New Wilco - Sky Blues Sky

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D. Phillips
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Post by D. Phillips » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:27 pm

Jake wrote:List out the names of the albums that were released in your timespan (or your "six in a row") and you'll often find the dud...

Oh, and Neil Young had 7 in a row:

1969 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere
1970 After the Gold Rush
1972 Harvest
1973 Time Fades Away [live]
1974 On the Beach
1975 Tonight's the Night
1975 Zuma

But you can't find a whole 10 years where he (or any band!) was great.

I'm suggesting that it's probably time we give up on our faves from the 90s (Beck, Wilco, who else?)... At least for a while. They might come back and surprise us after a decade or two or mediocrity...
I would argue that Time Fades Away is a better memory than an album. Go back and listen. It ain't that great.

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Post by Nicolson » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:32 pm

Such venom! Are we kicking over our idols already?

Sorry, I can't pass judgement on a whole album on the basis of 2 songs...one of which I actually think is very listenable (and one of which isn't). I gotta hear the whole thing before I consign Wilco to the dustbin of hstory and start crossing fingers for a comeback.

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Post by Tom4 » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:34 pm

A few things:

1. I still like A Ghost is Born. Call me crazy. Besides, I like pretty, so we'll see how I feel about Sky Blue Sky (or Blue Sky Blue, whatever the fuck it's called). I didn't really get into that "Is that the thanks I get?" song, but apparently that's not on the disc.

2. Yoshimi is certainly not a dud. And though At War with the Mystics isn't fantastic compared to their previous two albums, I still like it.

3. Radiohead is the best band of all time, so they should be exempt from such judgement. Though The Bends is an incredible album.

4. Decemberists = 4 great albums in a row in 5 years. Just saying, for future reference.....

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Post by Jake » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:40 pm

Nobody's (explicitly) saying that Wilco's new album is going to suck. We're just celebrating the fact that they've had a pretty good run in the grand scheme of things. Can we expect them (or anyone) to continue to be great forever. No, we cannot. At least not without a few patches of sucktitude along the way.

And hey, everybody loves lite rock. Especially if it gets a little jazzy! Right?
Last edited by Jake on Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.

D. Phillips
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Post by D. Phillips » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:41 pm

Jake wrote:Nobody's (explicitly) saying that Wilco's new album is going to suck. We're just celebrating the fact that they've had a pretty good run in the grand scheme of things. Can we expect them (or anyone) to continue to be great forever. No, we cannot.

And hey, everybody loves lite rock. Especially if it gets a little jazzy! Right?
UGH

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Post by Nicolson » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:50 pm

Jake wrote: And hey, everybody loves lite rock. Especially if it gets a little jazzy! Right?
Bite your tongue, Jake.

Actually, I think Wilco is a band that tends to suffer from expectations: a bunch of alt-country types hated Yankee, a bunch of Yankee fans hated Ghost Is Born...and so on. Personally, I was looking forward to this one when Tweedy said it'd have a Fela Kuti-type dance influence. (Guess it was too much to hope for.)

We'll see--while I don't expect another Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, or even Ghost Is Born, I want to reserve judgement, because I think the final product may end up much better than the sum of these two songs. You can't be great forever, but you can be consistently good (but when you go from being great to being merely good you get kicked, yeah? Because you're only as good as your last record, according to a lot of conventional wisdom. I wonder if that won't happen here.)

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Post by D. Phillips » Fri Mar 02, 2007 4:56 pm

Nicolson wrote:
Bite your tongue, Jake.

Actually, I think Wilco is a band that tends to suffer from expectations: a bunch of alt-country types hated Yankee, a bunch of Yankee fans hated Ghost Is Born...and so on. Personally, I was looking forward to this one when Tweedy said it'd have a Fela Kuti-type dance influence. (Guess it was too much to hope for.)

We'll see--while I don't expect another Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, or even Ghost Is Born, I want to reserve judgement, because I think the final product may end up much better than the sum of these two songs. You can't be great forever, but you can be consistently good (but when you go from being great to being merely good you get kicked, yeah? Because you're only as good as your last record, according to a lot of conventional wisdom. I wonder if that won't happen here.)
As a matter of criticism, yes you are only as good as your last record.

And I think the point of Jake's question is still being missed here.

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Post by beginthebegin » Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:02 pm

Tom4 wrote:1. I still like A Ghost is Born. Call me crazy.
I love A Ghost is Born. Maybe more than YHF. I've never really understood why it was perceived as a disappointment to so many Wilco fans.

Although, I will admit, my love for the record really grew once I saw them play it live. The songs seemed a bit more dynamic in the live setting

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Post by Nicolson » Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:08 pm

D. Phillips wrote: As a matter of criticism, yes you are only as good as your last record.
Sure, but my point is that I think Wilco get (unfairly) slapped by a lot of people--and critics--not on the actual merits of each album, but because people bring certain expectations of what a Wilco album should sound like, based on the last one (or the one they first liked).

Jake's point about bands' consistency/excellence is absolutely fair enough (but the lite rock!? Although I do have that closet fetish for Barry Manillow...)

I agree that everybody drops a dud at some point. (All I'm saying is that I'm not ready to say this is the one for Wilco without hearing the album first.)

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Post by Jake » Fri Mar 02, 2007 5:09 pm

Nicolson wrote:You can't be great forever, but you can be consistently good (but when you go from being great to being merely good you get kicked, yeah?
Absolutely. It's all about expectations. When you set the bar high, there's nowhere to go but down...or something. I don't know.

I'm very very very excited to 1) hear this album, and 2) see what people think of it. You're right. Wilco's fans have been notorious haterz as long as I've been a fan (shortly before Being There was released). I remember people bitching about Being There as being too this and too that. Fill in the blank for the whiner's angle of choice.

So now I'm turning into one of those assholes. Maybe... All I'm saying is there better be some good songs on this new album. Or else I'm moving on.

To quote my man, Neil: Oh! I've loved you so long...

And (equally apropos, perhaps):
I was down on a frown when the messenger brought me a letter
I was raised by the praise of a fan who said I upset her
Any girl in the world could have easily known me better
She said, You're strange, but don't change, and I let her.

In a while will the smile on my face turn to plaster?
Stick around while the clown who is sick does the trick of disaster
For the race of my head and my face is moving much faster
Is it strange I should change? I don't know, why don't you ask her?
(The best version of this song, of course, is on Trans. Which I listened to recently, and holy crap, "Computer Cowboy AKA Syscrusher" is fucking badass awesome.)

I came this close to buying Tom Petty's latest album and John Mellencamp's today at lunch. I'm 100% serious. Non sequitur? I don't know. I'm betting they're good. Think I'll sniff them out a little before I fork over my cash though...

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