Jump to content

Jeff is so jaded, from the horse's mouth ...


Recommended Posts

  • 3 weeks later...

 

From the (excellent) feature in Uncut, Jeff says "Rock music has become boring to me" and "Nobody needs new Wilco music".

 

 

I don't mean to take this too seriously, but as a fan since 1994, I find him saying, "Nobody needs new Wilco music" to be a pretty crappy thing to say to his fans. "How To Fight Loneliness" helped me during a tremendously difficult time, as did all of "Being There." I was in NYC on 9/11 and "YHF" remains the album that is attached to that horrible time. I don't know, it just seems like a slight to his fans, especially those who have really been impacted by his music/words, to just say, "eh, whatever, this doesn't matter." It does matter, Jeff. Well, maybe a little less now.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you hear the new Wilco music they made?

 

Maybe philosophical musings on the socio-political ramifications of creating art in the current climate, and how much you care about your fans shouldn't be considered within the same part of a conversation. I think if you read a little more, especially some of the group's comments on the community present at Solid Sound you will find that Jeff and the gang are plenty appreciative of their fans.

 

I think the mercurial element of Jeff as an artist is a key component in what makes him and what he makes captivating. His lack of interest in simply making "rock and roll" is a part of how YHF became a sound. The fact that he continues to create from an authentic curiosity, rather than as a caretaker of fans, is what's kept the band throwing interesting curveballs. I'm glad he's not thinking about what a particular song might have meant to me personally because if he did, he'd probably get lost in generating a lot of garbage. While I appreciate the palpable respect this group of talented musicians has for their fanbase, I'm also glad their view of creativity isn't boxed in by some paternal responsibility for my feelings.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you hear the new Wilco music they made? ..... I think the mercurial element of Jeff as an artist is a key component in what makes him and what he makes captivating. His lack of interest in simply making "rock and roll" is a part of how YHF became a sound. The fact that he continues to create from an authentic curiosity, rather than as a caretaker of fans, is what's kept the band throwing interesting curveballs. I'm glad he's not thinking about what a particular song might have meant to me personally because if he did, he'd probably get lost in generating a lot of garbage. While I appreciate the palpable respect this group of talented musicians has for their fanbase, I'm also glad their view of creativity isn't boxed in by some paternal responsibility for my feelings.

I don’t think you could have more perfectly summed up what it is I find so endlessly fascinating, compelling and soul satisfying about Jeff Tweedy. All of the whole Wilco experience too, of course, but it all flows from Jeff. Always curious, always surprising, always completely authentic. I think he does get swept up in specific, somewhat provocative things he wants to say during a particular creative cycle. A lot of the things he’s said recently have had similar themes. But I believe he believes it completely at the time he’s saying it. and so it always feels true and essential to me.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it depends what he means by rock and roll.  Is anybody NOT bored by a group of white guys playing guitar, guitar, bass, drums, vocals in a slightly shouty, distorted, boozy manner?  I sure as hell am.

 

But look at every Solid Sound lineup and the Mexico thing coming up.  They are predominately what one would describe as rock and roll.  Tweedy is one of the curators of these lineups.  He's not bored with these types of rock and roll acts. 

 

He told us in the film almost 20 years ago that two electric guitars (one of the main staples of "rock and roll") is obsolete.  He was wrong and it isn't.  But it seemed pretty obvious that he was trying to say that rock music needs to step outside of the old boxes.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

People have been trying to fit Jeff into this narrative of a disgruntled disillusioned rock star for how long now?

 

The Uncut article seemed to me replete with details about how inspired Jeff and the rest of the band are right now. But let's make it into something else entirely, shall we?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Did you hear the new Wilco music they made?

 

Maybe philosophical musings on the socio-political ramifications of creating art in the current climate, and how much you care about your fans shouldn't be considered within the same part of a conversation. I think if you read a little more, especially some of the group's comments on the community present at Solid Sound you will find that Jeff and the gang are plenty appreciative of their fans.

