Friday, July 25, 2014

Music Library: Wilco, Wild Flag, Wild Magnolias, Wild Poppies, Wild Tchoupitoulas, Wilenski, Will and the Bushmen, Will Johnson, Will Kimbrough, Will Oldham, Willard Grant Conspiracy, William Basinski, William Bell, William S. Burroughs

More all-too-brief reviews.

Wilco - A.M. (1995), Being There (1996), Outta Print Outta Site (bootleg compilation, 1994-98), Summerteeth (1999), Summerteeth Demos (1998-99), Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Demos (2000), Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002), More Like The Moon EP (2003), A Wilco Anthology (bootleg compilation, 1994-2003), A Ghost Is Born (2004), The Wilco Book (2004), A Ghost Is Born Tour EP (2005), Kicking Television: Live In Chicago (2005), A Prairie Home Companion appearance (2007), Sky Blue Sky (2007), Wilco [The Album] (2009), The Whole Love (2011), June 1, 2013 Solid Sound Festival. Much love I have for Wilco, even as I have cared less and less about their output since A Ghost Is Born. And, see, on that album, I noticed how hard Jeff Tweedy was trying to sound like Nels Cline when it first dropped, and then Tweedy went and hired Cline to be in his band. They are one of the most exciting live bands out there, but I just can't work up much enthusiasm for the studio output. It's  pretty good, sure, but it doesn't blow my mind like they used to. I mean, I was there! I went to see them right before A.M. dropped, two or three times on the Being There tour, maybe three times for Summerteeth, a couple of times during the build-up to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and a few times since, although they're mostly outside of my price range now, because I am nothing if not cheap. And I can't name a single song on Wilco [The Album] without looking. Here's my favorite Wilco song, which is not a guitar freakout, all of my tastes to the contrary.

Wild Flag - Wild Flag (2011). Ah, superfun indie-rock lady supergroup. The Germans probably have a word for this.

The Wild Magnolias - The Wild Magnolias (1973) and They Call Us Wild (1975). The first of two Mardi Gras Indian albums in this post! The Wild Magnolias are a bit wilder than the Tchoupitoulas, especially on the first album here.

The Wild Poppies - Heroine (1986). Great kiwi-pop band doing that kiwi-pop thing.

 The Wild Tchoupitoulas - The Wild Tchoupitoulas (1976). The other Mardi Gras Indians! This one has the benefit of the Meters as the backing band.

Osias Wilenski, Don Juan-Rodolfo Valentino, Cesar Puente, and Maria Rosa Lopez - Wilenski: Carmen's Revenge (2010). This is some sort of classical response record, I think? I am really not qualified to tell you anything about it, because I really don't understand it.

Will and the Bushmen - Gawk (1987). Ok, Will and the Bushmen were an excellent power-pop band from Alabama led by the incomparable Will Kimbrough. I have completely lost my vinyl copies of the other two W&TB albums, so I'll have to fix that at some point.

Will Johnson - Murder of Tides (2002) and Vultures Await (2004). A couple of whispery-quiet acoustic albums from the leader of Centro-Matic.

Will Kimbrough - This (2000), Home Away (2002), Americanitis (2006), Godsend (2006), EP (2007), Live At Grimey's (with noted author Hayden Childs, 2008). I gotta catch up on Kimbrough's more recent albums, too. The man makes some great, great music.

Will Oldham - Western Music EP (1997), Black/Rich Music EP (1998), Little Joya EP (1998), Guarapero: Lost Blues 2 (2000). I have no idea how Oldham decides which release should be under his own name instead of Bonnie "Prince" Billy.

Willard Grant Conspiracy + Telefunk - In The Fishtank 8 EP (2001). Boston-based alt-country band meets European electronica band. Not one of the greatest Fishtank Eps, but, like all of them, it has its moments.

William Basinski - The Disintegration Loops I-IV (2002-03), Melancholia (2003), and The River (2008). Basinski - legendarily - finished salvaging The Disintegration Loops, earlier compositions on rapidly decaying tapes, on the morning of September 11, 2001. They consist of short burst of minimalist compositions falling apart, and they are achingly beautiful even as they fall into ruin. The other compositions here are also quite affecting.

William Bell - The Soul of a Bell (1967). Heck to the yeah.

William S. Burroughs - Dead City Radio (1990) and The "Priest" They Called Him (with Kurt Cobain, 1993). The junky monk of Beat letters, the man known more for his life than his works, Burroughs was king when I was in my late teens/early 20s and I'm not sure I have the patience for his work now. But these musical vignettes on Dead City Radio, which marry his words to music - mostly incidental TV music - hit the spot. The Priest single, which has him telling a duller story over the dull sound of Kurt Cobain screwing around with feedback, is less essential. Here's the apocalypse for you.


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