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Monday Music: Not really country

3 May 10 | Re: Downbeat spectacular

Wilco are a not-really-country band best known for putting loads of feedback in the middle of their records for no reason at all. But before they did that they made Summerteeth, an album full of delicate, intricate arrangements and heartfelt, sometimes startlingly insightful words. Here’s this week’s track:

She’s a Jar by Wilco on We7

You can hear the beginnings of the five-minutes-of-feedback era Wilco in this and a couple of the other tracks on Summerteeth, in that there are moments when the arrangement seems to unravel slightly and threaten to collapse into dissonant, arhythmic lurching. But it never quite does, which leads to music on a razor’s edge, neatly mirroring the precarious mental state of the fairly miserable protagonist as he hovers around a breakdown.

Note that I’m NOT taking that to mean that Wilco lyricist Jeff Tweedy is on the point of a breakdown, and that NOT all of the songs on the album are miserable. I don’t think She’s a Jar is even miserable, so much as wistful. And very beautiful.

If I had the technology I might mash it up with Lucky Man by the Verve, since the underlying chords are quite similar. The Verve are sometimes hailed as super sonic innovators themselves, but Wilco make them look like Scouting for Girls.

Posted by THE BIG BOSSMAN at 18:51

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