Friday, May 29, 2009

Tribute To Jay Bennett- His Last Wilco Show

Sad news this week with the death of former Wilco member, Jay Bennett at the age of 45 years old. As of this writing the cause of his death isn't known as he died in his sleep on May 24th, but for more information and more details about Jay's life read this piece in the Chicago Tribune.

Earlier in the month, Jay launched a lawsuit against his former band-mate Jeff Tweedy for breach of contract for his work with the band. I'm not sure how much money he was seeking, but my guess is he was desperate for money for a hip replacement which he could not afford because he didn't have health insurance. Legal wrangling aside, most of Wilco's best work was from the Bennett-era and nothing beats the 1-2-3 punch of Being There, Summerteeth and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

As a tribute I'm posting Jay Bennett's last show as a member of Wilco, the 4th of July show from 2001 that was featured in the film, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart: A Film About Wilco. This recording is an excellent show, both performance and sound quality as it was a radio broadcast, a must listen for any hardcore and casual Wilco fan.

A side note: I saw Wilco in Minneapolis on June 29 and 30th (also the first 2 shows for drummer Glenn Kotche), it was Jay's last club shows and still the best Wilco shows I've been to!


Petrillo Band Shell,
Grant Park
Chicago, IL

1. I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
2. War On War
3. A Shot In The Arm
4. She's A Jar
5. I'm Always In Love
6. Airline To Heaven
7. Feed Of Man
8. Remember The Mountain Bed
9. California Stars
10. Kamera
11. Ashes Of American Flags
12. Red-Eyed And Blue
13. I Got You (At The End Of The Century)

Encore 1:
14. I'm The Man Who Loves You
15. Sunken Treasure
16. Outta Mind (Outta Sight)

Download-Wilco 7-4-01 .rar

Thursday, May 21, 2009

It's Only Rock 'N' Roll- Daytrotter Session

Since I'm on a Juliana Hatfield posting run, I thought I would share a recent performance/recording taken from the Daytrotter website. Juliana stopped by the Daytrotter studio in Rock Island, IL to record 4 songs. This is a live, raw recording, just Juliana and her acoustic guitar, with no overdubs and straight to tape. She performs 2 songs from her latest album, How To Walk Away, as well as an unreleased song, Butterflies (that will be on her new album) and a cover of the Rolling Stones classic, It's Only Rock 'N' Roll (But I Like It). During all four songs you can hear in Juliana's voice the passion and enjoyment of playing music, if you're a fan of listening to music in it's bare-bones form (As I do!), you will enjoy this session. The songs are beautiful in their stripped down versions and in some ways are more honest and heartfelt.

Her interpretation of It's Only R'n'R, is interesting as she alters the arrangement and gives it her own spin. She describes the song like this: Most people, when they think of this song, think of the chorus, and Mick Jagger's aggressive presentation: "I know it's only rock and roll but I like it like it yes I do!" but I think the lyrics in the verses are really touching and poignant, and so I do this pretty and quiet version of the song to emphasize the sadness and longing which are kind of disguised in the Stones' recorded version.

Nuff talk, Enjoy!

Daytrotter Sessions
(Not sure when it was actually recorded, but I guessing late 2008?)
Law Of Nature
So Alone
It's Only Rock 'N' Roll

Download: Juliana Hatfield Daytrotter Sessions 2009-05-14. rar

Monday, May 18, 2009

Juliana Hatfield's Lost Album...?

God's Foot was the name of Juliana Hatfield's unreleased album recorded in 1996 that never saw a proper release because her record label at the time, Atlantic Records was not satisfied with the album. Juliana terminated her relationship with Atlantic, but they refused to give the recording to her. Various reports claimed that Atlantic was willing to sell the album back to Juliana for about $200,000 roughly the cost of making the album so she could release it herself, but she felt though it was a good record, it wasn't worth it. She still can't release it now because she doesn't own the masters, but through the community of file-sharing and music downloading these recordings are out there and available for listening. On Juliana's excellent blog, An Arm and A Leg, she talks about why she was "angry and frustrated" with the versions of her unreleased God's Foot that popped up in cyberspace. She left all the mixes and songs and sequence unresolved and when people acquired the tracks from the sessions and put them in random order and called it, God's Foot it offended her. This is understandable because the artist should have control over what songs are left in, what order and the whole packaging right down to album sleeve and credit notes.
Juliana explains this better (quoted from her entry "Remember November" from her blog: An album that is made to be an album – a series of songs with an arc and a flow – and not a bunch of random songs or singles or “hits” or featured tracks – is called an album because it is presented to the world in a certain sequence. And it matters SO MUCH in what order the songs are presented. If the songs are switched around, it can make a good album a not so good album; something might be “off.” Some kind of je ne sais quoi might be lacking. A great sequence, along with good mix choices, can turn an alright bunch of songs into a whole cohesive listening experience.

