Wilco: The Review

Music for white people to relax to, and what's wrong with that?

I also didn't understand what critics and friends meant when they would say things like, "Wilco are the American Radiohead." Wilco are not the American Radiohead. Wilco are maybe six weary Jackson Brownes. Or what sandblasted jeans would say if they could talk. Listening to Wilco is like finding a rainbow between gray and tan.I don't love them for it, but I do respect them, more and more: for sucking the sentimentality out of nostalgia, for managing to never write a single truly happy song, for never writing a truly sad one, either. For never being sarcastic. For being almost spooky-earnest.

Six weary Jackson Brownes
Mary Ellen Matthews
Six weary Jackson Brownes

There's an image I have of Jeff Tweedy I can't shake. In it, he's Wilson, Tim Allen's neighbor on Home Improvement. I remember nothing about the show but Wilson—this inscrutable, all-knowing presence just beyond the backyard fence; the neighbor whose face you never see. Wilson seemed to talk to the world through a film. Apparently, he was born in Chicago. Maybe it's a Midwestern thing. Jeff Tweedy sometimes wears a beard, but even when he doesn't, I feel like I never see his face.

Wilco play Keyspan Park July 13 with Yo La Tengo
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