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New Wilco - "Cruel Country"


oSuJeff97
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So this is interesting.

Wilco announced a new album dropping next month, "Cruel Country."  Apparently it's a loose concept album about the history of the U.S. and it's a "country" album.

The interesting thing is it doesn't say it's a "double album" but there are 20 tracks listed, so seems like it its?

First track released is "Falling Apart (Right Now)."

 

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41 minutes ago, ohchaucer said:

What I wouldn’t give to have a few days to just fuck around in their Chicago space.

Also can’t wait!

Yeah and apparently this is the first full album since Sky Blue Sky to be completely recorded in The Loft.

Really looking forward to this one.

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2 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Love watching Glenn Kotche play drums.  He was in the same D&B corps as I, although a few years after me.  Went on to study at . . . Kentucky, I think?  Helluva drummer.

wait hold on I gotta know what corps you were in. I tried out for the Cadets when I was 16 and was offered either an alternate there or a spot with the Crossmen, I almost regret that i didn't do it.

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3 hours ago, Celery Man said:

wait hold on I gotta know what corps you were in. I tried out for the Cadets when I was 16 and was offered either an alternate there or a spot with the Crossmen, I almost regret that i didn't do it.

Cavaliers.

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48 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Cavaliers.

476FC6F5-E13A-49BA-852C-F86710B5F494.jpeg.ddfca293e7fe6b47f976bae91a6eeae3.jpeg

 

it’s funny I also have a friend who played snare for the cavies and went to Kentucky. And now he’s gone full European and does weird percussion stuff in Switzerland.

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18 hours ago, ohchaucer said:

What I wouldn’t give to have a few days to just fuck around in their Chicago space.

Also can’t wait!

yeah man that fairly obviously has a great vibe. I watched the "Mavis!" documentary a while back and (I'm pretty sure it was that doc) there was a part where Tweedy and Mavis Staples and I think Tweedy's son are sitting in that couch area talking and maybe recording. And I can just feel the energy of that space (and smell it, for that matter). And of course I'm sure they have all manner of the coolest shit.

I don't think that this first track is it, but I bet there's a gem on this album. Looking forward to it.

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Also - in case anyone else was wondering about vinyl - this is up on their site:

"Yes, CD and LP editions are in the works, but we’ll spare you the supply chain talk."

So seems like digital only on May 27 and vinyl/CD later. :(

 

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9 minutes ago, oSuJeff97 said:

Also - in case anyone else was wondering about vinyl - this is up on their site:

"Yes, CD and LP editions are in the works, but we’ll spare you the supply chain talk."

So seems like digital only on May 27 and vinyl/CD later. :(

 

Kind of a YHF throwback then?  I remember how original it seemed for them to stream their whole album without knowing who would pick it up and release it or when.

 

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I know it's old lore for everyone in this thread but it's still just the greatest thing of all time how their label said "we don't hear a single" handed them the masters and dropped them, they self released, and then a different subsidiary of their same major paid them a bunch of money for the record. Just so awesome. I need to go watch that doc again, although I feel so bad for Jay Bennett (who should have known better but couldn't seem to help himself).

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5 minutes ago, Celery Man said:

I know it's old lore for everyone in this thread but it's still just the greatest thing of all time how their label said "we don't hear a single" handed them the masters and dropped them, they self released, and then a different subsidiary of their same major paid them a bunch of money for the record. Just so awesome. I need to go watch that doc again, although I feel so bad for Jay Bennett (who should have known better but couldn't seem to help himself).

Bennett drove me crazy.  He was the classic musical jack-of-all-trades who lacked the creative spark to compete with Tweedy, but who could certainly contribute interesting parts, tones, etc. and be a positive voice in the band.  He just couldn't stop there.  The scene in the doc where he's relentlessly arguing with Tweedy about an arrangement concept, completely oblivious to his role and the not-so-subtle cues that he needs to step down . . . it's just brutal.

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Posted (edited)
16 hours ago, Celery Man said:

it’s funny I also have a friend who played snare for the cavies and went to Kentucky. 

Yeah, that's the Jim Campbell connection.  He joined Cavaliers staff in my age-out year and set about transforming the drumline.  He's a prof at UK.  He's pulled a lot of guys from the corps to the school, and a lot of guys from the school to the corps.