But the Internet version(s) of “God’s Foot” were chopped up and haphazardly thrown together, Burroughs-style (and I never liked Burroughs). And it made me sad, etc.

So. That was my beef.

But as the years have passed my anger has faded. I know that the people who found the “God’s Foot” songs (and outtakes) only wanted to hear the music – they had no other way but to download them, since the record was never released (in CD or digital or any format) and since I cannot release it (I don’t own the masters). And I guess I am glad that people know the songs and enjoy them.

I do sympathize with her, but I know there are a lot of people that want to hear her music. I did come across this recording a number of years ago, I can't remember where I got the tracks from, it might have been the old Napster or Soulseek. I don't think I received it in a trade as I usually didn't trade in mp3's and I mainly traded live shows. Regardless, here's God's Foot presented in the original song order I received it. Enjoy! JULIANA HATFIELD God's Foot (unreleased) 1996
1. Fade Away 2. Mountains Of Love 3. Don't Need A Reason 4. Perfection 5. What Have I Done To You? 6. Losing Your Looks 7. Takin' It Easy 8. Can't Kill Myself 9. You Can't Put Your Arms Around A Melody 10. Chance Is Waiting 11. How Would You Know? 12. Eye To Eye 13. Charity 14. Jakes 15. Fade Away (Part Two) download the whole file (I couldn't upload a rar or zip file, I'm experiencing proxy/setting issues, sorry) p.s- for more information about God's Foot, check out Dan LeRoy's book, The Greatest Music Never Sold: Secrets Of Legendary Lost Albums, which features a chapter that tells the story of god's Foot.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

New Wilco- Wilco (the Album)

First there was Wilco the band, then the Wilco Book, now we have Wilco the Album and Wilco the song. On June 30th (or earlier if you hear a "leaked" copy), Wilco will release an album of new material called, you guessed it, Wilco. The lead off track titled appropriately, Wilco (the song) is a boogie number that has a bit of a Werewolves of London-feel to it, definitely a more upbeat rock feel overall. This is a release I've been eagerly anticipating and I don't think I'll be able to wait until the official release date for a listen. If you want to hear the goods now, Wilco's official site, Wilcoworld is streaming the entire album for your listening enjoyment. Let me know what you think, I've heard the first couple songs and it seems promising and returns to a sound closer to YHF than the most recent albums. Indeed, a return date to Winnipeg (or close by, Minneapolis perhaps?) would be very welcome and hearing live versions of these new songs will be a treat.
Wilco (the song)
Deeper Down
One Wing
Bull Black Nova
You And I
You Never Know
Country Disappeared
I'll Fight
Sonny Feeling
Everlasting Everything

WILCO (The album) stream

Elvis Is Coming!!

Yes!!! The Winnipeg Folk Festival announced yesterday that Elvis Costello will kick off an expanded 5-day version of this year's festival by playing with his band the Imposters on Wednesday July 8th at Birds Hill Park. This special night will be a separate ticket from the weekend 4-day pass which is good news for me as I plan to go see Elvis and maybe nothing else. I struggle every year with the decision to attend and nowadays there has to be a special draw to drag my lazy ass to the festival. Last year it was the Kink's Ray Davies and Kathleen Edwards and the year before it was Neko Case and Son Volt that got my attention. I'm glad to see Elvis is playing on an evening date (as opposed to a full fee day $70) that will only set me back $40 and this is very exciting news for a picky concert goer like myself. Elvis Costello is in my top 10 bands/musicians I would like to see live, but I would have preferred an indoor venue such as the Burt, Pantages, Concert Hall or even the MTS Centre. I guess I shouldn't be so picky, he hasn't played in Winnipeg since 1978, so I'll have to get there early and stake my plot of ground to sit on reasonably close to the stage if I want a chance to actually see him instead of relying on the unreliable video screens.
This is a must see!
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