July 23, 2011

Playlist Week of 7-23-11

Wilco - I Might

* Marais: Pieces de Viole des Cinq Livres (Savall, Koopman, et al.) (Alia Vox 5SACD)
* Buxtehude: Seven Trio Sonatas, Op.2 (Holloway/ter Linden/Mortensen) (Naxos CD)
* J.S. Bach: Trio Sonatas (London Baroque/Medlam) (Harmonia Mundi CD)†/‡
* Frank: Symphony in D Minor (Chicago Symphony/Monteaux) (RCA-Victor/Sony SACD)
* Stravinsky: Petrouchka (Boston Symphony/Monteaux) (RCA-Victor/Sony SACD)
* Thelonious Monk & John Coltrane: The Complete Riverside Recordings (Riverside/Concord 2CD)
* Thelonious Monk: Monk Alone: The Complete Solo Studio Recordings (Columbia/Legacy 2CD)
* John Coltrane: The Olatunji Concert: The Last Live Recording (Impulse! CD)
* Alice Coltrane: Transfiguration (Warner Bros./Sepia Tone 2CD)
* Ornette Coleman: The Complete Science Fiction Sessions (Columbia/Legacy 2CD)
* Andrew Hill: Mosaic Select (d.1-2) (Mosaic 3CD)
* Sun Ra: Life Is Splendid: Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival 1972 (Total Energy CD)
* Sun Ra: Outer Space Employment Agency: Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival 1973 (Total Energy CD)
* Sun Ra: It Is Forbidden: Ann Arbor Blues & Jazz Festival in Exile 1974 (Total Energy CD)
* Sun Ra: Dance Of The Living Image: Lost Reel Collection Vol.4 (Transparency 2CD)
* Roscoe Mitchell & The Note Factory: Song For My Sister (Pi CD)
* Muhal Richard Abrams/Roscoe Mitchell/George Lewis: Streaming (Pi CD)
* William Parker/In Order To Survive: Posium Pendasem (FMP CD)
* George Benson: Weekend In L.A. (Warner Bros. 2LP)
* Parliament: Mothership Connection (Casablanca/Polygram CD)
* Parliament: Live: P-Funk Earth Tour (Casablanca/Polygram CD)
* Prince & The Revolution: Around The World In A Day (Paisley Park/Warner Bros. LP)
* Prince: Sign O’ The Times (Paisley Park/Warner Bros. 2LP)
* Prince: Lovesexy (Paisley Park/Warner Bros. LP)
* Bill Laswell, et al.: Altered Beats: Assassin Knowledges Of The Remaniputated (Axiom/Island CD)†/‡
* Hands Off Cuba: Hands Off Cuba (Hands Off CDEP)
* Grateful Dead: Winterland Arena, San Francisco, CA 2-22-74 (SBD 5CDR)
* Led Zeppelin: I (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: II (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: III (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Led Zeppelin: Houses Of The Holy (Atlantic CD)†/‡
* Big Star: #1 Record (Ardent/Classic LP)
* Big Star: Radio City (Ardent/Classic LP)
* Sonic Youth: Goo (Deluxe Edition) (d.3-4) (Goofin’ 4LP)
* Tool: Lateralus (Volcano CD)†
* Robert Pollard: Lord Of The Birdcage (GBV, Inc. MP3)†/‡
* Boston Spaceships: Brown Submarine (GBV, Inc. LP)
* Wilco: Ashes Of American Flags (Nonesuch DVD)
* Wilco: Wilco (the album) (Nonesuch CD)
* Wilco: “I Might”/“I Love My Label” (dBpm/Anti- 7”)
* Animal Collective: Water Curses (Domino CDEP)†
* Animal Collective: Merriweather Post Pavilion (Domino CD)†



Wilco has wasted no time since breaking with Nonesuch Records, with a new album coming out September 27 called Whole Love on their very own label, dBpm (get it? decibels per minute!). In anticipation, a seven-inch single arrived this week and, if the A-side is any indication, Wilco is continuing to broaden its palate. “I Might” is a punchy slab of New Wave soul, complete with a big, distorted bass line, incongruously chiming glockenspiel and doo-wop background vocals framing a super-catchy hook. Nice! The B-side is an impromptu cover of Nick Lowe’s, “I Love My Label,” an ode to Rough Trade Records and a fitting tribute to their newfound autonomy. Even more appropriately (or incongruously), Lowe himself will be opening for Wilco on their upcoming fall tour. Now, that is an interesting combo!