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25 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Bennett drove me crazy.  He was the classic musical jack-of-all-trades who lacked the creative spark to compete with Tweedy, but who could certainly contribute interesting parts, tones, etc. and be a positive voice in the band.  He just couldn't stop there.  The scene in the doc where he's relentlessly arguing with Tweedy about an arrangement concept, completely oblivious to his role and the not-so-subtle cues that he needs to step down . . . it's just brutal.

That was throughout the movie.  That one part where the band shows up for soundcheck and Bennett had already been there for an hour and they're all rolling their eyes.  Oof. 

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1 hour ago, Chad Fuck said:

Kind of a YHF throwback then?  I remember how original it seemed for them to stream their whole album without knowing who would pick it up and release it or when.

 

Ha yeah except this time it's because there is literally nowhere to produce the vinyl and CDs instead of having an album that their record company didn't want to release, lol.

 

51 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Bennett drove me crazy.  He was the classic musical jack-of-all-trades who lacked the creative spark to compete with Tweedy, but who could certainly contribute interesting parts, tones, etc. and be a positive voice in the band.  He just couldn't stop there.  The scene in the doc where he's relentlessly arguing with Tweedy about an arrangement concept, completely oblivious to his role and the not-so-subtle cues that he needs to step down . . . it's just brutal.

Holy shit... yes. It was the transition between Jesus, etc. and Heavy Metal Drummer.

I wanted to jump through the screen and tell Bennett to shut the fuck up.

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12 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

Bennett drove me crazy.  He was the classic musical jack-of-all-trades who lacked the creative spark to compete with Tweedy, but who could certainly contribute interesting parts, tones, etc. and be a positive voice in the band.  He just couldn't stop there.  The scene in the doc where he's relentlessly arguing with Tweedy about an arrangement concept, completely oblivious to his role and the not-so-subtle cues that he needs to step down . . . it's just brutal.

it might have been the intro to heavy metal drummer. but yeah that was the worst scene of just.... dude shut the fuck up.

I know he died of something painkiller related, I'm not sure if he actually struggled with addiction or it was more just an unfortunate accident. But he strikes me as having the same "can't let go of shit" trait that most addicts suffer from.

I'm still to this day pissed off about some gang vocals we recorded. Fucking singer of our band was almost entirely unmusical and was a) not singing the same part as everyone else b) unable to hear the difference between the two different things when I showed him the difference and c) more interested in eating the egg rolls in the control room than spending another 5 minutes getting it right for the record after we had spent hundreds of hours writing and arranging the fucking thing. I felt like I was taking crazy pills that nobody else felt strongly that while they were gang vocals and didn't need to be pitch perfect we should all be singing the same notes or at least notes that didn't clash. Still hate that recording but would love to watch video of that exchange and see just how much of it was me being an asshole.

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12 minutes ago, Celery Man said:

it might have been the intro to heavy metal drummer. but yeah that was the worst scene of just.... dude shut the fuck up.

I know he died of something painkiller related, I'm not sure if he actually struggled with addiction or it was more just an unfortunate accident. But he strikes me as having the same "can't let go of shit" trait that most addicts suffer from.

I'm still to this day pissed off about some gang vocals we recorded. Fucking singer of our band was almost entirely unmusical and was a) not singing the same part as everyone else b) unable to hear the difference between the two different things when I showed him the difference and c) more interested in eating the egg rolls in the control room than spending another 5 minutes getting it right for the record after we had spent hundreds of hours writing and arranging the fucking thing. I felt like I was taking crazy pills that nobody else felt strongly that while they were gang vocals and didn't need to be pitch perfect we should all be singing the same notes or at least notes that didn't clash. Still hate that recording but would love to watch video of that exchange and see just how much of it was me being an asshole.

Counterpoint:  Assholes get things done.

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On 4/29/2022 at 11:33 AM, oSuJeff97 said:

Holy shit... yes. It was the transition between Jesus, etc. and Heavy Metal Drummer.

So one of the greatest transitions ever. I mean it really doesn't get better than that. 

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Lol yeah, a misunderstanding/disagreement about… either the mix or how to approach working on the mix devolving into “I just need you to understand what I was saying” in the face of “dude nobody cares move past it”

 

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2 hours ago, Celery Man said:

Lol yeah, a misunderstanding/disagreement about… either the mix or how to approach working on the mix devolving into “I just need you to understand what I was saying” in the face of “dude nobody cares move past it”

 

I really want to punch Jay Bennett in the head by the end of this scene.

