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Wilco Star Wars'
Star WarsStar Wars is the Grammy-award winning band's ninth studio album and its first since 2011's The Whole Love.
The new album was recorded at the band's Chicago loft and features 11 original Wilco-penned tunes. Wilco is currently celebrating its 20th anniversary, and its label dBpm has recently released two anniversary-related collections: Alpha Mike Foxtrot, a box set of rarities and What's Your 20?, a compilation of studio tracks from the band's first eight albums.
"We've been feeling very fortunate lately being reminded of how long we've been able to do this," Tweedy said. "We believe one of the primary reasons for our good fortune has been our audiences reaction to our impulse to be heard and our habit of erring on the side of that desire to override financial ambition. Not that we don't enjoy getting paid. We do. But this is a recommitment to the idea that music is more important to our lives. Art is more worthy of our striving. And fun is more sustaining than cash. It's not intended to be a comment on the music business, just one band's wish to give our fans a jolt of joy: a fun surprise. In that spirit we hope you will accept this gift and if not, well, maybe next time."1. EKG
3. Random Name Generator
4. The Joke Explained
5. You Satellite
6. Taste the Ceiling
7. Pickled Ginger
8. Where Do I Begin
9. Cold Slope
10. King Of You
11. Magnetized$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Mermaid Avenue Vol. IIho knew that after the undeniable, sometimes shimmering, sometimes rustic magic of Mermaid Avenue that there was enough quality material for a second volume? By setting their own music to Woody Guthrie's lyrics, Billy Bragg and Wilco once again offer a 50-minute testament to Guthrie's long, dynamic shadow. This sophomore meeting is as balanced between the up-tempo and the down-tempo as was the first Mermaid. Jeff Tweedy's rasp gives all the Wilco-driven tunes a certain grit, and the songs Bragg takes on have a luminescent, frank earnestness that intensifies the delivery of Guthrie's lyrical social critiques. Hot Rod Hotel, with Bragg on the mic, melds the two approaches best, and Secret of the Sea is the CD's poppiest centerpiece--aptly aimed at radio airplay like the first Mermaid's California Stars. Natalie Merchant's playful I Was Born is brief but sweet, just as bluesman Corey Harris's Against the Law is an uplift, with his passionate vocal wail mirroring the political gist of Guthrie's words. The moody closers Black Wind Blowing and Someday, Some Morning, Sometime end Volume 2 with a pair of sweetly sad gems, one a Bragg-sung folk blues that mourns the loss of cotton crops in the American dustbowl era, the other a Tweedy-sung paean to lost love. At the dawn of a new millennium, with labor and the distribution of wealth as pressing historical issues that disrupt every International Monetary Fund and World Trade Organization soiree, the time is right for Woody. --Andrew BartlettLP 1
1. Airline To Heaven
2. My Flying Saucer
3. Feed Of Man
4. Hot Rod Hotel
5. I Was Born
6. Secrets Of The Sea
7. Stetson Kennedy
8. Remember The Mountain Bed
9. Blood Of The Lamb
10. Against The Law
11. All You Fascists
12. Joe DiMaggio Done It Again
13. Meanest Man
14. Black Wind Blowing
15. Someday, Some Morning, Sometime$39.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - 2 LPs Sealed Buy Now
SchmilcoChicago band Wilco's 10th studio album, Schmilco, features 12 new songs written by Jeff Tweedy and is the band's third release on their own dBpm Records. It follows Star Wars, which was released for free and as a surprise in July 2015.
Mostly an acoustic collection, Schmilco bears neither the vicious, fuzz-glam guitars of Star Wars, nor the dazzling, baroque-ish arrangements that fans have come to expect from Wilco. But in their place is a spaciousness and chaos that might feel welcome after 20-some years of enjoyed but now-familiar Wilco releases. It is an intentionally loose affair.
Schmilco finds band leader Tweedy in a state of alienation: how to cope with dissonance between self-identity and the public perception of his band - to maintain an innocence and earnestness even as some have come to see him as more (or less) than human, and Wilco as something other than six musicians?
"I think this record is 'joyously negative'," Tweedy said. "It's sad in a lot of ways but not in any that reach a conclusion of doom or hopelessness I just had a lot of fun being sour about the things that upset me."
On Thursday, Wilco shared "Locator" from the forthcoming album and today shares "If I Ever Was A Child." Both songs are available as an instant download upon pre-ordering the album in the band's store, on iTunes or Amazon.
Recorded at the band's Chicago studio the Loft, Schmilco is produced by Jeff Tweedy and Tom Schick.
Wilco is Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Nels Cline, Glenn Kotche, Patrick Sansone and Mikael Jorgensen.1. Normal American Kids
2. If I Ever Was A Child
3. Cry All Day
4. Common Sense
6. Someone To Lose
10. Shrug And Destroy
11. We Aren't The World (Safety Girl)
12. Just Say Goodbye$21.99180 Gram Audiophile Virgin Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now
Here Be Monsters
"When they didn't know quite what was there, they put Here Be Monsters. When I think of where my career has gone over the last 35 years, it's usually in that area - off the map." --Jon Langford
Here Be Monsters finds acclaimed musician/visual artist Jon Langford and his band Skull Orchard scanning the outskirts of popular culture, its title born of medieval cartographers' term for the dragons, sea serpents, and other mythical beasties that reside beyond the boundaries of the known universe. This new album will feature a unique piece of artwork specific to each track printed on individual inserts included with copies of the CD. Best known for his work in the The Mekons and the Waco Brothers, Langford has been a leading pioneer in the assimilation of folk/country music into punk rock since the genre's first evolution over 30 years ago.
The album sees the Welsh-born, Chicago-based singer/songwriter, bandleader, producer, painter, and poet plotting a clear-eyed, sharp-elbowed course through such far-flung subjects as alternative hierarchies and astronomy, perpetual war for perpetual profit, the culture of detachment, middle age, fatherhood, fame, and the fleetingness of love. The subtext of the album is maybe the things our civilization thinks of as fixed and immovable might actually be redundant/obsolete/discredited and it's up to us to question and find new rocks to be washed up on , says Langford, who called in Mekons/Waco Brothers veteran Mike Hagler (My Morning Jacket, Wilco, Neko Case, Billy Bragg) to record this album at Chicago's Kingsize Sound Labs. Skull Orchard used to be a fairly solitary activity - songs that didn't fit anywhere else - stuff that was too Welsh or personal to bother the Mekons or Wacos with, says Langford, but something happened with the band I formed to tour with the previous record. It turned into a real group, so this is much more of a band project than any of the solo things I've done before.
Also known for being a prolific visual artist, Langford designed all the artwork for Here Be Monsters himself, including individual designs for each track that will be showcased on separate inserts in the CD and in a collage on the LP jacket. This album really brings the art and the songs together - a chicken/egg which came first situation. The songs are very visual and in some cases came directly from the paintings, continued Langford. Star maps, strange creatures, sympathetic monsters, monsters we have created - the little poem at the top of the album is all about that.1. Summer Stars
3. Gone Without Trace
5. Sugar On Your Tongue
6. Drone Operator
7. Don't Believe
8. If You Hear Rumours
9. What Did You Do In The War?
10. Lil' Ray O' Light$20.99Vinyl LP - Sealed Buy Now