wilco on Elsewhere by Graham Reid - browse 56 items of content tagged as 'wilco'.
Artists who make lurching changes of direction often revert to prior form after a while: Certainly after U2's darker trilogy -- Achtung Baby, Zooropa and Pop -- they went back to their familiar stadium-shaped mainstream ballads, and Radiohead's most recent output has been more accessible than the unsettling Ok Computer and Kid A.
Still sounding like they were
breast-fed equal parts Grateful Dead, early Neil Young, White
Album-era Beatles and Elton John's country-flavoured Tumbleweed
Connection-gone-grunge, Blitzen Trapper -- an always interesting outfit from
Portland -- constantly defy expectation but shift easily from songs
about drinkin' whisky in a car to...
Those with a passing interest in Ryan Adams' highly productive career -- which most recently stretched to published books of poetry -- will be understandably bewildered that there is a new album, given he announced his retirement in '09 . . . and subsequently kept releasing albums from his not inconsiderable song vaults.
This solo album...
Whenever anyone speaks of the No
Depression movement – the alt.country and roots music which emerged
in the early Nineties -- one band's name is always mentioned: The
Out of Minneapolis, the five-piece
Jayhawks influenced bands such as Uncle Tupelo (which split to form
Wilco and Son Volt) and their first two major label...
With a new album by Ryan Adams due in a month (Ashes and Fire) some might wonder why this guy holds such a powerful place in many people's affections. After all he -- Prince-like -- became so prolific for a while he was impossible to keep up with a pain for record company. Many lost track of him.
But the five star Gold from exactly a decade...
Somebody at the University of Applied Narcotics in San Francisco has probably written a thesis about Bob Dylan's bizarre film career. Like Neil Young, Dylan appears in movies which make little sense to anyone, possibly even himself.
Yet it all started so well.
The terrific doco Don't Look Back, by Don Pennebaker, of Dylan's brief British...
Acapulco in Mexico is widely known as a party destination for many Americans, but in Bob Dylan's Goin' to Acapulco -- which appeared on The Basement Tapes -- the mood is anything but celebratory, party-on-dude and joyous.
Dylan and the Band drag their way through the lyrics as if the weight of the world was on their shoulders, and the idea...
While it's interesting to read in a promo slip that this new album by the so-far fascinating Felice Brothers "casts scenes of dreamy characters and stories interwoven like a block of primetime TV", this is promo-hype.
It presumes you will actually be engaged enough to listen with unswerving intensity through the sonic haze of...
Andrew McKenzie is the singer-guitarist in the New Zealand band Grand Prix which has long delivered a very pointed kind of slightly snarling alt.country with a rock'n'roll heartbeat and a dark, unsettling edge.
For this album under his own name McKenzie (who plays almost everything from drums and bass to harmonica and sitar) mines some of...
Their name might not inspire much confidence -- the sort of band name 12-year olds think up -- but this rootsy, alt.country and indie-rock outfit from Seattle on a SubPop imprint label have a mainline connection to the same core of music (Neil Young, the Band) as informs the Felice Brothers, early Wilco and Richmond Fontaine.
This raw, sometimes wilfully ragged and largely terrific duo of Alec Withers (vocals, guitars) and drummer-singer Andrew Gladstone formerly in Garageland (and a couple of friends in places) deliver up hook-filled alt.country rock which owes a nod to Joe Strummer as much as Steve Earle, and they also possesses that free-wheeling spirit which made...
Eitzel was the former frontman for the very wonderful but poorly named American Music Club (probably still is, I think they have reformed) but this solo album dates from a retreat to a cabin (around Klamath Falls in central Oregon I guess) a year or so ago.
As befits it origins this is very intimate music -- although far from the...
Langford was in the UK punk-era Mekons way back but has in more recent times embraced a kind of folk-punk Americana and played with the likes of Ryan Adams and Alejandro Escovedo.
Chicago-based, he's also a well-known artist (lots of covers for the Chicago label Bloodshot).
With Skull Orchard he parlays a rough-edged country-rock with a...
As a founder member of the Jayhawks - and for the album '09 Ready for the Flood with former-Hawk Gary Louris -- Olson would always command a fair hearing, but this 11 track outing with roots of fingerpicking Anglofolk as much as Americana becomes a very difficult haul.