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3 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

Jay Bennet was a beating but you can’t deny that everything him and Jeff did together was exceptional

That's my problem.  I much prefer the Bennett version of Wilco to the Cline version.  I get it, Cline is a virtuoso, but I just don't like the more experimental angle as much.

But jeez, dude, know your role.

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6 minutes ago, Al_4_ISU said:

I love watching Nels play live, but the studio albums with him haven’t done as much for me

Same. Nels shreds it live but I haven't found a whole lot on the most recent Wilco records that Interest me.

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That “love is everywhere” song off the last one is a perfectly nice song. I also love “A Ghost is Born” pretty much top to bottom, but that’s also a freshman year album for me and I like Kicking Television better anyways so maybe I agree.

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Jay Bennett was a talented guy, no doubt.

But honestly I think his biggest contributions to Wilco are confined to Summerteeth. That’s basically the album where he and Tweedy just got nuts in the studio and crafted one of the beautiful melancholy pop albums ever. 

Yes he was there for the early sessions of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but if you listen to the demos vs. what ended up on the album, the end product was something that was largely shaped by Jeff Tweedy and Jim O’Rourke.  Then of course Bennett was gone for A Ghost is Born, which is brilliant in its own right, IMO.

So yeah, Bennett definitely put his mark on Wilco in their most creative years, but I’ve just never bought into the myth that he was “co-responsible” for their creative peak, as many Wilco fans seem to think. He was a cog, just like all of the other cogs that made it work, but outside of Summerteeth, I don’t think you could say that he had any more contributions than any of the other non-Tweedy pieces.

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Just now, Al_4_ISU said:

Wasn’t he a big part of Being There too?

Yes he was in the band at that point and certainly contributed, but so did the other members of the band. Tweedy was still the creative force driving the whole thing. 

Just my opinion that his influence/contribution was basically maximized on Summerteeth… it’s actually probably why he was such a PITA during the YHF sessions. He probably considered himself on par with Tweedy after the two of them basically took over and created Summerteeth together.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/1/2022 at 7:55 AM, Celery Man said:

Lol yeah, a misunderstanding/disagreement about… either the mix or how to approach working on the mix devolving into “I just need you to understand what I was saying” in the face of “dude nobody cares move past it”

 

Goddamn.

Watching this is heartbreaking. This best version of Wilco.

 

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10 hours ago, Al Bundy's Napoleon Hand said:

 

“Cars Can’t Escape” was always a great “Easter egg” of sorts when they would play it at shows. I remember listening to it on the YHF Engineering Demos that were floating around the Internet for years before they finally released it.

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5 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

I was listening to a bunch of Wilco this weekend, and I truly don’t understand people who think AM is the worst Wilco album. Just a bunch of bangers there.

It's one of my favorites, along with "Being There" and "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot".  It reminds me of a 60's album, say by The Kinks, sorta.

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On 5/1/2022 at 7:31 PM, oSuJeff97 said:

Jay Bennett was a talented guy, no doubt.

But honestly I think his biggest contributions to Wilco are confined to Summerteeth. That’s basically the album where he and Tweedy just got nuts in the studio and crafted one of the beautiful melancholy pop albums ever. 

Yes he was there for the early sessions of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, but if you listen to the demos vs. what ended up on the album, the end product was something that was largely shaped by Jeff Tweedy and Jim O’Rourke.  Then of course Bennett was gone for A Ghost is Born, which is brilliant in its own right, IMO.

So yeah, Bennett definitely put his mark on Wilco in their most creative years, but I’ve just never bought into the myth that he was “co-responsible” for their creative peak, as many Wilco fans seem to think. He was a cog, just like all of the other cogs that made it work, but outside of Summerteeth, I don’t think you could say that he had any more contributions than any of the other non-Tweedy pieces.

"How to Fight Loneliness" and "Via Chicago" are among my favorite back-to-back songs on any album period. I'd seen Wilco live a couple of times with our group of friends in Dallas but wasn't really a big fan (pretty sure it was the "Sky Blue Sky" and "Wilco, the Album" tours). I'd tried before but never really got into it. I was going through my divorce in 2012. That was the year (and time of my life) where Wilco, then Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo, all of a sudden worked for me. I basically listened to "Summerteeth" on repeat for probably a year or more.

