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Next Wilco Album


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Yes and no. If the band decides to "experiment" with say, Kenny G-esque smooth jazz, it may be entirely new to the band, but not necessarily either experimental in the broader musical spectrum, nor good. (Which isn't to say it would automatically suck either, but it probably would.)

 

Experimentation to me is when a band either does something that is new to a particular genre (introducing pop and noise elements to more familiar country / folk songs on Summerteeth and YHF) or new to popular music in general. The vast majority of things have been done in music, period - indeed, the Beatles themselves did just about damn near everything - so we can only hope for the band to bend / mix genres and do something unique in some respects. It can be abrasive, or melodic, or both. I just would hope it sounds fresh and invigorating for these times.

 

yeah, i think you're kind of saying the same as me. i mean, obviously trying something new doesn't mean it will be good - it depends what the "something new" is. just being open to those kinds of ideas should mean you'll hit on something original, anyway - even if the elements have been done before. i just don't like the feeling that jeff tweedy views "experimentation" as being some kind of magic dust you sprinkle over a song to make it hard to listen to. i might be wrong, but that's the impression i've got from what i've heard him say in interviews.

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From Uncut magazine, December 2005, page 100, review of Kicking Television (I just happen to have it sitting here, and read this quote the other day):

 

 

Why did you focus so heavily on the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost is Born albums?

 

 

Tweedy: One of the things that people have said about our last few records is that they're experimental and weird, and we don't feel that way at all. And maybe playing the songs live illustrates that a little bit better - that they're, y'know, rock songs.

 

But theres a ton of dissonance.

 

Tweedy: I don't think that there's anything experimental about adding noise to rock music - the data is in, and it works.

 

I don't trust a god damn thing that dude says.

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yeah, i think you're kind of saying the same as me. i mean, obviously trying something new doesn't mean it will be good - it depends what the "something new" is. just being open to those kinds of ideas should mean you'll hit on something original, anyway - even if the elements have been done before. i just don't like the feeling that jeff tweedy views "experimentation" as being some kind of magic dust you sprinkle over a song to make it hard to listen to. i might be wrong, but that's the impression i've got from what i've heard him say in interviews.

 

Yeah, I agree, although I always saw the noise as being more integral to the lyrics / mood of the song, rather than being used randomly or self-consciously. The noise to me is just another instrument, and whether you use bursts of noise or a pedal steel, either should go towards conveying whatever thoughts or feelings you are trying to communicate and your best bet is to hope that resonates with the listener. To me, most of the noise in Wilco's catalog achieves that with the obvious exception of LTYT, where the noise is both a massive distraction and a bit of a song-ruiner... (and what a beautiful song that is minus the noise......)

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Exactly the opposite for me. I think "One Wing" is the best thing they've done in years (and about the only thing I really liked on the latest album). More of that please, only harder.

 

I don't care for "Bull Black Nova."

 

Blistering rawk doesn't have to be boring and tuneless (which is how I feel about BBN).

 

Agreed, When "One Wing" bursts open it's the only time on the album I get that joyful feeling of softly exploding sparks in my gut like when a soft drizzle cools off a blistering hot summer day, barely being able to wet your skin before it evaporates again. SBS had plenty of songs that could cheer up any old boring day for me (Either Way, On and On and On, YAMF). With SBS they proved positive music could be interesting too, and with WTA they seem to try very hard to disprove that very same thing.

 

Yeah, I agree, although I always saw the noise as being more integral to the lyrics / mood of the song, rather than being used randomly or self-consciously. The noise to me is just another instrument, and whether you use bursts of noise or a pedal steel, either should go towards conveying whatever thoughts or feelings you are trying to communicate and your best bet is to hope that resonates with the listener. To me, most of the noise in Wilco's catalog achieves that with the obvious exception of LTYT, where the noise is both a massive distraction and a bit of a song-ruiner... (and what a beautiful song that is minus the noise......)

 

I adore an acoustic version of LTYT, but I'm hard-pressed to agree the noise "ruins" the track. Sure, sometimes I skip past the wall of sound that ends the song but I still find the noise, it has an interesting effect on me. Perhaps I like that it gives me more time to absorb the melodic part of the song more completely instead of diving into another melody right away. Which is incidently also the reason I like hidden tracks.

 

 

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To whomever said "bring back the funk". Please don't. Or please be kidding. I don't want a record that sounds exactly like a previous one, but I'd go any other direction before veering into funk or jam territory. They already crafted the perfect jam with "Impossible Germany". I suspect they won't have an abrupt contrast with the last record by dropping another highly experimental or very rootsy album, but a more bubbly, '60's or '70s pop sound would delight me, a richer sound that rewards repeated listening more than any of the WTA tunes.