Although Olson seems to have put some of his demons behind him his vocals...
More so than their previous releases, this band from the Pacific Northwest seem to ladle in dollops of trippy glam-adelica in the opening overs of this thoroughly enjoyable outing. It's as if a thinking person's band from the late Sixties or mid Seventies has beamed down into the post-grunge pop world (or vice-versa) of Portland and whatever the...
Against expectation, 2005 was a rare year for 64-year old Bob Dylan, especially since he hadn’t had an album of new material out in four years. Yet Dylan seemed to be everywhere in 2005, and it announced his rehabiliation for casual listeners -- and prepared the ground for his critically acclaimed 2006 album Modern Times.
Frankly, I want to like the National more, but their almost willfully/arty obscurantism is often off-putting. The DVD which came with their extended EP A Skin/A Night, The Virginia EP seemed like an attempt at creating depth in something which was inherently ordinary.
And I feel a little the same about this album: the all-in production...
From the rollicking singalong which opens the new Mermaid Avenue album by Billy Bragg, you know something is different. There’s Bragg and the American band Wilco in a swaggering tale of looking for booze and, to put it delicately, female companionship.
From there on it’s a strange trip with Bragg and the band: an old man’s...
Recently an interesting film turned up on TV, but not
interesting in a good way. It was Catch Us If You Can, the mid-1960s vehicle for
the Dave Clark Five, a pop group briefly touted to challenge the Beatles'
This was the DC5's A Hard Day's Night. But it wasn't. Where
the Beatles' flick had a snappy script and knowing wit,...
widely regarded one of the great rock bands Wilco -- the vehicle for
singer-songwriter Jeff Tweedy -- had its origins in the
Illinois-based band Uncle Tupelo which drew from post-punk rock and
alt.country music equally.
school friends Tweedy and Jay Farrar steered Uncle Tupelo from the
late 80s up to the acrimonious...
It's instructive but perhaps unfair to
put this album from the former member of Drive By Truckers alongside
their most recent album, The Big To-Do: after a flawed solo
debut Sirens of the Ditch in 07 Isbell here sounds in command
again, whereas the Truckers album is pretty ropey in places.
Here Isbell and his band (on an album
While no one would suggest that Wilco's Jeff Tweedy is on happy pills -- the glum Country Disappeared and Bull Black Nova here would deny that -- he is clearly a very different man than he was around the time of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.
The chunky rockist opener on this seventh studio album -- yes, it is called "Wilco (the album)" --...
This sextet from the Pacific North West hasn’t made much of an impact here, despite three albums which have drawn critical comparisons with Neil Young (in his acoustic and rock personae), Fleet Foxes and Wilco (both of whom they have opened for), folky Dylan and even Rubber Soul-era Beatles (albeit with a country-rock skew).
The singer-songwriter behind this gorgeously tuneful, lyrically probing debut is Simone Felice of the terrific Felice Brothers, two times Best of Elsewhere artists (2007, 2008) for their amalgam of ragged-but-right country which owed huge debts to the early Band and country-styled Bob Dylan, but who put their own stamp on proceedings.
This exceptional, and exceptionally consistent, group out of Portland with songwriter and novelist Willy Vlautin at its core has appeared at Elsewhere previously. Way back in 2005 with the penetrating album The Fitzgerald, and later for Vlautin's stark novel The Motel Life which invites favourable comparisons with writers such as Larry...
For a while in the late Eighties/early Nineties alt.country was an exciting but difficult music to follow: no sooner had you tuned in to Uncle Tupelo than they split (Jay Farrar to found Son Volt, Jeff Tweedy and the rest to form Wilco); then Jay Bennett was out of Wilco and into a solo career (his death a few months ago was a bitter coda to...
Part way through this insightful, beautifully shot mix of live concert footage and Wilco on the road, mainman Jeff Tweedy notes how he loves representational art and music in that the music can paint a picture which can be etched in the memory, an image of something like an urban landscape.
By deliberate counterpoint one of the band...
The Truckers inspire passionate loyalty for their Southern-framed country rock'n'roll and literate, sometimes provocative, lyrics.
