Saturday, December 20, 2008

A Wilco experiment.

It wasn't supposed to happen this way ... then again, maybe it was.

Up first was Sunken Treasure: Live in the Pacific Northwest, a little burp of a concert film that has one hairy, scraggly (and even sometimes kinda pissy) Jeff Tweedy trekking all over the expansiveness that is Seattle and Oregon and California, singing his barrage of Wilco songs to those who'll listen. He gets pretty chatty, too, but his eyes are wide ... he is both lucid and alive. Aside from it being pretty beautifully shot, this was something he was said to have done shortly after rehab to sorta get his bearings right again. It shows. He looks about a-thousand years older than he did just five years previous and has traded all his cigs and beers and all else for an everready Diet Coke, but the music is the glue holding this one together. Thank goodness. With just a guitar (and the occasional Wilco band member), his poetry gets a spotlight shone brightly on it this time around, and there's nothing wrong with that. If anything, he's holding a magnifying glass up to his genius.

And then, well, the night's young yet, so why not re-watch I Am Trying To Break Your Heart? It's an ambling piece, too, shot pretty magnificently in black and white (and you'll swear they're practically aping 70s-era Beatles posters now and again), unveiling a pretty magificient story as it goes along. To sum things up and be short about this one, it's all about an American band sticking to its creative vision at the expense of a pretty oblivious record label. Not to give anything away, either, but the little guys win in the end. They win big. Hurray for the underdogs, right? And there are even songs that crackle and dramatics in the ranks and the stuff that'll sell you on the makings of an all too rare classic album at the same time. It, too, sparkles and reverberates, despite the scuffmarks.

Add the two together and you can't help but puff your chest up and finally give into some shut-eye, too, more proud to call yourself a fan than you were just five four hours and some change before. Yes, Wilco is in your Top 5 ... as they very well ought to be. They defy description, but you stumble about trying to do so anyway. You never can quite get it right, either, but you like that, too. Those who know can rarely explain it to those who don't. It just is what is is, forever and ever.


Sherpa said...

Perfectly said.

upto12 said...

You already know how I feel about this topic. Amen, brother. Preach on.