Filed under: A.M. | Tags: A.M., Acoustic, alt-country, Country, Folk, Guitar, phaser, Should've Been In Love, Wilco
I’ve always like this song enough, but I have to do a little bit of complaining. What the hell is up with the ending? The song is full of acoustic instruments and some really nice, clean electric guitar, and then they use a phaser on the outro. I’m not going to lie, every time I hear that ending, I just have to shake my had and wonder why they’d do it to the song… The whole thing is so pleasant to listen to with the exception of that wishy-washy guitar…
Apart from the shitty ending, though it’s not that different from anything else off of A.M., but that’s OK. A lot of fans rank this one near the bottom, but I’ve always appreciated it for what it is: a very consistent album. The songs don’t really deviate from the main theme of troubled relationships, and there’s a really honest, easy-going vibe that just continues with each track.
Filed under: A.M. | Tags: A.M., Album, Country, Dash 7, Drag, Jeff Tweedy, Kidsmoke, Live, Rare, Second Half, Seven, Spiders, Wilco
I went to see Jeff Tweedy’s solo show in Champaign a few weeks ago and was surprised at the setlist. A whopping majority of it consisted of Wilco songs. Now, of course, I like a Wilco a lot. (Obviously…) But I was really looking forward to hearing Uncle Tupelo songs… Maybe some Golden Smog… You know what I mean. Well, there were a few Wilco rarities that got thrown in there, such as “Bob Dylan’s 49th Beard” and “Remember The Mountain Bed.” Then he started playing something that my friends didn’t know. I was excited, whispering “IT’S ‘DASH 7′, YOU GUYS!” It turned out to be “Spiders (Kidsmoke).” Personally, I think I was happier to hear “Spiders”, but it still would have been cool.
This is one of those songs that just drags for me. Really, I’ve felt that way about quite a few songs from the second half of A.M. It starts off strong with some good rockers, but just falls short of its potential near the end. I don’t dislike “Dash 7″ or anything… I just find almost all of the other songs on the album to be better. (Especially “Passenger Side”, which is brilliant)
Filed under: A.M. | Tags: A.M., Country, Folk, Funky, Guitar, Lyrics, Murmur, Nels Cline, R.E.M., Rock, simple, Sky Blue Sky, Too Far Apart, Wilco
I think it’s kind of funny how the last song on Wilco’s first album sounds like something that would have been found on their most recent. Of course, the guitars aren’t as crisp and clean as the ones found on Sky Blue Sky, but it sounds a lot like that lovechild of folk and funk that album represents to me. When I listen to the album version of “Too Far Apart”, I can’t help but imagine Nels Cline just going wild all over it. If the band does the requests through their website for the upcoming tour, you’d better believe that I’m going to enter this one. I know, I know… It’s a long shot… Still, a boy can dream!
The lyrics are, like the rest of A.M., pleasantly and charmingly simple. For a band who went on to record songs like “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” that are about as mysterious as anything off of R.E.M.’s Murmur, it’s kind of funny to see them in such a different stage. That’s one of the great things about Wilco, you get to grow with them!
Filed under: A.M. | Tags: A.M., alt-country, car, Country, Folk, gaiters, grand theft auto, Love, misheard lyric, Relationship, Shouldn't Be Ashamed, Wilco
I’m usually pretty good at being able to make out lyrics, but I’ll admit that I had a bit of a problem with this one. It’s pretty embarrassing, too. In the chorus, I couldn’t make out the line “If it’s not like I told you/Then it’s still your call.” I heard “If it’s not like I told/Then I’ll steal your car.” I realize that it doesn’t make any sense at all, but try telling that to me in my early/mid teens.
Anyway, this song is absolutely not about committing grand theft auto; but discusses relationships. (Like just about every other song on A.M.) The narrator is looking at a difficult relationship and realizing that it’s supposed to be a happy thing, and that they “Shouldn’t be afraid/Shouldn’t be ashamed.” He actually tells her that she should do whatever she wants about it, even if that means leaving him. Of course, I imagine he would prefer some other solution, but if that’s what it takes…
This is also the only song I know that mentions gaiters. (Which is kind of cool in a really odd way)
Filed under: Non-Album Songs | Tags: A.M., Acoustic, B-Side, Band, Childlike and Evergreen, Country, ELS, Every Little Song, Folk, Jeff Tweedy, Non-Album Track, Poster Boys, Single, Wilco
This song just kind of drunkely stumbles along thanks to awkward verses. The lyrics are all really nice, though. I can’t help but always smile when I hear Jeff Tweedy refer to New York as “the big sour apple.” I think this song is about how life can be a bitch, and he’s just thinking back to the good old days before you realized all of the problems that were going on. You weren’t lonely… There weren’t any expectations of you… Unforunately, that’s just the opposite of where the narrator is right now. He evens admits “I should have made more friends” in the last verse.
