by Dan Bolles
Ask and you shall receive, Ari and Casey.
Unfortunately, I'm quite under the weather at the moment, so I'm going to print a snippet from my upcoming SoundBites column, rather than rehash what I've been writing all day. I know this is totally cheating, but it's my party and I'll cop out if I want to.
Think of it as a sneak preview! And don't say I never gave you nuthin'.
So it was that I found myself at Shelburne Museum last Friday, seeing my old friends for the first time as professional music writer.
If you’re looking for a hard critique of the show, stop reading right now and go pull up Pitchforkmedia.com on your web browser. I’m sure they have plenty of self-important, hipster-chic ramblings on the decline of Wilco. I’m just not gonna be that guy.
Are they dad-rock? Sure. Whatever. Is Tweedy’s post-rehab songwriting a bit blunt and clumsy? Absolutely. But does the new incarnation of the band still rock? You’d better believe it.
Wilco tore through a full set and two encores sounding as vital and inventive as ever. Avant-guitarist Nels Cline not only faithfully re-created his precious work from the new disc, but added flourishes and melody lines that breathed new life into a slew of songs across the band’s hefty catalogue. “Shot In The Arm” from Summerteeth was especially impressive with Tweedy’s new toy at his side, as was Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’s “Jesus, etc.”
Hopefully that will get ball rolling. Tomorrow, I'll be happy to debate you all on the relevance of Wilco. But for now, I have to go back to bed and feel sorry for myself. Happy birthday to me . . .