|Photo by Jason Gonulsen|
Wilco has not played The Fox Theatre in St. Louis since September of 2004, but that will change on Wednesday, August 17th. And guess what? You still have a chance to purchase tickets (which, by the way, has not been the case recently in St. Louis, and will probably not be the case for too much longer).
So whether you’re going to the show or not, here are my 10 Favorite Wilco songs. In no order save the one that my brain compiled.
To get the full effect, you really need to listen to “Poor Places,” and then “Reservations.” And what do you know — they play back-to-back on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Some don’t like the lengthy outro, but I think it’s beautiful, and it serves a much greater purpose than the one for “Less Than You Think.”
The song that pulled me in. The song that changed my life when I was 21 (yes, I didn’t hear it until then). I’ll be very honest: Speakers in Code would probably not exist without this song, even though we pull our name from “Can’t Stand It.” This is honest songwriting at its finest. And what I mean by honest is, the imagery, the regrets, the questions, the final line: “I’d like to thank you all for nothing at all.”
The Lonely 1
I wish they would play this more live. But maybe it being the elusive song that it is…maybe that’s why it remains special. Taken from Being There, its greatest moment is when Tweedy sings, “I understand I am just a fan…I’m just a fan.”
One Sunday Morning
Clocking in it just over 12 minutes, I selfishly wanted this song to sound like the whole album, The Whole Love. But then again, I’m the guy who gravitates more toward the dark, acoustic nature of music. Call me the dude treading water at the bottom of the well, I honestly don’t care. “Take a sad song and make it better,” right?
Random Name Generator
Now that I’ve written about my acoustic leanings, here is a song that is anything but. It’s basically ragged, electric pop, which Wilco does so well. Also, I love it when Tweedy sings, “I kind of like it when I make you cry, a miracle only once in a while.”
This is the one I always see listed as “best” or whatever, but in the spirit and interest of telling the truth, I must also join the masses. It and “Ashes Of American Flags” are the heart and soul of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. “Our love is all of God’s money.” Think about that.
I heard the funniest thing the other day — someone was saying that Nels Cline’s solo on “Either Way” sounds like it should be background music on The Weather Channel. Seriously, LOL, emoji, dad rock, etc. OF COURSE it makes my list. Of course.
Too Far Apart
The closing track from Wilco’s first album, A.M. And while I think of I’ve only heard it once in 21 shows, it was the best ever — in December 2014 at the Vic Theatre in Chicago. Those five or so minutes from the photo pit were worth the shitty hotel and five-hour last-minute drive.
At Least That’s What You Said
“I thought it was cute for you to kiss my purple-black eye, even though I caught it from you…” They opened with this in May of last year at The Pageant, and I can still feel the cathartic ending, like two lovers had both snapped and created their own personal earthquake.
A Shot In The Arm
There have been many road trips to see music in my life, and this song is always welcome. It’s fun to sing to, and to shout the final lines: “What you once were isn’t what you want to be anymore.” And I’ll just leave it at that.
Few tickets remain for Wednesday’s show at The Fox Theatre. Click here to purchase.