You know, I’d be really interested to hear a full band version of ”Childlike and Evergreen.” I wonder if Wilco ever recorded one…
Well, unless the band decides to go digging through their vaults to find some b-sides for the 15th Anniversary Edition of A.M. or something, I think I’m totally out of luck.
Filed under: A.M. | Tags: 1994, A.M., Bass, Country, Folk, It's Just That Simple, Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Lead Vocals, Live, Lyrics, Missouri, St. Louis, Wilco
When Wilco busted this one out at Lollapalooza, there were quite a few fans out there who just didn’t get it. They were more into the progessive-alternative Wilco that Chicago just LOVES. As a fan who still considers Wilco to be a St. Louis/Metro-East band, it was a great surprise. I had already heard them play it during their residency at the Pageant, but it was more special at Lolla because I felt like they were doing it as a nod to those old school fans. Like I said, it went over the heads of a lot of listeners there, but I enjoyed it. (And that’s all that matters, of course)
At the St. Louis show, the reaction was much different. When Jeff Tweedy threw on the bass and John Stirratt walked up to the mic with an acoustic guitar, the whole place wents absolutely nuts. That first night was full of older songs like “New Madrid” (dedicated to Jeff’s dad) and “Passenger Side.” I think what I like about the song so much is the fact that it’s so traditional. While most people know Wilco for pushing the envelope, this is one song where they just kept it (there’s no better word!) simple…
John Stirratt sounds kinda nervous singing lead, and his voice isn’t nearly as emotive as Jeff Tweedy’s, but I feel like it definitely works best on this song. It makes me want to check out the Autumn Defense…
Filed under: A.M. | Tags: 1990s, A.M., Box Full Of Letters, Casino Queen, Country, Kamera, Letter Never Sent, Radio, Relationship, Rock, Wilco
In 2001/2002, back when I was in middle school, this was one of the first Wilco songs I heard. (Along with “Kamera” and “Casino Queen”) While “Kamera” really connected with me, all I could think about “Box Full Of Letters” was how much it sounded like everything else that was on the radio in the mid 1990s. Looking back now, it’s actually a lot better than a lot of that stuff, and didn’t perform as well as it should have.
One thing I’ve liked about the song is how unclear it is. The first verse is a little snotty, as the narrator sings “I’ve got a box full of letters/I think you might like read/Some things that you might like to see/But they’re all addressed to me.” It’s like he’s saying that he’s got all of these really great friends who are supporting him in what could be the end of a relationship. In a seperate stack from all of his letters are the records that belonged to the person he’s singing to. While he’d like to keep and listen to them, he’s giving them back. I think this goes along with the “And I’ll still be your friend” part. It may seem like he’s bitter, but he wants to make it clear that there aren’t any hard feelings.
Really, I think all of the letters were written by the narrator. The line “I just can’t find the time to write my mind the way I want it to read” is the giveaway. He’s trying to let the person know how he feels, but it never comes out right. This is just another example of that classic Wilco theme of finding it difficult to communicate. So after you look at it, the narrator’s singing about a letter-never-sent box…
Filed under: Summerteeth | Tags: A.M., Being There, I'm Always In Love, Interpretation, Jeff Tweedy, Live, Nothing's Ever Gonna Stand In My Way Again, Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(Again), Summerteeth, Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
I don’t know if it was meant to be this way, but I’ve always felt like “Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway(again)” is a sequel to “I’m Always In Love.” The fact that they appear back-to-back on Summerteeth only furthers this belief. “I’m Always In Love” is about a destructive, harmful relationship; while “Nothing’severgonnastandinmyway(again) deals with the recovery and rebuilding process.
The opening line is a statement of reassurance: “We’ll find a way, regardless/To make some sense out of this mess.” The “mess” he’s talking about is the constant fighting from “I’m Always In Love.” It’s going to be hard on the relationship, but it’s going to make them stronger in the end. (“It’s a test, but I believe/A kiss is all we need”) Really, it’s pretty naïve to think all of those problems could be resolved that easily. The other person in the relationship knows that it won’t be that easy, and tries to talk the narrator out of it. She says they’re wasting time, and sarcastically says “Oh, you’re right/’But I believe, a kiss is all we need.’”
The potential for that awful relationship to start back up again is reflected in the verse. “A watch that ticks is wrapped around my wrist/Oh, no/I’m a bomb regardless” is a reflection on his temper, saying he could start a fight at any moment. Still, this feeling of blind optimism (the chorus) is what keeps him going. As long as he continues to tell himself they can work out their problems, he’ll feel alright.
This song was one of the first to really jump at me from Summerteeth. Along with “I’m Always In Love”, “Can’t Stand It”, and “ELT”, it had a very slick sound that I didn’t think Wilco could pull off. (I bought the album after A.M., Being There, and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) However, I was very pleasantly surprised. I haven’t heard it live yet, but it’s definitely on the list of songs I’d like to hear them do. (It’s a long list, believe me…)