 

I think the mercurial element of Jeff as an artist is a key component in what makes him and what he makes captivating. His lack of interest in simply making "rock and roll" is a part of how YHF became a sound. The fact that he continues to create from an authentic curiosity, rather than as a caretaker of fans, is what's kept the band throwing interesting curveballs. I'm glad he's not thinking about what a particular song might have meant to me personally because if he did, he'd probably get lost in generating a lot of garbage. While I appreciate the palpable respect this group of talented musicians has for their fanbase, I'm also glad their view of creativity isn't boxed in by some paternal responsibility for my feelings.

Just exactly perfect  :thumbup

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it depends what he means by rock and roll.  Is anybody NOT bored by a group of white guys playing guitar, guitar, bass, drums, vocals in a slightly shouty, distorted, boozy manner?  I sure as hell am.

 

so what are you listening to instead? the latest electro-clash banger? tuvan throat singers backed by a black metal accordion quintet? the hum from your refrigerator condenser?

Link to post
Share on other sites

so what are you listening to instead? the latest electro-clash banger? tuvan throat singers backed by a black metal accordion quintet? the hum from your refrigerator condenser?

tuvan throat singers backed by a black metal accordion quintet?

 

I want to hear this! NOW!!

Link to post
Share on other sites

I guess it depends what he means by rock and roll.  Is anybody NOT bored by a group of white guys playing guitar, guitar, bass, drums, vocals in a slightly shouty, distorted, boozy manner?  I sure as hell am.

 

 

I'm not, not when its done with skill, craft, and passion.  I'd love nothing more than Wilco to play a whole set of Stones-y rock 'n' roll.  I think they are one of the greatest bands of all time at this kind of music, even if they only play it reluctantly (maybe its just Jeff who is reluctantly rocking out, Pat and Glenn sure don't look reluctant when they are tearing through I Got You and Outtasite).  I draw a direct line from Wilco to the Stones to Chuck Berry on these songs and to me that is high high company to be in. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not, not when its done with skill, craft, and passion.  I'd love nothing more than Wilco to play a whole set of Stones-y rock 'n' roll.  I think they are one of the greatest bands of all time at this kind of music, even if they only play it reluctantly (maybe its just Jeff who is reluctantly rocking out, Pat and Glenn sure don't look reluctant when they are tearing through I Got You and Outtasite).  I draw a direct line from Wilco to the Stones to Chuck Berry on these songs and to me that is high high company to be in. 

 

One of the things I love about Jeff is his downright reverence for the greats who have come Before Us.  It's exactly why Wilco could play a highly entertaining set of Stones-y rock. And I don't see any signs of Wilco not still enjoying rocking out live when they do.

 

But my read on these latest comments is...I don't think Jeff is saying he doesn't enjoy or respect playing Rock n' Roll, just that he's less inspired by it as a NEW direction of exploration for Wilco.   And that's what's so great about Wilco, their regular insistence on exploring new territory as a band.  

 

Contrast that to U2.  In 2000, or thereabouts, Bono famously said they were re-applying for the job of world's greatest rock band.  And in no time, U2 went from being one of the most relevant acts of the 1990's to sounding like total has-beens with every release since. At least that's been my experience of them. Imagine if Jeff said Wilco were re-applying for the job of American alt-country rock n' roll standard-bearers...ick.

Link to post
Share on other sites

One of the things I love about Jeff is his downright reverence for the greats who have come Before Us.  It's exactly why Wilco could play a highly entertaining set of Stones-y rock. And I don't see any signs of Wilco not still enjoying rocking out live when they do.

 

But my read on these latest comments is...I don't think Jeff is saying he doesn't enjoy or respect playing Rock n' Roll, just that he's less inspired by it as a NEW direction of exploration for Wilco.   And that's what's so great about Wilco, their regular insistence on exploring new territory as a band.  

 

 

 

That's exactly what I was going for with my post.

