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Muzzle of Dan

Wilco Back In The Studio

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This is great news. I was wondering when the heck they would logistically even be able to get all six guys in the same place at the same time before they hit the road in June (even just to rehearse, let alone record a new album!). They all have a lot of solo stuff going on — Jeff and Nels especially. May seemed to be the only open month on the calendar. Nels is on the road this month, so if Wilco is currently working at the Loft, I wonder if Nels was able to drop by briefly.

 

Plus, is Jeff still planning to release "Warmer" this spring?

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They were all there the other week - and had a band outing to the Blackhawks game (minus Pat who was in town but must have had other evening plans) - which one can piece together from their various instagram accounts.

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Ever since Sky Blue Sky, my impression is that their studio approach has seemed to be getting more piecemeal, with Nels increasingly becoming an auxiliary player who adds his bit after the tracks are mostly recorded.

 

My impression could be totally wrong, but I believe I've read somewhere that this has been their process on the last couple of records.  I suppose they could do a whole record with no instances of the entire band playing together at the same time.  That's how many records are made, but it's weird to think of a band, and particularly one like Wilco, who are such a unified ensemble as a live band, working that way. 

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Ever since Sky Blue Sky, my impression is that their studio approach has seemed to be getting more piecemeal, with Nels increasingly becoming an auxiliary player who adds his bit after the tracks are mostly recorded.

 

My impression could be totally wrong, but I believe I've read somewhere that this has been their process on the last couple of records.  I suppose they could do a whole record with no instances of the entire band playing together at the same time.  That's how many records are made, but it's weird to think of a band, and particularly one like Wilco, who are such a unified ensemble as a live band, working that way. 

That's definitely the way Jeff described the recording for Star Wars — calling band members in one at a time to overdub as necessary.

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That's definitely the way Jeff described the recording for Star Wars — calling band members in one at a time to overdub as necessary.

 

That must have been where I read that.  I think that approach worked well for Star Wars.  Not as well for Schmilco, if that was made the same way.  That one sounds more like a Tweedy solo album to me.  It's the Syncronicity Side 2 of WIlco's discography.

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That must have been where I read that.  I think that approach worked well for Star Wars.  Not as well for Schmilco, if that was made the same way.  That one sounds more like a Tweedy solo album to me.  It's the Syncronicity Side 2 of WIlco's discography.

I agree re: both Star Wars and Schmilco. I also kind of hoped the whole band would record together from scratch for a new Wilco project to create a different vibe than overdubbing to Jeff-and-Spencer demos as described in Let's Go.

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I agree re: both Star Wars and Schmilco. I also kind of hoped the whole band would record together from scratch for a new Wilco project to create a different vibe than overdubbing to Jeff-and-Spencer demos as described in Let's Go.

 

Yeah, nothing against Spencer, but reading that gave me feeling that Glenn might be on the way out, or that there could be another major shakeup in the lineup.  I can't fault Jeff for wanting to play with Spencer, and for taking advantage of in-house talent, but something seemed a bit off about that to me.  It wouldn't surprise me if this is the last Wilco album from this lineup.  

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Yeah, nothing against Spencer, but reading that gave me feeling that Glenn might be on the way out, or that there could be another major shakeup in the lineup.  I can't fault Jeff for wanting to play with Spencer, and for taking advantage of in-house talent, but something seemed a bit off about that to me.  It wouldn't surprise me if this is the last Wilco album from this lineup.  

Yeah, that passage in the book gave me pause as well. I prefer when Glenn gets to create percussion/rhythm parts from scratch, but there's obvious a lot of comfort for Jeff to play with his son. Interesting thought about a possible shakeup in the band's future. It's been 15 years with the same lineup now, so they've certainly gotten their money's worth if anyone decides to go in a different direction.

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At this point I wouldn't make any assumptions about Wilco's studio process. While Jeff does seem pretty locked in to a regiment working by himself in songwriting/pre-production, the band has set a lot of different agendas for how they have completed a lot of different records.

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Ain't gonna lie, I think I'd be okay with a shakeup. Not sure I could stomach a Stirratt dismissal (highly doubt that's coming), but seeing Jeff with the Tweedy band, and the band he performed with on Kimmel, has been very refreshing. I've always been a Bennett-era purist (favorite lineup being Bennett, Stirratt, Egan, Coomer), and although I've enjoyed this current lineup, it's gotten a little stale. Like, whenever I see the Glenn standing on the kit routine, or Nels on "Impossible Germany" (which is admittedly great), a part of me wants to put that to rest. Jeff seems energized by the side projects. Maybe he'll weave them (or others) into Wilco. 

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