Wilco (the album) – Wilco
Good evening and welcome to this special edition of Eyes of the World News. Today is June 30th, 2009 and the planet Earth is celebrating the latest release by the inside joke the whole world knows and loves, the band Wilco. My name is Pilsner MacLean and Ill be your host this evening as we witness the reaction to the release of Wilco (the album).
We begin this evenings report with senior correspondent Margaret Drysdale, who is coming to us live from Wilcos home base of Chicago, Illinois. Are you there, Margaret?
Yes, I am, Pilsner, and I have to say I am both moved and disturbed by what Im witnessing. It seems that this new release by the band Wilco, Wilco (the album), leads off with the song Wilco (the song), in which the bands lead singer Jeff Tweedy assures listeners that no matter how bad off their lives are, quote, Wilco will love you, baby, unquote.
Could you explain to our viewers why you find this disturbing, Margaret?
Well, Pilsner, as we all know, Wilco fans have long hungered for the kind of love that, lets say, Bruce Springsteen fans receive from the man and his band. Tweedy in particular has always been a complicated figure, Pilsner, keeping his followers at a long arms length while wrestling with his own personal demons, leaving them hungering for any sort of personal connection or interaction with the band. Over the years, millions of diary entries, blogs, and twitters have been written by desperate fans claiming, Jeff smiled at me! or whatever. Its sad, Pilsner, when you come right down to it.
Yes, I see, Margaret. So what is the situation there in Chicago?
What we have here, Pilsner and Ill step back so our camera can give you a better view – is a scene Im told is being played out the world over tonight: a planet-wide group hug by Wilco fans. It seems that theyre so overcome by the sentiments offered by the band in this leadoff song that theyve all just dropped what theyre doing and embraced each other. I can honestly say Ive never witnessed anything like this before, Pilsner.
Fascinating, Margaret, fascinating but surely theres more to the message than the simple statement Wilco will love you, baby isnt there?
Oh, absolutely, Pilsner. Let me read just one short excerpt:
So many wars that just can’t be won,
Even before the battle’s begun,
This is a man with arms open wide,
A sonic shoulder for you to cry on,
Wilco will love you, baby
I dont know, Pilsner as I read these words, I can understand why these people are all feeling what theyre feeling
Margaret are you crying?
Im sorry, Pilsner, I need to hug somebody
That was senior correspondent Margaret Drysdale who, Im sure, will be fine. Im being told were about to cut to veteran crime reporter Belted Galloway with a breaking story. Are you there, Belted?
Yes, Pilsner, Im here – and Im sorry to be the bearer of tragic news. Weve just been told that law enforcement officials are seeking the arrest of the band Wilco.
What? The entire band, Belted? Do you have any details?
Plenty of them, Pilsner, plenty of them. First, let me say, that in my career of reporting crime, Ive never seen a trail to ultimate tragedy that was so obvious yet so ignored by so many as I have with this Wilco gang.
Let me just interrupt you, Belted theyre a band, not a gang.
Well, well see how this all plays out, Pilsner; I have a feeling the world is about to see these men for who they really are. The psychotic breakdown that began with the song Misunderstood on the bands 1996 release Being There and kept revealing itself since in hints of violence on songs like Shes A Jar and Via Chicago has finally exploded wide open were talking murder, here, Pilsner.
Yes, Pilsner, the Big M murder. It seems that this new Wilco album contains what authorities are basically treating as a confession.
Im sure youre referring to the track Bull Black Nova, Belted but isnt it just a song?
Sorry for laughing at you, Pilsner, but your reaction is so typical of the uninitiated to the world of crime. Just a song, indeed. You are correct, though; Bull Black Nova is the piece in question, although the lead-up to the crime is laid out quite nicely in the song Ill Fight, where Tweedy openly admits, and I quote, Ill kill for you, unquote. As far as Bull Black Nova goes, Pilsner, Ive listened to it myself and I have to tell you as one whos been around the block a few times its simply terrifying to hear. That mental-patient-banging-the-piano keyboard line of Mike Jorgensens alone promises trouble. Once this character Tweedy begins jerking out lines like
Its in my hair
Its on my clothes
Its in the river, over the road
Its shining down my angry star
Hanging off the hood of my car
Were not going far
Not going far
well, it doesnt take Sherlock Holmes to know that this isnt simply the work of someones imagination it cant be. Its too emotionally exhausting to even listen to. By the time the song explodes in a bloody wall of violent guitar madness, its an open-and-shut case. And I would bet that the whole band is in on it, including that baby-faced John Stirratt, the bass player. Ive seen his kind before. They just need to find a body, Pilsner. Its time this gang was stopped before they kill again.
Uhh, yes. Well. Thank you, Belted, for that report well be waiting for updates. My apologies to our viewing audience this is very shocking news and we can only hope there is a reasonable explanation for all of it. In the meantime, let us visit with analyst Constance Gurry and her report on the effect that the release of Wilco (the album) is having on the world of am I reading this correctly, Constance? – air guitar?
Thats right, Pilsner. The world of air guitar where the participant accompanies a piece of music on an imaginary instrument was changed forever by the song Impossible Germany on Wilcos 2007 release, Sky Blue Sky.
