Wilco - Ode To Joy (October 4 2019)

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It's pretty good. Weirdly chill.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 17 July 2019 17:56 (one year ago) link

Heh, I emailed a friend and sent him the description of the limited edition LP but didn't tell him the price. He's an artist and graphic designer, and while he said it was more ambitious than anything he's ever worked on, he listed all the elements and labor and specific techniques ("No idea what kind of binding but from how they’re talking it up, I would expect it’s signature bound, that costs a lot. Cloth binding also adds to the spend. But the real investment is going to be those little individual paper pieces with moving parts. Each model has to be engineered, prototyped, and then custom diecuts for all of it and assembled by hand by what I hope are fairly compensated laborers," etc.) and the number he guessed was ... $500.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 18 July 2019 03:55 (one year ago) link

Boy are there lots of Wilco threads. Anyway, a big hunk of the new TapeOp is dedicated to Wilco/Tweedy/The Loft, and there are some great quotes. I've interviewed Jeff Tweedy before, back when he was dealing with drugs etc. and also after, and the night and day of him after getting clean and, I suspect, therapy has remained remarkable. It really injects a level of honesty and modesty and transparency into interviews that he's stuck with. This one in particular has some great quotes. "One of the benefits of not having any hits is that there're hardly any songs that we have to play! The disadvantages are fairly obvious." Or, "When I'm playing solo acoustic, I always tell people they should leave after they hear the song they wanted to hear so that I know when to stop." Worth a read, good stuff.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 27 July 2019 14:23 (one year ago) link

Jeff is one of the funniest, most interesting, most honest guys in music, and the way that he has run his band/career is super inspiring. He should be a model for any and everyone in the same field.

alpine static, Saturday, 27 July 2019 16:46 (one year ago) link

He should be a model for any and everyone in the same field.

Is the "field" here exclusive to bandleaders only, or can it include band members too? Because it's funny to picture someone saying to the other members of the band, "you guys are aware Jeff over here is model material, right? Do yourselves some favors and be more like Jeff Tweedy, leader of Wilco, one of the best people in all of music."

del griffith, Saturday, 27 July 2019 21:16 (one year ago) link

I guess I mostly mean anyone in Jeff's position - i.e. clearly the leader of a band and a business. For the record, I'm talking about the business as much or probably even more than the band. In fact, I think you could probably argue he's made more missteps as the bandleader than as a businessman.

But what do I know? All I'm really saying here is Jeff seems like he really has it together with the successful band and the label and the recording studio and the festival and the book and his family and he's his own boss and he gets to wake up and be creative everyday, if he wants.

alpine static, Sunday, 28 July 2019 07:16 (one year ago) link

Well, good for him. Got the label, got the studio, got the book, got the fam. All good things! Sounds like a successful dude by many measures, and I see no reason to hold someone's success against them, but when I hear a song, it makes little difference to me how successful that person was when they wrote it. If it's a good song, it's gonna speak for itself.

I guess the song is sort of a warning to myself that YES, Love IS EVERYWHERE, but also BEWARE! I can’t let that feeling absolve me of my duty to create more.

I have difficulty relating to this perspective because I don't perceive love as something that anyone, artist or otherwise, has an obligation to "create." It's not a product, it's a feeling that we experience, and it's the nature of the artist to express that experience in an interesting way.

And I guess that could be what Jeff means in this context by his duty to "create": to share more of his experiences feeling the good feelings. And certainly he should. But, dang, when you're marketing that sharing as a $500 package that includes unique hand assembled paper constructions engineered with pull out die cut pockets, spinning wheels, paper doors, and unfolding gatefold spreads, it makes me wonder what your creative priorities really are.

Then again, I haven't actually listened to the new song yet.

del griffith, Sunday, 28 July 2019 16:58 (one year ago) link

I'm not saying you should judge his songs by how good a businessman he has been. I don't know where you got that, but it wasn't from me.

As for the $500 record, I think this it's silly to criticize Wilco for this. They'll have a mass market version available for anyone to buy at $20 or whatever (not to mention it'll stream on Spotify - fuck Spotify, btw), and they've decided to make a fancy/cool/whatever version available to people are are willing and able to pay for it, because they know they're out there. Perfectly reasonable, imo. I mean, at least they're getting something tangible and artsy for their money.

