Capitol City by Wilco – According to my archivist, today marks the two-year birthday of Weekly Download. If memory serves, last year I took this opportunity to thank you all, my friends, for readin’ respondin’ and reccomendin’. You can consider those sentiments re-submitted exponentially. While I would still attempt to impose my musical tastes and stream of consiounsness lottery-ball nuggets without this platform, wife would really begin to tire of it. So, I guess, that means I have each one of you to thank for the continuing stability of my marriage. Good on ya! Seriously though, thank you all.
I was initially troubled with a song to recommend here on the precipice of WDs terrible twos while at the same time knowing I wanted this post to be an ode to friends. I realized Wilco, whose new album, The Whole Love, dropped on Tuesday, would be perfect. I’ve needed to write about them for awhile. They’re an old, old favorite/friend.
I once read an article (N.B. I swear to god I think it’s the same obit of Dennis Hopper in Rolling Stone written about here before, but I can’t remember for sure) where the love of art (paintings on the wall) was decribed to a person who claimed to be intimidated by it. In hoping to assuage the person’s intimidation, the art lover (who I believe to be Dennis Hopper) said “these painting are your friends. You can come here and see them and they won’t leave. They can comfort you. They can help you see the things in different ways. They can always be the same. They can forever be different, but they’re your friends.” This struck me. I’ve never looked at art the same, but I also realized this is in many ways how I feel about music. That band, pressing that song into that CD for enternity. I can go to it, listen to it and in many ways be comforted by its sameness, but still be thrilled by it. And after you follow a band’s entire career and they’ve amassed a catalog of music, listenting to it all in one day, one sitting, is like catching up with an old friend, remembering times you had, what a certain song meant to you, where you were on times you heard it, how it might have soundtracked specific moments of your life, how a certain song is forever hanging in the foyer of your memory.
There aren’t many bands/artists I have that type of relationship with: Pearl Jam (N.B. watch the documentary PJ20. It’s perfect. Had I not already murdered you with Pearl Jam this year, you’d get another ear-full), DBT, the Boss and Wilco. My old friends’ new album is pretty damn good. It’s almost a mash-up of who Wilco were on different albums at different times of their career, the alt-country (sighs) stalwarts, the fluid song crafters, the experimentalists, the groove rockers. Somehow it all works. But in preparation for it (and I do this a lot, btw), I spent Monday and Tuesday listening to their entire catalog, like one big reunion. I had forgotten why they were my friends. I was reminded. Comforting and mesmerizing, like all of you are; Keyed into discrete times of my life, like all of you are; Ever rewarding, like all of you are.
OK, sappiness concluded. Below are my favorite reader responses during WD Vol. II (parentheticals by guess who?). Keep’em coming. (N.B and you guys are doing better on music recs, but keep them coming too.)
- “Also, did you have a smack problem or a smartass problem, seriously.” (I’ll never tell.)
- “I was going to ask you if you were watering the rocks.” (I might has well have been, heatdome.)
- “My favorite WD of all time. I know I’m due a beating too. I just hope it’s not HIV.” (Consider this my vote that your comeuppance not involve the virus.)
- “That girl from Friday Night Lights is super beautiful…….so he must be cool, right?” (And so they broke up, let the gay rumors begin anew.)
- There is a lot riding on it….as I’m looking for this to be the one personal account that I can turn to and use to show my wife and dozens of other just what Ed and Company mean to this planet.” (How’d I do?)
- “This is a long one and it takes me back.” (It might actually be better to enjoy the 90s from a distance now.)
- I was almost convinced you and Em were about to adopt an orphan from Ghana with malaria. (We got an indian instead.)
- Could it be that south of Britton has become the new yuppie scum? You might not want to visit north of Britton for too long, because you might never leave. (Oh, it is the new yuppie scum. The troubling part is how comfortable I feel here…..)
- Not including any Sublime tracks. That took a lot of self-control. (blow me)
- By the way, I hate to show my stupidity here, but what does (NB) mean? (Nothing Borderingonrelevant)
Love you guys. Enjoy.