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New Bruce

Hit this link, and you'll find a link to downloading the MP3 of a new Bruce song, recorded live in concert in Paris. Enjoy...

If you think I'm talking about Cockburn, Willis, or Almighty...

posted by Anon. 10:26 AM



Fighting a cold, and watching a Gilmore Girls re-run.

I might be imagining this, but one of the characters on the show just made a reference to Jackson Browne being cooler than one would think, due to his having had an affair with Nico and writing many of her songs before "he bored us all with 'Doctor My Eyes.'"

Now that's a smart reference.

Update: Said a character -- the same one, I think -- later in the show: "You are not telling me that you did not know that Kim Deal was in the Pixies before the Breeders? These kids have no sense of history."

posted by Anon. 8:13 PM


TV tonight

The Minus 5 -- the Wilco side project which also features Peter Buck, sometimes -- are on Letterman tonight. Though the Letterman site says its the Minus 5 and Wilco appearing. Hmm.

Also tonight, High Fidelity, with commercial interruptions, is on Comedy Central at 8 p.m Easten. If you haven't already seen it, there must be a reason why, so, yeah, I'll respect that.

posted by Anon. 10:14 AM
Being somewhere

I first heard Uncle Tupelo sometime during my freshman year of college. Which was kinda late in the game, I guess. Though it's never that late if you heard the band before they broke up.

Tim Dunn and Will Lee raved about them to me at 11 p.m. at the campus snack bar -- Will was from suburban Illinois, Tim was from rural Minnesota. Midwestern smart kids seemed, strangely, to stumble upon some great music before anyone else. (Tim and I shared a love for the Replacements; he was also the first person to tell me about the Wedding Present, a band that later both Mickey and Rico would praise. I still have never quite understood the hub-bub.)

Tim lent me No Depression and the acoustic March 1992. (This was probably two years before Anodyne was released.) I wasn't ready, I guess; they didn't grab me. By senior year, Uncle Tupelo had broken up, and its remnants released two records. One, Wilco's A.M., I bought the first month it came out: I liked it, especially the poppy "Boxful of Letters," but I kinda stopped listening after a few spins. (I started listening again a couple years later.) The other, Son Volt's Trace, I held off on buying until Jordan strongly recommended it to me, probably three months after its release; I instantly fell in love with that record, and to this day, I think it's one of the four or five best albums of the last decade.

It wasn't until I was living in Seattle, right out of college, that I fell in love with Wilco, and that was through their superb two disc Being There. I had just gone through a break-up, in a strange grey town where it rained too much and where I didn't know too many people. There were a lot of days there when I'd come out of a record store with more than I could really afford, under the guise of, "well, it's good to treat myself." There was a good record shop on Broadway, in the Capitol Hill district, where I lived, and I must've wandered in there the very day Being There came out. I bought it -- $12.99 for a two disc set, how could I not? -- and immediately walked back to my apartment and put it on.

Instantly, even though these were two discs songs I had never heard before, I found comfort in the familiarity of the source materials -- acoustic guitars, electric guitars, Hammond organ, even a horn section, and great melodies. It seemed to blend Exile-era Rolling Stones with Steve Earle with Bruce Springsteen. I was hooked. I had a new favorite band.

I find it kinda works out that your favorite album by a band is the first album of theirs where you really got them and loved them. Even though I love the first Mermaid Avenue and love most of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Being There is still my favorite Wilco record. There's some filler on it -- "Hotel Arizona," "Kingpin" come to mind -- but just a wide expanse of roots-rock, soul, country, and flat-out rockers. And "Say You Miss Me" might be one of the best things Tweedy has ever recorded.

It's been fun to watch a friend of mine suddenly go into a gigantic Wilco obsession. Being There is her favorite, too. But she's pointed out something disturbing to me. She's been picking out the stolen -- or, let's say, appropriated -- riffs in the album, and cataloguing them.

"Rebel Rebel"s guitar shows up in "Monday."

The "Sesame Street" theme comes up on the second disc's version of "Outta Sight (Outta Mind)."

She was about to tell me which song stole from "Happy Together," but I cried uncle.

I don't mind bands appropriating riffs into their giant collage of sound. Especially a band like Wilco, which so often wears its influences on its sleeve.

I do mind that now everytime I listen to that record, instead of thinking, "Great song!" I'm gonna be thinking, "Hey, this sounds like Sesame Street."

Ignorance is bliss.

posted by Anon. 8:44 AM