 

I love stereotypical rock music like the Faces/'70s Stones/AC/DC, etc. as much as the next guy, but new bands who come along and try to inherit that territory aren't the types of bands that inspire me to pick up my guitar or make me want to write a song.  This is how I interpret Jeff's comment about being bored by rock and roll.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Is that a serious question?  

yes, and the frequency of the AC does make a different wrt to condenser hum, so state your continent.

 

 

i mean, if you're really bored w/ the classic rock group instrumentation i would assume you've moved onto other things. forgive me if i haven't checked the now playing thread for a while, but new recommendations are always welcome.

 

 

btw, here's a rock song that still has that vital spark of urgency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpD6faiW5Jc

Link to post
Share on other sites

yes, and the frequency of the AC does make a different wrt to condenser hum, so state your continent.

 

 

i mean, if you're really bored w/ the classic rock group instrumentation i would assume you've moved onto other things. forgive me if i haven't checked the now playing thread for a while, but new recommendations are always welcome.

 

 

btw, here's a rock song that still has that vital spark of urgency.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpD6faiW5Jc

 

Surely you understand that there's rock music that isn't in the Faces/Stones mold, or the Replacements mold, or isn't something people would point to and say "THAT is a prime example of rock and roll."

 

As I already said, look at the lineup for any year of Solid Sound. 

 

I love classic rock, but there's nobody doing that now whose records I would buy.  Not that there's nobody doing it well (for example, Marcus King Band seems pretty good.  They surely can play, but they're basically just the Allmans).  But it's tired and doesn't provide any fresh inspiration.  I got the inspiration that comes from that well a long time ago, and when I hear a band that are obviously huge Stones fans, sometimes I think it's good, but it's usually forgettable.    To be inspired now, I need a fresher take.

 

I find that in artists like Ohmme, Sam Evian, Cate Le Bon, Dungen, Omni, and lots of others.

 

This Born Stoned song is not bad by any means.   I wouldn't turn it off if I was listening to the radio.  But like Marcus King Band, it scratches an itch that's already been scratched.  This sounds like a mashup of Neil Young and Dire Straits.  

 

I guess what I want is music to scratch a new itch.  An itch I didn't even know I had. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

well 'rock music' is a pretty big descriptor, no? i guess with the 'normal' 2 gtr/bass/drums lineup i wasn't necessarily defaulting to Stones/'Mats sounds. yeah i wish there were more bands like Dungen but glad we do have them.  

 

 

not sure of your appetite for post-punk/slightly gothy stuff but Idle Hands and Low Life are worth checking out. again though i would say it's covering some well-traveled ground vs anything truly innovative. so i get your point. if you wanna check out some of the fringes of black metal, Oranssi Pazuzu or Laster are two of my favorites lately.  

 

i thought Ohmme's set at SSF was good (though a bit irritated at their name), CLB's new record is really great and i will check into Omni and S Evian. 

 

happy listening!

Link to post
Share on other sites

well 'rock music' is a pretty big descriptor, no? i guess with the 'normal' 2 gtr/bass/drums lineup i wasn't necessarily defaulting to Stones/'Mats sounds

 

 

 

You continue to focus on only half of the description I offered.   The other half ("vocals in a slightly shouty, distorted, boozy manner"), I thought, makes it pretty clear I was referring to the swaggery type of rock bands like the Stones/Replacements.  As far as I recall, we haven't seen any newer bands in that mold on Solid Sound or Sky Blue Sky lineups, or as opening acts for any of their regular shows probably since the '90s.   But we have seen them handpick rock bands who don't fit that description...like Ohmme, Cate Le Bon, Lithics, Courtney Barnett, older acts like Feelies, Yo La Tengo, Low, etc. 

 

So, while I don't want to put words in his mouth, I think those factors make it pretty easy to narrow down what Tweedy means when he says "Rock music has become boring to me."

 

Thanks for the recommendations.  I'll check those out.  

Link to post
Share on other sites

Surely you understand that there's rock music that isn't in the Faces/Stones mold, or the Replacements mold, or isn't something people would point to and say "THAT is a prime example of rock and roll."

