Filed under: Summerteeth | Tags: B-Bender, Death, ELT, Guitar, Jay Bennett, Jeff Tweedy, Love, Pot Kettle Black, Relationship, Solo, Summerteeth, Violence, Wilco
Time to revisit that classic theme of violence in Summerteeth. Really, you get it right off the bat on “ELT” with “”Oh, what have I been missing/wishing that you were dead?” While the album is really pretty and poppy (musically speaking), the dark lyrics provide a really great contrast that makes the songs on the album unlike anything else. Really, it reminds me of some older country songs that have bouncy music with lyrics about loss and sadness. I doubt that’s what Wilco was going for, since this album marked their departure from country music. (Even with the B-Bender guitar)
The lyrics are about the post-relationship feeling that you have to destroy the other person and keep them from being happy. Sure, we’ve all held grudges… It just seems like the narrator of this song is a little obsessive about it. He says over and over that “Every little thing/Every little thing/Every little thing is gonna tear you apart.” Still, when he looks back on the relationship, he sees the mistakes that he made, leading to the collapse of it all. He even admits “Every little thing that you do/Seems so much better than I could do.” Did he expect her to stick around and put up with all of his faults? If so, I guess he was in for a rude awakening…
“ELT” is a really strong song that sounds cool during Jeff Tweedy’s solo shows, too. The opening guitar lick is awfully similar to the one found in “Pot Kettle Black” (not the only guitar similarity in that song [see the post]), though.
Filed under: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot | Tags: Criticism, Favorite, Guitar, In Between Days, Jay Bennett, Lollapalooza, Pot Calling The Kettle Black, Pot Kettle Black, Similarities, The Cure, Video, Wilco, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
I’ve been waiting a long time to do this one! There are so many different parts I could rant about… There are the whines of feedback in the background, Jay Bennett’s B-Bender guitar, the hushed vocals, and all of the other things that are happening in this poppy-yet-dramatic number. I guess I’ll start with something I discovered the other day…
The guitar intro sounds just like “In Between Days” by The Cure. I’m not a big fan of theirs, but I had heard from a friend that the songs were pretty similar, so I gave it a listen. I was expecting some little riff that would sound the same, but when I found out that the parts were almost identical, I was stunned. Of course, this was probably (or at least hopefully) unintentional, but not even that coincidence could make me love this song any less.
When you look at the lyrics, there’s a lot of emotion in them. That’s what makes the quiet vocals so powerful The narrator is being very critical and condescending to someone. The line “It’s become so obvious/That you are so oblivious to yourself” is a major insult to throw at someone. What’s interesting is that the narrator realizes that he isn’t perfect. “You’re tied in a knot/But I’m not/Gonna get caught/Calling the pot/Kettle black” references the saying “pot calling the kettle black” which is a statement about hypocrisy. The pot and the kettle are both black, so for the pot to reprimand the kettle for its color makes no sense.
The flaws in the narrator are pretty heavy. The first pre-chorus says it all: “I, myself, have found/A real rival in myself.” I think this explains the rest of the song pretty well: he is his own critic. He shouldn’t be spending all of this time criticizing himself when there’s no need for it. Especially when, in theory, he has no room to talk!
The Cure-”In Between Days” (:16 in)
Wilco-”Pot Kettle Black” live at Lollapalooza 2008