They often make you want to crack the top off a beer and kick back, but the words touch some deep and dark places as well.
Here they open with a weary song about a guy at the gates of Heaven ("two...
Over the Christmas 07-08 period I heard a radio interview with a young musician denouncing the gross villany of major record companies -- about which I expect he had no personal experience -- and pointing to Radiohead's on-line/download release in October 2007 of In Rainbows (with buyers paying what they liked for it) as evidence the music...
For some people the radar-avoiding WGC are like an alt.country version of the late and lamented Australian band the Go-Betweens. Not for any similarity in sound, but in that if you discovered the songwriting skills early you tended to follow the central members' every move (solo or with the band).WGC has largely been the vehicle of Robert Fisher...
This son of Richard and Linda keeps good company: among his friends and fellow travellers are the Wainwrights (Rufus, Martha, and their father Loudon), guitarist Marc Ribot, the Band's Garth Hudson and other hip congnoscenti.His last album Upfront and Down Low was mostly a country covers outing. And despite possessing the same kind of effete...
Some artists may always be the private passion of a few, and you sense this American singer-songwriter is hailed by some and utterly unfamiliar to most, many of whom would like him if they only knew.
Rouse has been a regular at Elsewhere and his albums like Under Cold Blue Stars (02), the slightly troublking 1972 (of 03 when some said he'd...
Some years ago when I was at the Herald yet another CD for review arrived in the post and took its place on the huge pile of "discs to be listened to".
I have no idea why out of the stack of worthies I picked up the album by Miracle Mile laterand played it one night at home when no one was around: but I am glad I did because I was...
This alt.country/rock singer out of Austin and Berklee College of Music in Boston came to attention with her 2006 solo album Seven Angels on a Bicycle which won great praise from the likes of Lucinda Williams and Elsewhere for its melodic darkness delivered by Rodriguez in a voice pitched somewhere between innocence and experience. And she...
After establishing himself as the downbeat and somewhat gloomy singer-songwriter living in a half-lit corner of oldtime Americana, Will Oldham (aka Bonnie Prince Billy, Palace, Palace Brothers etc etc) sounds like he has changed his listening habits and maybe gone into a sun-soaked cornfield.Some will find this disappointing and it does need to...
This son of Bob will be 40 next year and has a substantial career behind him with the Wallflowers (five albums) plus some high-profile guest spots. But with this debut under his own name you have to ask, "Aren't you a bit young for this?"That's because the album is a stripped-back (mostly) solo affair produced by Rick Rubin who is...
This Adelaide singer-songwriter may sound a little weak in a couple of places here but that hasn't stopped some high-power friends lining up in a New York studio to help out on these delicate and somewhat stately alt.country songs: Ryan Adams (who co-wrote Let's Go), cellist Jane Scarpantoni, Adam Snyder and Grasshopper from Mercury Rev, and...
Don't be put off by the under-selling title here, this is much more than an EP (which I consider to be what, four, maybe five songs?)
This "EP" is a 12 track collection which features this group of New Yorkers on some new material, some rather smart demo tracks and three live songs (including a fine, scraped-cello version of...
From where I hear it, the last couple of U2 albums have been a musical retreat from their innovative albums of the early 90s such as Achtung Baby and Zooropa, the only albums by them I have ever taken seriously.
Prior to that I thought they were pompous, Bono’s messianic stage attitudes irritating when they weren’t plain...
As with the Traveling Wilburys these "brothers" (three, a cousin and a friend) all share the coincidence of the same surname, "Calico".
And as with the Wilburys they also share a love of clearly rendered country-pop pushed by acoustic guitars, distinctive vocals and memorable melodies.
This six-song EP (I leave it up to...
Louris was a founder of the cornerstone alt.country band the Jayhawks whose career in the 90s saw them weave their way from country-rock to post-grunge rock and sometimes pure pop
They were hard to get a bead on but that was the great pleasure of their career.
With the Jayhawks seemingly on hold Louris steps out for a debut album under his...
There's a brief scene in A Hard Day's Night that went right past most people at the time. Watch carefully in the first few minutes and you'll catch it.John Lennon is sitting in a railway carriage and holding a bottle of Coke. With a knowing look he sniffs, or more correctly, snorts it. It's the little things in life really, isn't it? Viewed from...
