I’m Baaack

For once, I’ve had a decent reason to not post anything. Thanks to a dislocated ring finger, on top of hideous amounts of work, and root canal treatment (boy, has turning 40 been fun!), I’ve been unable to write much. Evenings have been spent lying on the sofa going “ow”, softly and gently. But now, the finger is starting to heal, my left hand has started to work properly again and so, for the first time in weeks, I can post something. Hurrah!

First off, here’s Wilco’s new single, called “I Might”, from their new record The Whole Love, out in September. As ever, it sounds much like Wilco but with new little details that keep you coming back for more. But aren’t you just a little bit disappointed they didn’t call the song “Wilco (The First Single From The New Album)”? And the album “Wilco (The New Album)”?

Just me then.

Loads more to come, hopefully.

Buy Wilco Stuff Here

Albums Of The Decade (Part Two)

Part two of my run through my favourite albums of the Noughties (will someone please think up a better name?). It’s a personal trip through what I’ve loved and listened to the most, and it’s not just a list of good albums with some great songs on that you get bored of half-way through (I’m looking at you Radiohead and White Stripes). These are all proper records, which I hope that people will still make in the age of downloads and blogs. You know, records you listen to all the way through. Remember that?

Part one is over here.

A Nerd, yesterday

N.E.R.D. – In Search Of… (2001, then 2002)

Main movers in the early Noughties explosion of forward-reaching hip-hop, this album rocks so much they re-recorded it with live instruments. For some reason not many people bought it. Maybe calling themselves “NERD” wasn’t a good idea. Shame, because it’s absolutely fantastic, and I’d forgotten quite how fantastic until I listened to it again recently. Better that Outkast.

MP3: <a href=’https://loftandlost.files.wordpress.com/2009/12/06-truth-or-dare-feat-kelis-and-ter.mp3′>Truth Or Dare by N.E.R.D. Track removed

Buy “In Search Of…” (CD/MP3)

Love This Cover...

Wilco – Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002)

Or how to be different, and how to use the Internet to get noticed, especially when you’ve been dumped by your record label. Not quite as forward-sounding now as it seemed then, but still a great record, and their best. See, Radiohead?

MP3: Jesus, Etc. by Wilco

Buy “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” (CD/MP3)

Beautiful in its Simplicity

Queens of the Stone Age – Songs For The Deaf (2002)

Dark, funny, twisted – the ultimate post-drink-and-drug filled debauchery album. Or, how to sing about the problems of getting fucked up, without moaning about how bad it is and how they are terribly, terribly sorry.

MP3: Hangin’ Tree by Queens Of The Stone Age

Buy “Songs For The Deaf” (CD)

Great Album, Terrible Cover

Broken Social Scene – You Forgot It In People (2002)

If you have this album, and haven’t listened to it in a while, go and do it now. If you haven’t got this album, go out and get it. This record shows how a diverse bunch of musicians can make an album that is uplifting, eccentric, full of life and love and sheer bloody joy. Oh, and tunes. Lots and lots of tunes.

MP3: Stars and Sons by Broken Social Scene

Buy “You Forgot It In People” (CD/MP3)

Better than BSS, But Only Just

Josh Rouse – Under Cold, Blue Stars (2002)

An album that envelops you in warmth, emotion, and tunes. So many, many tunes. Not revolutionary in any way whatsoever, but I adore it.

MP3: Nothing Gives Me Pleasure by Josh Rouse

Buy “Under Cold Blue Stars” (CD/MP3)

About A Million Times Better Than Mew's Other Album Covers

Mew – Frengers (2003)

That voice. That music. Drama, twisted tales of obsession and love and the loss of innocence, all over beautiful, inventive, gorgeous rock music. And that voice, again.

MP3: 156 by Mew

Buy “Under Cold Blue Stars” (CD/MP3)

We Recorded The Whole Thing Together, Honest

Outkast – Speakerboxxx/The Love Below (2003)

Breaking up is so hard to do, so why not just do two solo albums together, and make the best damn funk/soul/hip-hop/kitchen sink record ever? (A real toss-up between this and Stankonia, to be honest. This just about edges it)

MP3: GhettoMusick by Outkast Track removed

Buy “Speakerboxxx / The Love Below”

Albums Of The Decade (Part One)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Three)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Four)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Five)

Albums Of The Decade (Part Six)

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Wilco (The Blog Post)

I finally got round to buying the new Wilco album the other day, cunningly titled “Wilco (The Album)”. And then a little thought struck me, and that thought was “You’ve hardly listened to their last album yet”. So I listened to “Sky Blue Sky”. And then I listened to it again. And then I thought, it’s actually quite good. Sure, not “Being There” or “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” good, but much better than “A Ghost Is Born”.

The usual Wilco ingredients are here; the up-tempo stompers, the downtempo meditations on love and depression, the one or two absolutely and utterly dreadful songs (I’m looking in your direction, “Shake It Off” and “Hate It Here”). And Nels Cline really is cementing his position as best alt-rock guitarist around, isn’t he? Check out the solo here, on “Impossible Germany”:

Which is, of course, all rather nice and what you’d expect of me by now, what with my total inability to listen to stuff when it’s actually released. And yes, I do feel old listening to this. It’s music for the middle-aged part of us, and frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Anyway, I thought I’d post a song from “Sky Blue Sky” and one of my favourite older Wilco songs, featuring the late departed Jay Bennett. Jay’s departure from Wilco was covered heavily in the film “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart” and let’s just say that no-one came out of it well. I remember seeing the film and feeling bad for Jay; he seemed like a decent chap, stuck in a band that was moving away from what he’d wanted it to be, with Jeff Tweedy’s passive-aggressiveness bringing out the worse in everyone. He’ll be sadly missed – a great musician, and writer of some truly great songs.

MP3: The Thanks I Get by WIlco

MP3: Can’t Stand It by Wilco

Buy “Sky Blue Sky” (CD)

Buy “Summerteeth” (CD/MP3)

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