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I have been absent from these boards for a while but the new Mavis album got me all wound up for Wilco again. That and Wilco (The Album), that is. I am so loving the new Mavis though that I am hoping it influences the direction of the next Wilco album. I'd love to see a focus on soulful, folky song structures and engineering. I am a bit over 8 minute drones. "You Are Not Alone" is one of the best things I've heard from Jeff in ages and would LOVE to hear a Wilco version of that song and more songs in that vein.

 

What about you? Any guesses or wishes?

 

8 minute drones are soooo 2004.

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'60's or '70s pop sound would delight me, a richer sound that rewards repeated listening more than any of the WTA tunes.

 

While it is obviously not to your liking I think much of WTA is what this lineup sounds like doing 60's or 70's pop tunes. Sonny Feeling, Deeper Down, You Never Know, Everlasting Everything are pretty 60's/70's to me.

 

One thing I'm almost sure of is whatever the next record sounds like, there will be at least several things I love about it. Even more certain there will be a large crowd of people complaining about it on here. Explaining why they're fans of a band they don't care for anymore.

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Being a fan of a band doesn't have to mean loving every album they put out. Criticizing and debating doesn't always equate complaining, either. Posts that can dissect songs and talk about why the poster doesn't think they're working are a lot more interesting to me than some of the posts we see around here from people who seem to blindly like anything Wilco puts out simply because it's by Wilco. It's great that Wilco has loyal fans like that, but not liking an album or two or certain songs doesn't make someone else less of a fan.

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but not liking an album or two or certain songs doesn't make someone else less of a fan.

 

It has begun. :thumbup

 

I'm just kidding. No, I get you. I think the last two records have outstanding A sides and mediocre B sides. I think sometimes I scratch my head at folks on here. Not because I'm offended. It's silly to be offended by someone subjectively judging a piece of art to be unsatisfactory. No, I scratch my head in wonder. It's interesting to try and understand what motivates people who seem so nonplussed, and have been for a long time. It would be like if I was on the Ridley Scott, or Martin Scorsese chat board discussing how long it has been since I thoroughly enjoyed a film and how I anticipate not enjoying the next one.

 

I find my own posting on this board to be already a strange social act of communication. No other band, or community has lead me to post on a board centered around one band (proof that VC and Wilco are exceptional?). The only thing stranger to me than my own intense fandom, is others' intense dissatisfied fandom.

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Guest Speed Racer

Being a fan of a band doesn't have to mean loving every album they put out. Criticizing and debating doesn't always equate complaining, either. Posts that can dissect songs and talk about why the poster doesn't think they're working are a lot more interesting to me than some of the posts we see around here from people who seem to blindly like anything Wilco puts out simply because it's by Wilco. It's great that Wilco has loyal fans like that, but not liking an album or two or certain songs doesn't make someone else less of a fan.

 

Now now, this is no place for making reasonable arguments.

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It's been a little while since I've posted around here...but I'll chime in on this discussion.

 

 

I didn't mind the last two Wilco albums as much as some, but Summerteeth/Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are definitely my favorite two Wilco albums. It's not just because they're noisier or "less jammy." I like them because they're a little less direct in their songwriting, and polished but intentionally frayed around the edges. I think Wilco and Jeff Tweedy in particular escaped from much of the (admittedly bad) emotional tension that surrounded that time period, but that to me doesn't have to mean an end to creating interesting (musical if not emotional) tension in a new album. Wilco has been very solid musically since the new lineup came together, but I think they just need to challenge themselves a little more...do some experimenting (ala some of the exercises in the Wilco book) and try some things maybe outside of their comfort zone.

 

I am fully confident I won't be disappointed in a new Wilco album, but I'm not sure I'll be ecstatic about it if they continue in the same vein they've been working on. I don't need blips/bleeps/etc. just because, but I'd love to see some (musically) frayed edges, some noisy stuff, and some places that really showcase the musical depth of the band more than in a typical rock setting.

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I agree Mr. Catfish. I was listening to the song More Like the Moon and thinking about frayed edges. That tune is much less "impressive" then a ton of other stuff they've done, but it communicates so much.... I definitely think the guys would be wise to take some risks. It sounds like they're planning on spending some time and doing just that.

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I didn't mind the last two Wilco albums as much as some, but Summerteeth/Yankee Hotel Foxtrot are definitely my favorite two Wilco albums. It's not just because they're noisier or "less jammy." I like them because they're a little less direct in their songwriting, and polished but intentionally frayed around the edges. ...

 

I recall reading a little bit of an article in Spin, or something, around the time AGIB was out. Tweedy was describing their unorthodox studio process, which seemed to be designed to make the music develop in unexpected directions. The results were usually good, or at least interesting. Now they just do the typical process of: play together as a band (or most of the band), do overdubs, mix, master, release, and the results have been much less interesting.

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