It seems very strange to question Jeff Tweedy's creative priorities at this point, but to each his own!

alpine static, Sunday, 28 July 2019 23:38 (one year ago) link

two months pass...

everyone was right, this is their best album in ages

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 4 October 2019 17:42 (one year ago) link

I prefer the last two... the playing is nice on this one, but the songwriting doesn't seem as strong (maybe it'll grow on me). Key track: "Everyone Hides"

Spry at 78 (morrisp), Friday, 4 October 2019 18:44 (one year ago) link

feels like an album of "radio cure"s to me

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 4 October 2019 18:51 (one year ago) link

I liked Star Wars but not Schmilco. Sad they've not done any long songs here. I don't actually have anything to say

imago, Friday, 4 October 2019 19:10 (one year ago) link

I don't actually have anything to say

sums up their post-whole love output pretty well, i reckon.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 4 October 2019 19:14 (one year ago) link

Reminds me of the last Radiohead in the sense that it’s very crisp and well put together but too placid to really get excited about.

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Friday, 4 October 2019 19:16 (one year ago) link

the last radiohead record was not too placid to get excited about!

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 4 October 2019 19:17 (one year ago) link

both construct an ominous dreamy atmosphere out of very few elements though so fair comparison

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 4 October 2019 19:19 (one year ago) link

lol @ moon shaped pool having "very few elements"

it seems like, anymore, wilco is just recording songs so that they can replicate them exactly in a live setting. kind of takes the fun out of releasing studio albums imo. but also explains why they're such a great live band.

speaking of which: would love a sequel to kicking television.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 4 October 2019 20:10 (one year ago) link

lol @ moon shaped pool having "very few elements"

ok what i meant was that the record is relatively quiet i guess

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 4 October 2019 20:14 (one year ago) link

but it doesn't take much for "daydreaming" or "desert island disk" to sound ominous, the strings in the former just darken the clouds

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 4 October 2019 20:16 (one year ago) link

ahh, gotcha.

yeah, it is a very dynamic record. that's part of the appeal for me.

Totally different head. Totally. (Austin), Friday, 4 October 2019 20:20 (one year ago) link

I like how gentle this album is.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 4 October 2019 21:04 (one year ago) link

They almost always find interesting ways to be boring.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 4 October 2019 21:08 (one year ago) link

I didn't become a fan until Star Wars -- is Nels Cline still playing with them? Maybe he was part of the "secret sauce" on that album(?)

Spry at 78 (morrisp), Friday, 4 October 2019 21:40 (one year ago) link

(...looking back, I see he played on Wilco albums going back to 2007 -- so maybe not. Looks like this is their first without him for a while.)

Spry at 78 (morrisp), Friday, 4 October 2019 21:53 (one year ago) link

he's on this new record

tylerw, Friday, 4 October 2019 21:56 (one year ago) link

Ah, Wikipedia's out of date then

Spry at 78 (morrisp), Friday, 4 October 2019 21:59 (one year ago) link

wikipedia says he’s on the record and in the band

american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, 4 October 2019 22:01 (one year ago) link

He's been a member since the Ghost tour, so he's on every album since then. Though I admit it can be tricky, since Tweedy is a pretty good skronky guitarist when he wants to be.

Josh in Chicago, Friday, 4 October 2019 22:02 (one year ago) link

I was looking at his personal Wikipedia page, which stopped at Schmilco. Sorted now, thx

Spry at 78 (morrisp), Friday, 4 October 2019 22:07 (one year ago) link

I just finished Tweedy’s book a couple of nights ago so I was definitely primed to like this one, and it’s certainly not bad, maybe it’ll grow on me.

Evans on Hammond (evol j), Saturday, 5 October 2019 01:25 (one year ago) link

I revisited Star Wars and Schmilco this afternoon, and they’re both just so good.

Even if nothing else this band does ends up connecting with me, I’m really thankful for that period of sync-up.