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10 hours ago, C-Man said:

"How to Fight Loneliness" and "Via Chicago" are among my favorite back-to-back songs on any album period. I'd seen Wilco live a couple of times with our group of friends in Dallas but wasn't really a big fan (pretty sure it was the "Sky Blue Sky" and "Wilco, the Album" tours). I'd tried before but never really got into it. I was going through my divorce in 2012. That was the year (and time of my life) where Wilco, then Son Volt and Uncle Tupelo, all of a sudden worked for me. I basically listened to "Summerteeth" on repeat for probably a year or more.

Summerteeth was also the album that converted me from a casual Wilco fan into a Wilco superfan.

I was aware of their more rootsy/alt-country stuff but wasn't super into it. I LOVED Summerteeth and then YHF but, like you, I got into the earlier stuff (including Uncle Tupelo) after the fact.

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21 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

I was listening to a bunch of Wilco this weekend, and I truly don’t understand people who think AM is the worst Wilco album. Just a bunch of bangers there.

Tweedy was AM's worst enemy by always harping on how shitty it was in comparison to Trace and Wilco's next few albums.  

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I think AM ties a bow on what Tweedy was doing with his Uncle Tupelo songs. It’s his most Midwestern fatalism album, which I always enjoy. Then top it off with Brian Henneman absolutely shredding all over the place.

I’ve often ranked it my favorite Wilco album, followed closely by A Ghost is Born, which is the complete opposite end of Wilco’s spectrum. Although I might be partial to Being There these days.

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21 hours ago, Al_4_ISU said:

I was listening to a bunch of Wilco this weekend, and I truly don’t understand people who think AM is the worst Wilco album. Just a bunch of bangers there.

I honestly don't know many Wilco fans who think that. That "honor" belongs almost unanimously to "Wilco (The Album)." 

Most fans I know really like A.M., while acknowledging that it's not in the same league as the creative peak of Being There/Summerteeth/YHF/AGIB.

(But to be fair not much of anyone's output can match that four-album run).

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I honestly don't know many Wilco fans who think that. That "honor" belongs almost unanimously to "Wilco (The Album)." 
Most fans I know really like A.M., while acknowledging that it's not in the same league as the creative peak of Being There/Summerteeth/YHF/AGIB.
(But to be fair not much of anyone's output can match that four-album run).

I see it on Twitter and other message boards a lot. Most of my friends who like Wilco dig it.

I actually prefer Wilco (The Album) to everything post Whole Love
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55 minutes ago, Al_4_ISU said:


I see it on Twitter and other message boards a lot. Most of my friends who like Wilco dig it.

I actually prefer Wilco (The Album) to everything post Whole Love

Gotcha.

I probably have it at the bottom of my list of Wilco albums. That’s not to say it’s “bad” to me or whatever… I just don’t vibe with most of the songs on that album for whatever reason. “Bull Back Nova” is great and amazing live, and I can appreciate the deliberate cheekiness of “Wilco (the song)” but most of the rest I find just ok.

 

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6 hours ago, alincoln said:

Tweedy was AM's worst enemy by always harping on how shitty it was in comparison to Trace and Wilco's next few albums.  

I probably originally saw this article here but it’s great and also the part where Wilco (the tour van) pops in and then pops out “Trace” is great.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-country/uncle-tupelos-anodyne-at-25-oral-history-wilco-733327/amp/

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Yeah, I don't know if its a function of age, or how the first records hit me at a certain time in my life, but everything after "Sky Blue Sky" kind of blends together for me.  I still get excited for new Wilco material, and see them every time they pass through.  Those first few albums do loom pretty large though.  

 

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I like the occasional post-"Whole Love" Wilco tune but I'm not a diehard fan of any of those albums. I will still Wilco/Jeff Tweedy in whatever iteration comes through Dallas for the rest of my life.

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I like the occasional post-"Whole Love" Wilco tune but I'm not a diehard fan of any of those albums. I will still Wilco/Jeff Tweedy in whatever iteration comes through Dallas for the rest of my life.

Right where I’m at.
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