 

As I already said, look at the lineup for any year of Solid Sound. 

 

I love classic rock, but there's nobody doing that now whose records I would buy.  Not that there's nobody doing it well (for example, Marcus King Band seems pretty good.  They surely can play, but they're basically just the Allmans).  But it's tired and doesn't provide any fresh inspiration.  I got the inspiration that comes from that well a long time ago, and when I hear a band that are obviously huge Stones fans, sometimes I think it's good, but it's usually forgettable.    To be inspired now, I need a fresher take.

 

I find that in artists like Ohmme, Sam Evian, Cate Le Bon, Dungen, Omni, and lots of others.

 

This Born Stoned song is not bad by any means.   I wouldn't turn it off if I was listening to the radio.  But like Marcus King Band, it scratches an itch that's already been scratched.  This sounds like a mashup of Neil Young and Dire Straits.  

 

I guess what I want is music to scratch a new itch.  An itch I didn't even know I had. 

 

Your tastes are your tastes and there is nothing wrong with that.  But when you make a sweeping condescending generalization about new iterations of classic rock, it seems you are trying to justify your own opinion by stating that everybody else surely must think as you do, when clearly not everyone does.  I like classic rock and I like new iterations of it, so I guess that makes me a "nobody"in your view.  i don't like punk or goth or most art rock or most indie rock.  I don't think those band have done much to master the craft of playing roots-based music.  I get that they purposely don't want to do that, nothing wrong with that.  Some find it fresh and inspiring, others like me find it unenjoyable, uncompelling. I find Marcus King to be fresh and inspiring for exactly the reasons you find him tired and uninspiring.   He's a fucking genius virtuoso playing with passion and intensity and coming from an authentic and hard-earned understanding of classic idioms of American musical traditions. you say his just doing the Allmans as a derogatory mark while I saw he's doing the Allmans as high praise.  He's doing something that very few bands are doing today and doing it an exceptional level, at least in my opinion.  My point is that you don't really have to undermine some one else's opinion to make yours legitimate, its legitimate on its own.  Treating people who like classic rock as less than you is just plain arrogance.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your tastes are your tastes and there is nothing wrong with that.  But when you make a sweeping condescending generalization about new iterations of classic rock, it seems you are trying to justify your own opinion by stating that everybody else surely must think as you do, when clearly not everyone does.  I like classic rock and I like new iterations of it, so I guess that makes me a "nobody"in your view.  i don't like punk or goth or most art rock or most indie rock.  I don't think those band have done much to master the craft of playing roots-based music.  I get that they purposely don't want to do that, nothing wrong with that.  Some find it fresh and inspiring, others like me find it unenjoyable, uncompelling. I find Marcus King to be fresh and inspiring for exactly the reasons you find him tired and uninspiring.   He's a fucking genius virtuoso playing with passion and intensity and coming from an authentic and hard-earned understanding of classic idioms of American musical traditions. you say his just doing the Allmans as a derogatory mark while I saw he's doing the Allmans as high praise.  He's doing something that very few bands are doing today and doing it an exceptional level, at least in my opinion.  My point is that you don't really have to undermine some one else's opinion to make yours legitimate, its legitimate on its own.  Treating people who like classic rock as less than you is just plain arrogance.

 

This is all fair, and fine although I'd suggest we'd all be better not to take a sweeping critical dismissal to heart as a personal affront. To me these discussions can take the same jovial rudeness as dismissing a sports team and all of their fans. 

 

More on topic: does this particular preference in rock music lead to dissatisfaction with much of Wilco's post-2000 output?