How so, Constance?
Well, Pilsner, the phrase Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee was coined by heavyweight boxing champ Muhammad Ali years ago to describe his style of quick, light footwork combined with a powerful knockout punch. To be honest with you, Pilsner, I cant come up with a better phrase to define guitarist Nels Clines work on Impossible Germany, where little light flutters of notes eventually weave into waves of joyous noise, culminating in a furious assault somewhere around the 20th fret on the neck of his Jazzmaster. Its a performance that millions of air guitarists have adopted as the ultimate in the genre: from the gentle head bobs and whammy bar tickles of the early stages to the marine-biologist-being-simultaneously-electrocuted-and-bitten-by-a-poisonous-jellyfish spastic motions of the solos peak, these enthusiasts have dedicated their lives to mimicking Clines every move and have been hungrily awaiting the release of this new album to see where their hero would take them.
Now, if Im not mistaken, Constance, co-guitarist Pat Sansone is no slouch when it comes to guitar hero posture, correct?
Oh, not at all, Pilsner. But Sansone is a master of the classic guitarslinger stance: low-slung Telecaster, feet wide apart, windmill strums at the appropriate time, unfocused stare. All good stuff but not as distinctive as Cline. Many of his followers have gone so far as to adopt the Nels Cline look: gone-to-seed brushcut, high-water pants and all. Theyve been waiting for this day to come.
And the verdict?
Lets let the math do the talking, Pilsner: there are 11 songs on the album with the longest clocking in at 5:39 and a number of them hovering around the 4-minute mark. There simply isnt much time for lengthy guitar solos. Im here in an auditorium with several thousand air guitar enthusiasts who have been listening to the album over the venues PA system, and the feeling appears to be unanimous: just as the solos seem to be taking off on many cuts, the song ends – leaving this large crowd twitching with the tendons popping out of their necks. The band seems to have focused on the songs themselves with promises of whats to come in the live setting. A bit frustrating for the air guitarists, but a fine example of taste and maturity by –
Sorry to cut you short, Constance, but we need to go back to Belted Galloway, who has an update on the Wilco murder investigation. Can you hear me, Belted? What can you tell us?
Well, for one thing, Pilsner, how about I tell you to calm down nobodys been murdered. Ive been listening to this album and theres something you need to know, Pilsner: Wilco loves you, baby.
Thats right, Pilsner, not only have the band Wilco been exonerated from those crazy accusations made by a twisted few –
Im sorry, Belted, but even you said –
Dont interrupt me, Pilsner, Im a professional. Of course, Wilco will love you, no matter what. The real news here is the guest appearance on the new Wilco album by Beatle George Harrison.
But George Harrison is dead, Belted it cant be –
No cant about it, Pilsner Ive heard the song in question, You Never Know, myself and I can tell you: thats George Harrison. If anyone can make it happen, Wilco can. Wilco loves us.
But Nels Cline
You know, Pilsner, Ive been around the block a few times and Im not about to put my long career and sterling reputation at risk by making unsubstantiated claims. When I tell you thats George Harrison playing guitar on You Never Know, you can take it to the bank, my friend. This is All Things Must Pass-vintage stuff. The real deal. And Ill let you and our viewing audience in on something else, Pilsner: Im still investigating the story, but it appears that at least George Harrison if not a few more of his Beatles bandmates may also be on track number 10, Sunny Feeling. Except for poor Ringo; that has to be Wilcos Glenn Kotche on drums. Remember – you heard it here first. Oh Pilsner?
Wilco loves you.
Uhh, thank you, senior correspondent Belted Galloway. I hope someone is there with you. Lets take a look at a quieter side of things with longtime news analyst Buzz Goodman, who is do I have this right, Buzz somewhere on a mountaintop?
You got it, Pilsnerman. Wilco loves all of us, dude. Im standing here in the light of the campfire with a few thousand verrrrry cool people and were strumming some of the songs off the new Wilco album and everything is cool.
So what youre saying is, Buzz, on top of everything else weve heard about tonight, there are some mellower, acoustic-based songs on Wilco (the album)?
Right on, dude. Take the song they do with that Canadian chick, Leslie Feist. I mean, you can make it be as complicated as you want to, man strip that sucker down and just strum it out on a sixistring, you know? Its cool. And, like, Solitaire, man no dude is an island, you know? Or listen to the intro to Ill Fight, man thats just killer acoustic shit.
Now earlier tonight, Belted Galloway –
Thats one weird dude, man.
Well, hes been at this awhile, Buzz it tends to do that to people. Anyway, he spoke of Ill Fight as having threatening overtones do you agree?
Aw, thats just Tweedy, man. The dude can be pretty intense, for sure, but when it comes right down to it, man –
Let me guess, Buzz: Wilco loves you, baby?
Far out, man far out. Gotta go find some more wood for the fire, dude. Peace out.
Thank you, Buzz Goodman. Watch out for sparks. And with that, we conclude our special report on the release of Wilco (the album), an offering for these troubled times that is not unlike the blind man and the elephant. It appears that Wilco has created a work that has the ability to be whats needed by those in need. Can it save the world? Time will tell.
This is Pilsner MacLean for Eyes of the World News. Thank you and goodnight.