Wilco gets dismissed as edgeless “Dad rock” by some cynical hipsters—The Eagles of the new century. OK fine: I’ll admit Wilco’s records are kinda bland (I rarely listen to them); but live is where it’s at—especially since avant-guitar maestro, Nels Cline, joined the band. Kicking Television, compiled from performances from 2005, gives a pretty good idea of how good they can be, but the 2008 DVD, Ashes Of American Flags, is truly extraordinary and shows how much the band had grown since Cline’s arrival. Unlike The Eagles, Wilco pushes the limits of “country rock,” incorporating such diverse elements as the hypnotic throb of Krautrock or the jittery spasms of New Wave, the sugary pleasure of pure pop or the grating dissonance of pure noise, all the while still sounding as organic as Hank Williams. And Cline makes the superlative guitar hero. Sure, their albums feel a little stiff, but in concert, it all comes together and the music blooms.

We were able to snag two tickets to Wilco’s upcoming show at the Ryman Auditorium on October 1st but, as you can see: these are “limited view” seats, way off to the side in the balcony. That’s fine; the Ryman barely holds 2000 people and is, after all, the “Mother Church” of the Grand Ole Opry, a peerless venue. Needless to say, both shows sold out within minutes and we consider ourselves lucky just to be in the door. We saw Wilco at the Ryman in 2008 and it was one of the best concerts I’ve ever seen (a few songs can be found on the Ashes DVD) so we’re really looking forward to seeing them there again. Whole Love may (or may not) turn out to be a ho-him record—but I’m certain Wilco will put on a great show. We can’t wait!


Sam said...

Catching up on some Prince vinyl? Looking forward to your thoughts on that.

Here goes for last week:

Playlist 2011-07-25:

*Daniel Barbiero/Gary Rouzer/Chris Videll: Indigo over Red on Grey (web release)
*Jimmy Ghaphery: Bag (web release)
*Wayne Shorter Quartet: 2010-10-27 Zurich (CDR)
*Sun Ra: 1971-08-17 Slug's NYC (CDR)
*Sun Ra: Dance of the Living Image (Lost Reel Collection, vol. 4) disc 2
*Sun Ra & His Intergalactic Arkestra: It Is Forbidden
*Sun Ra: Disco 3000: The Complete Milan Concert 1978 (Art Yard)
*Sun Ra Quartet: Other Voices, Other Blues
*Cecil Taylor: 2002-05-16 Rome (CDR)
*Cecil Taylor/Anthony Braxton/William Parker: 2007-10-12 Bologna (CDR)
*Various artists: Baden-Baden Free Jazz Meeting 1970 (1970-12) CDR (disc 3)
*Deerhoof: Deerhoof Vs. Evil
*Explorers Club: Freedom Wind
*Grateful Dead: 1969-04-15 Omaha, Neb. (CDR)
*Guided By Voices: Human Amusements at Hourly Rates
*Jimi Hendrix: 1970-05-30 Berkeley (1st show) (CDR)
*Jimi Hendrix: Rainbow Bridge
*High Llamas: Talahomi Way
*Love: Da Capo
*Love: Forever Changes
*Parliament-Funkadelic: 1976-11-05 Dallas (CDR)
*Prince & the NPG: One Nite Alone...the Aftershow: It Ain't Over!
*Santana: Lotus (disc 1)
*Supremes: CDR compilation
*Various artists: Smiling Pets: A Tribute to the Beach Boys
*XTC: English Settlement
*Yardbirds: Over Under Sideways Down

Reading List 2011-07-25:

*Martin, George R.R. A Dance with Dragons (reread/started)
*Martin, George R.R. A Feast for Crows (reread/finished)
*Arabian Nights: Tales of 1001 Nights (transl. Malcolm C. Lyons) Vol. 2 (in progress)
*Campbell, Eddie. Alec: The Years Have Pants (A Life-Size Omnibus) (in progress)
*Gifford, Don, and Robert J. Seldman. Ulysses Annotated, rev. and expanded ed. (in progress)
*Joyce, James. Ulysses (reread/in progress)
*Meyerowitz, Rick. Drunk Stoned Brilliant Dead (in progress)
*Segar, E.C. The Complete E.C. Segar Popeye Vol. 8 (Dailies 1932-1933) (in progress)
*Sim, Dave. Cerebus, Vol. 1 (in progress)

Rodger Coleman said...

Sam -- well, my old copy of "Lovesexy" had a skip, so when I saw a minty copy at Grimey's I decided to pick it up. It prompted a whole "retrospective," as you can see. "Around the World in a Day" remains my favorite Prince record. I know that puts me in the minority, but what can I say. I do not have "The Black Album." Would love to hear it again.

Sam said...

"The Black Album" is great, but parts of it haven't aged as well. I prefer "Parade" to "Around the world" but the title track of that one is amazing.