Live: Wilco Braves The Elements In Central Park

Wilco w/Nick Lowe
Central Park SummerStage
Friday, September 23

Better than: Standing in one place for two hours in the rain in Central Park without Wilco.

The dudes from NYCTaper peer up at the steady falling rain and the umbrella perched over their microphones, worried that the drops' patter might turn up on their recording of Wilco's Friday night SummerStage show. The band hits the stage at 7 sharp in hopes of avoiding a major downpour (it only sort of comes), and as it happens, the hard drizzle provides a perfect ambient counterpoint to "One Sunday Morning (For Jane Smiley's Boyfriend)," the set's 12-minute opener.

The final song on the band's new The Whole Love (out officially on Tuesday), "One Sunday Morning" is stately and somber, with lyrics about (seems like) a son burying a father; a gracefully relaxed and too-short guitar coda that might be the most authentically Grateful Dead-sounding bit of music Wilco has yet written caps the song. With the rain, and the song's miniscule and finely controlled build, it is an entrancing opener.

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Wilco at Keyspan Park (The Live Review)

Wilco/Yo La Tengo
13 July 2009
KeySpan Park
Brooklyn, NY

Things Wilco are not (the American Radiohead; uncute). Things Wilco are (strummable; a great band to sing along to on a breezy eve on Coney Island, where they played last night in centerfield of KeySpan Park). Steeplechase attractions once existing on approximate site of centerfield stage (race course, airship tower).

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Greatest Photograph Ever Taken, Contestant #1: Ed Droste and Feist Ride the Cyclone

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From the Grizzly Bear singer/lead Twitterer's Twitter comes this delightful snapshot from last night's star-studded Wilco/Yo La Tengo fete at Coney Island, about which much more later. The two gentlemen behind Droste and Feist have no idea they're sharing a car with such indie-rock royalty, and in fact appear to be contemplating vomiting all over themselves instead. (The Cyclone felled one ordinarily super-macho Voice critic at last year's Siren Fest, so there's no shame in that as such.) We will vigilantly monitor Yo La Tengo's Twitter for a similar shot of Georgia and Ira. You're welcome.

Jay Bennett, 1963-2009

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The terrible news that singer-songwriter/multi-instrumentalist/producer/former Wilco cohort Jay Bennett died in his sleep at age 45 over the weekend will both draw attention to his most recent solo album, Whatever Happened I Apologize (still officially available as a free download here) and make that record extraordinarily hard to listen to. Though there's occasional adornment--a drum-machine drive-by, say--most often it's just his guitar and his voice, pouring directly into your ear, intimate, but the way a barfight or a head-butt is intimate.

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Wilco's Album-Leak Damage Control: "Everyone Was Talking About Us!"

I have tremendous sympathy for bands whose new records leak months prior to their release dates, perhaps borne of a vivid, unpleasant memory of a 2006 Shins CMJ gig wherein all the stage banter was them moaning, in an unconvincingly jocular manner, about the recent inadvertent Internet unveiling of Wincing the Night Away, an example cited in Douglas Wolk's outstanding Spin piece on such piracy. So while Wilco (The Album), street date June 30. made for lovely afternoon listening yesterday (it leaked, so they streamed it on their site for free), man, that's a shit sandwich.

The upside, apparently: People sure did Twitter about Wilco a lot yesterday!

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What the Hell, Let's Go Listen to Wilco: The Album

Verily, the new Wilco record, i.e. Wilco: The Album, though not out officially until late June, is currently streaming at Leadoff track is "Wilco: The Song." Its resemblance to "Werewolves of London" is not at all unpleasant. Midway through an initial listen, "One Wing" appears to be the jam, though "You and I" is a lovely Feist duet. (Key sentiment: "I don't wanna know everything about you.") Have at it.

Jeff Tweedy's Son Has a Blog and Is Way Cooler Than You, Evidently

Categories: Featured, Wilco

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Rocking in the free world.

So at Tuesday night's Neil Young blowout at Madison Square Garden, about which I will have more to say later, opener Wilco unveiled their newest member: Spencer Tweedy, Jeff's precocious son, who was celebrating his 13th birthday. At his father's request, we all sang "Happy Birthday" to Spencer, before he jumped on the drums and joined Wilco for a song. Yes, indeed.

This experience is documented on Spencer's official blog, which is the latest thing to make me feel incredibly old, hot on the heels of the revelation that the blog nudecelebritydeathsuv is real. Let's let the kid bask in the limelight for a second:

On my birthday, I was introduced and came on stage with Wilco, to open for Neil Young. The Garden was filled with 15,000 people, whom which sang "Happy Birthday" to me. As any kid in that situation would do, I blushed, but quickly recovered to play drums. I played one of my dad's songs, The Late Greats. I had been carefully rehearsing it the past couple of days, though I had already known the beat since it was released. Before I went on stage, my mom was more nervous than I was. She was practically hyperventilating! The whole thing was captured on HD cameras and will be used in my upcoming Bar-Mitzvah video. What a great experience!

Now if you'll excuse me, I have a social-security check to cash.