated about.

 

actually i think this gets closer to the heart of it. Nels does just fine when he's just being Nels. What would Jay have sounded like doing the solo for IG or SWTS?

 

Well look at us, posting the same thing. :lol

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I didn't mean to turn this into a Jay/Nels thing, but it's impossible not to when I compare Nels live on songs Jay recorded the original parts for. Jay would probably really suck at emulating the Either Way solo (not that anyone ever should), because that's Nels doing a Nels thing.

 

 

Interesting discussion! Nels will certainly (for better or worse) help shape the sound/vibe of the new album, so I think the Nels/Jay talk is pretty relevant. I wonder what kind of things we'd be saying if either one of the following had happened, either (A) Jay was replaced by a Jay clone or (B) Nels completely rewrote all the guitar leads that Jay/Jeff had played, and played those instead. I guess that's a topic for another thread.

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Interesting discussion! Nels will certainly (for better or worse) help shape the sound/vibe of the new album, so I think the Nels/Jay talk is pretty relevant. I wonder what kind of things we'd be saying if either one of the following had happened, either (A) Jay was replaced by a Jay clone or (B) Nels completely rewrote all the guitar leads that Jay/Jeff had played, and played those instead. I guess that's a topic for another thread.

it might be relevant but if you stick round these parts long enough, you will come to consider it tedious. which isn't to say that you will never actually engage in the discussion yourself.

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I don't see it that way. He certainly doesn't play it safe live on things like "via chicago" or "Shot in the Arm." I think he just want to do the songs justice, but the catch is that the songs themselves are decreasingly adventurous on the records he's played on.

 

True. Hopefully that'll change.

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I disagree. It doesn't sound like Nels is mimicking to me, just playing the parts he needs to play. Having listened a bit to Nels other work, I'm glad he tones it down a bit for Wilco, but that's just me.

 

 

Have you listened to Nels's playing on Mike Watt's Contemplating the Engine Room? It's a lot different than what he does on most of his own releases. That's his best sideman playing that I've heard, and I'd ike to hear a bit of that adventurousness in whis contributions to Wilco.

 

I know this thread has sort of turned into a Nels discussion, but ultimately, I think Tweedy is letting Glenn's talents go to waste, too.

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Glenn and Tweedy should shape the album

 

With all those nifty tools that surround him, he sure has enough to play with sound. Give Nels three songs to take over that's it.

 

I hope Wilco had this idea: "let's just fulfill this contract with Sky Blue Sky Redux and save the goods for our own label"

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Glenn and Tweedy should shape the album

 

With all those nifty tools that surround him, he sure has enough to play with sound. Give Nels three songs to take over that's it.

 

 

Probably not a bad idea. Nels and Glenn get their moments on the albums and on stage, but rather than them fitting their styles into the confines of (sometimes relatively) dull pop rock tunes, why not use their unique playing styles as the basis for creating something new?

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actually i think this gets closer to the heart of it. Nels does just fine when he's just being Nels. What would Jay have sounded like doing the solo for IG or SWTS?

 

I honestly don't think Jay would have been able to do either of those solos at all.

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I honestly don't think Jay would have been able to do either of those solos at all.

 

no, he would have just layered beautiful melodies and harmonies on a range of perfectly-toned vintage instruments that would have added a great landscape over what is a fantastic set of chord changes.

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All I know is this about Nels: he has played on 2 Wilco studio albums. Those 2 albums to me happen to be the most, shall we say, "underwhelming" efforts in Wilco's catalogue. I don't know if it's merely a coincidence or not.

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no, he would have just layered beautiful melodies and harmonies on a range of perfectly-toned vintage instruments that would have added a great landscape over what is a fantastic set of chord changes.

 

 

Not disputing that at all, just pointing out the technical difference between the two. Yngwie Malmsteen can probably play anything but his music sucks so it doesn't matter.

 

But I love Nels and I am not comparing him to Yngwie.

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