The best thing about being in a band? You get to stay up late and make a lot of noise, maybe make some money and become famous. If you want people to notice your group it's a good tip to all dress alike so when you walk in a room you come off like a gang. Black is good.Worst part about being in a band? Well, these two docos about noisy gang...
If these young guys had been around 35 years ago and come out with this album they would have been pegged as yet another "new Dylan".
And even now that's a tag they would seem happy with: the opener has the refrain "world gone wrong" which was Dylan album title, and Dylan's slower delivery is everywhere in these...
Although perhaps too referencing of Dylan and the Band holed up in the basement of the Big Pink, that doesn't mean this shakily delivered collection of Americana from these three brothers and a bassist isn't without considerable charm and lowkey impact.
And nope, there is no problem with your stereo during Hey Hey Revolver, that drop-out is...
Fortysomething years ago the New York filmmaker DA Pennebaker received an offer he couldn’t refuse -- and which would subsequently define the genre of rock documentaries, rockumentaries if you will.
The phone call came from Albert Grossman, the most important manager in music at the time after the Beatles’ Brian Epstein. Grossman...
South Island singer-songwriter Puffin came to national attention with an amusing doco which followed him on an extensive, smalltown tour.
The success of that film somewhat delayed this follow-up to his 2003 debut Stuff Like That (which went largely unnoticed it must be said).
Puffin has a strong sense of songcraft and there are songs...
Whispery pop of the old style (verse, chorus, verse, chorus etc) always gets a good hearing at Elsewhere. There is something magical and dreamy about the best of it -- and this is one of the best.
And both magical and dreamy.
This London-based band have now added violin and string arrrangements to their breathy songs, and recorded this...
The career trajectory of Wilco, helmed by Jeff Tweedy, has been fascinating to follow, if not always easy for many.
From alt.country through to ambitious and complex pop in the late 90s, they then made the "Radiohead leap" with Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in 2002 where the experimentation, noise factor and angularity of ther material was...
Although nominally a bluegrass band, this six-piece from Virginia (here produced by Jim Scott who did similar duties for Johnny Cash and Tom Petty) have staked a claim in alt.country and country-rock, so it is no surprise to see some overseas writers namechecking the late-period Byrds, the Band and early Wilco in articles.
When the Cowboy Junkies' breakthrough album The Trinity Sessions arrived in '87 music was getting noisy and Guns'N Roses stomped the planet. But the Junkies' famously cheap album -- recorded in a church for a couple of hundred dollars apparently -- captured the imagination, especially their version of Lou Reed's Sweet Jane.
The mood of the...
A couple of years ago -- around the time Bright Eyes (Conor Oberst to his parents) broke biggish with the two 2005 albums I'm Wide Awake, It's Morning and Digital Ash in a Digital Urn (the former of songs, the latter electronics) -- I was in Tower Records in Seattle.
I spotted a seven album Bright Eyes box set (yes, all vinyl) for some...
Any number of bands have been influenced by Lennon and McCartney, and a few by George Harrison. But the opener on this quietly terrific album suggests that the Bees have gone the path less travelled, and taken Ringo's jovial country covers as their reference point.
That track, the rollicking and likeable Who Cares What The Question Is?...
McCann was once in the Australian rock band the Drones who get my vote for their great album title: Wait Long By The River & The Bodies Of Your Enemies Will Float By. (Don't we wish?)
The Drones make dark and dramatic bluesy-rock which owes debts to diverse sources from Tom Waits and Neil Young, to fellow Aussie rockers the Triffids and...
I was sent an early copy of this album and invited to write the bio for Clancy -- an Auckland-based singer-songwriter I had not met or seen live.
I had no hesitation: this 11 song debut of originals was so full of lyrical maturity, sophisticated song writing, heartfelt songs and raw emotions (I'm now quoting from the bio, obviously) that I...
Richmond Fontaine come with big advance notices: the indie Americana band from
Portland broke big with their rowdy Post to Wire album two years ago, which drew
favourable comparisons with the Replacements, but for their follow-up, The
Fitzgerald, they have turned the volume way down.
Written by guitarist
Willy Vlautin while living at...
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