 

Less on topic: do you dig Hiss Golden Messenger? That's a pretty good example of a group doing nothing new, style-wise, that I find very enjoyable.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Your tastes are your tastes and there is nothing wrong with that.  But when you make a sweeping condescending generalization about new iterations of classic rock, it seems you are trying to justify your own opinion by stating that everybody else surely must think as you do, when clearly not everyone does.  I like classic rock and I like new iterations of it, so I guess that makes me a "nobody"in your view.  i don't like punk or goth or most art rock or most indie rock.  I don't think those band have done much to master the craft of playing roots-based music.  I get that they purposely don't want to do that, nothing wrong with that.  Some find it fresh and inspiring, others like me find it unenjoyable, uncompelling. I find Marcus King to be fresh and inspiring for exactly the reasons you find him tired and uninspiring.   He's a fucking genius virtuoso playing with passion and intensity and coming from an authentic and hard-earned understanding of classic idioms of American musical traditions. you say his just doing the Allmans as a derogatory mark while I saw he's doing the Allmans as high praise.  He's doing something that very few bands are doing today and doing it an exceptional level, at least in my opinion.  My point is that you don't really have to undermine some one else's opinion to make yours legitimate, its legitimate on its own.  Treating people who like classic rock as less than you is just plain arrogance.

 

I don't think I should have to put "in my opinion" or "to me" at the end of every sentence I say when it couldn't be more obvious I'm talking about nothing but my own personal tastes.  

 

What would be condescending is if I did say that because I assumed you or others on this board needed me to.  

 

Before I saw your post I was watching some Marcus King videos. The guy can sing and play great, without question, and the songs were quite nice.  I wish I could play guitar as good as he can.  He also seems like a great guy.  But if you understand the context of what I was (in my opinion, quite obviously) saying, his music isn't really giving me anything I haven't already received countless times over a very long period of time from others, including the Allmans. (I've participated extensively on the Allmans thread on this forum if you're looking for me to prove I like the Allmans and/or classic rock.)

 

So, tying this all back into what Tweedy said: 

 

If I were a music star who just put out a new album, and I was talking to the music press about the challenges of finding fresh ways to create and record music (which is ALWAYS the context of music magazine interviews with Tweedy when new Wilco albums come out, at least since Summerteeth), I also may have said something easily misinterpreted like "rock music is boring."  When what he really (and in my opinion, obviously) meant is not so much that rock music is boring, but that it isn't where he's finding the inspiration he needs in order to create fresh music.  

 

__________________

 

I never said anyone was less than me, nor have I treated anyone that way. I can't let that go unchallenged. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't think I should have to put "in my opinion" or "to me" at the end of every sentence I say when it couldn't be more obvious I'm talking about nothing but my own personal tastes.  

 

What would be condescending is if I did say that because I assumed you or others on this board needed me to.  

 

Before I saw your post I was watching some Marcus King videos. The guy can sing and play great, without question, and the songs were quite nice.  I wish I could play guitar as good as he can.  He also seems like a great guy.  But if you understand the context of what I was (in my opinion, quite obviously) saying, his music isn't really giving me anything I haven't already received countless times over a very long period of time from others, including the Allmans. (I've participated extensively on the Allmans thread on this forum if you're looking for me to prove I like the Allmans and/or classic rock.)

 

So, tying this all back into what Tweedy said: 

 

If I were a music star who just put out a new album, and I was talking to the music press about the challenges of finding fresh ways to create and record music (which is ALWAYS the context of music magazine interviews with Tweedy when new Wilco albums come out, at least since Summerteeth), I also may have said something easily misinterpreted like "rock music is boring."  When what he really (and in my opinion, obviously) meant is not so much that rock music is boring, but that it isn't where he's finding the inspiration he needs in order to create fresh music.  

 

__________________

 

I never said anyone was less than me, nor have I treated anyone that way. I can't let that go unchallenged. 

 

The condescending part of what you said is implying that everyone must surely share your opinion about how boring classic rock is.  You could have just spoken for yourself and not been indirectly dismissive of people who happen to not share your opinion.  "Is anybody NOT bored by a group of white guys playing guitar, guitar, bass, drums, vocals in a slightly shouty, distorted, boozy manner?  I sure as hell am."

 

It really doesn't take much effort to be considerate in discussions of opinion about art and aesthetics and its kinder to do so.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...