Spry at 78 (morrisp), Saturday, 5 October 2019 01:51 (one year ago) link

They almost always find interesting ways to be boring.

the reverse describes my feeling on the post-Whole Love output including this one

Simon H., Saturday, 5 October 2019 02:41 (one year ago) link

I think they're both tenable positions. Depends on the day, I guess.

Josh in Chicago, Saturday, 5 October 2019 12:50 (one year ago) link

"we were lucky" is like "bull black nova" part two, gradually taken over by growling unease. it is really not boring

american bradass (BradNelson), Saturday, 5 October 2019 14:32 (one year ago) link

and "quiet amplifier" is only six minutes long but it's about as good as a stretched out atmospheric wilco song gets

american bradass (BradNelson), Saturday, 5 October 2019 14:35 (one year ago) link

feels like an album of "radio cure"s to me

― american bradass (BradNelson), Friday, October 4, 2019 2:51 PM (two days ago) bookmarkflaglink

I am immediately listening to this album

flappy bird, Sunday, 6 October 2019 21:45 (one year ago) link

Lots of «Kamera» in here as well, maybe side a of YHF in general. I really like it.

Mule, Tuesday, 8 October 2019 11:56 (one year ago) link

this is a beautiful record, damn. highlights for me are the stretch from 'one and a half stars' to 'white wooden cross,' and i love the spindly guitar and plunking piano on 'love is everywhere'

flopsy bird (voodoo chili), Thursday, 10 October 2019 20:34 (one year ago) link

Love Quiet Amplifier but 10 plays in and struggling to remember most of the rest

PaulTMA, Thursday, 10 October 2019 23:39 (one year ago) link

I've pretty much fallen for this. Tweedy sounds (relatively) content.

Life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering...save string (Chinaski), Friday, 11 October 2019 16:43 (one year ago) link

I'm with you Paul. Quiet Amplifier and Love is Strange are the highlights for me. The rest, I like it while I'm listening but I don't find it super memorable. Also how I felt about Schmilco.

sctttnnnt (pgwp), Friday, 11 October 2019 17:51 (one year ago) link

The songs on Schmilco glisten for me with tension and purpose, in both composition and performance.

drunk on hot toddies (morrisp), Friday, 11 October 2019 18:12 (one year ago) link

Haven't had a chance to listen to this yet, but hearing Kot and DeRogatis go on about how boring it is and how much they don't like it basically confirms that it'll probably be my favorite Wilco record in awhile.

soaring skrrrtpeggios (jon /via/ chi 2.0), Friday, 11 October 2019 19:16 (one year ago) link

I like the first few songs a lot... then the next few ("1.5 Stars" & "Quiet Amplifier") feel kind of slack & rote. "Quiet Amplifier" is groovy (as mentioned above). "White Wooden Cross" feels sleepy, and I guess its melody is either "classic" (in a Dylan-ish mode) or paint-by-numbers, depending on how it hits yr ears. The next few traxx are sorta dull ("We Were Lucky" drags on too long). I don't care for "Love Is Everywhere." The final two songs are good, but not exceptional (I dig: Eight tiny lines of cocaine / Left on a copy machine). FINAL RATING: B

drunk on hot toddies (morrisp), Friday, 11 October 2019 20:16 (one year ago) link

"Quiet Amplifier" is groovy (as mentioned above).

I meant "Everyone Hides"... whatever

drunk on hot toddies (morrisp), Friday, 11 October 2019 20:29 (one year ago) link

Determined to get into this album one way or another. It all sounds pleasant enough...

But then again Citizens sounds like the most pointless Wilco song ever

PaulTMA, Friday, 11 October 2019 20:30 (one year ago) link

Definitely not an album of "Radio Cure"s. It's fine in the same whelming way the other three Wilco albums this decade have been. I can't believe how quickly it's over when it ends.

Wally P. Doyle, Sunday, 13 October 2019 05:46 (one year ago) link

I'm just listening now. Holy shit

flappy bird, Monday, 14 October 2019 01:51 (one year ago) link

Kind of a weird album to spend $500 on.

drunk on hot toddies (morrisp), Monday, 14 October 2019 02:00 (one year ago) link

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