Tuesday, October 31, 2006

So apparently I should dig Wilco

So I've had Wilco recommended to me for the better half of the last decade, and somehow I've never picked up their stuff. Sometimes you need that die-hard fan friend to push you over the edge to buy the right album. I remember McSweeney's joking with "A Ghost Is Born" that it was time to break bad on Wilco, and I hadn't tuned in yet at all.

Then again, I kind of prefer the delayed-gratification approach to music listening. Let time do some sifting before you drop those dollars, and you won't end up with Escape Club's "Wild Wild West", my first-ever music purchase. Since the haunting memories of "Shake for the Sheik" of yesteryore (1988), I've hesitated before throwing money at radio hits. I didn't pick up Nirvana until years after Kurt Cobain killed himself. I didn't pick up Radiohead until about 2001, at which point I bought it all and willfully overdosed.

Some artists, however, you know you can buy awl their stuff out the gate, and timeless album or not, you'll dig it. Beck is one of these. I kind of revel in listening to his early stuff, the stuff that alienates the average ear. Like "Thunderpeel." Right through Sea Change. And even now, Guero was a trifle mechanized and soulless, and I haven't picked up The Information yet, but I dig it all because I can't wait to hear what he'll do next.

Pandora revealed to me that my album Hypocrisy in the Genius Room has much in common with Wilco's debut, A.M. Perhaps it's our shared flair for "basic rock song structures", "country influences", "punk influences", "folk influences", or even "mixed acoustic and electric instrumentation". Apparently we're "flava kin", a term I'm coining right here and now. Kinship of flavor. Flava kin. Fläavakin.

In 2000, when I recorded my debut, I was apparently more fläavakin with Honeyboy Edwards, which is cool with me. Anybody who kicks their album off with a song called "Big Fat Mama" can be my fläavakin anyday.

Sometime I'll send Pandora my other three albums and find out who they're fläavakin with. I'm kinda guessing in the ballpark of Doc Boggs-cum-Devo (not Il Divo) with a spike of Ice Cube, Tron, and, like, Kurt Weill. That's my call.

Oh, and Wilco, I guess.

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