Monday, March 05, 2007

Learning to Love Country?

Well not exactly. I've always held strong opposition to country music if it didn't come in the form of Johnny Cash. Besides the man in black, I've always detested country music's often depressing/over-emotional lyrics combined with the twang that accompanies it. Sure, I'm generalizing but I'm allowed to not like things for poor reasons - who's to stop me?

Just as electronic music has stolen my heart over the past years, I see my defences weakening to the 'alternative country' of Wilco. I've heard of the rock act from Chicago for several years, but the mere fact that they were labelled as an 'alt-country' act completely turned me off. Friends of mine who are more alligned with the guitar-side of music have urged me to check them out, but it wasn't until Wilco dropped a few new tracks that I took notice. Sure, I'd heard that Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was a great album but I'll admit that I'd never listened to it until last week. By the way, what a good cd. It's not my usual colour of music, but I enjoyed it none the less.

However, it's Wilco's new songs that got me into that 'classic' album. They have reminded me why I used to love guitar rock. 'You Are My Face' begins with a gentle guitar and vocal harmony that really gets going at about the 1:30 mark when the band kicks in with a little guitar solo. My stance on guitar solos since my departure from the realm of classic rock listening has shifted to see them, essentially, as musical bullshit. This song has helped me enjoy a good guitar solo because not only is it not an excuse for wankery but it fuels the song. Maybe this is one of those personal experiences people have with music, but it's forced me to recommend this track to everyone. I haven't heard all of Sky Blue Sky, but I'm sure it'll make some noise when it comes out May 15. I'll be too busy seeing Arcade Fire in Toronto.

Wilco - You Are My Face
Wilco - Walken

On an unrelated sidenote, I love this track:

Enjoy yourself. Hype Machine these bands for more music.
-Andrew W.

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