Thursday, March 08, 2007

Jeff or Jay? You Choose..

When Uncle Tupelo broke up 13 years ago it was sad, we were losing a truly great band with two extremely talented songwriters. This loss turned out to be a blessing, as both Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar split to form two separate bands, Wilco and Son Volt. Both bands have explored different musical styles and directions, both bands have undergone many personal changes and both songwriter's have enjoyed successful solo ventures. I own all their albums and CD's, but I'm definitely more of a Wilco completist. I have at least three boxes of Wilco's live recordings, two Wilco books ("The Wilco Book" and "Learning How To Die"), one DVD (I Am Trying To Break Your Heart) and have seen the band 4 times (twice in Minneapolis and twice in Winnipeg).

It's appropriate that Son Volt and Wilco are releasing albums a few months from each other, since I saw both bands live last summer. Wilco at the Burton Cummings Theatre on Canada Day (July 1) and Son Volt at the Winnipeg Folk festival a week later, both excellent shows.

SON VOLT - The Search (released March 6, 2007)
On Son Volt's 5th album, they tone down the driving guitars of 2005's Okemah and the Melody of Riot and have released probably Jeff's most mature work to date. Farrar pulls together a full and powerful sound offering a finer balance of piano, organ, guitar and even horns. I've only listened to this disc once through and my first impression is it may not rock as much as Okemah, and it may take repeated listenings to really appreciate it, but so far I'm not disappointed.

The Picture
Adrenaline And Heresy
Automatic Society
( - listen to the Search, Circadian Rhythm, Metamphetamine)

WILCO - Sky Blue Sky (to be released May 15, 2007)
A few days ago I read that the upcoming Wilco CD has leaked and has appeared on various blogs and torrent file sharing sites. Worried about being caught out of the loop, I immediately searched and found the complete recording of Sky Blue Sky. There is an uncertainty whether this is the recording that will actually appear on the upcoming disc in May or if it's a preliminary mix. Either way, I've had a quick listen and it's not bad, I've literary only had a chance to listen to this at work today and at home while making dinner. I'll have to sit down and have a listen with the headphones to get a much clearer idea. First impressions: It seems mellower, a couple songs recall earlier Wilco (alt-country-ish), extended guitar solos (similar to Ghost), more keyboards, a little sparser be the judge, comments?

Either Way
Sky Blue Sky
Side with Seeds
Shake It Off
( - listen to What Light)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Binky

I just heard Wilco for the 1st time yesterday on Q. Not bad. I will have to give them more of a listen.

Being the old fart type I will probably buy the CD's if I like the demo's.


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