Thursday, September 06, 2007

Duh, or Another Wilco Post

I turned down Wilco tickets last night. Yes, I did. Not just Wilco tickets, but Wilco tickets with two of my favorite people. Unfortunately, they were also Wilco tickets that would have entailed significant travel and expense, neither of which I am up for at the moment.

But that's not what this Wilco post is about. This one is about, again, Sky Blue Sky, which I continue to listen to incessantly. And I continued to wonder about that riff that sounded so familiar, in the instrumental in "Impossible Germany." Cream? Allman Brothers? Traffic? (Not such a weird comparison as it might seem, really, though perhaps I am the only person who ever compares anything to Traffic these days, but the disappearance and return of the melody in "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys" is one of the dominant musical motifs of my life, and it's there in another Wilco song too, maybe "Spiders"?) At any rate, none of this seemed right, and then today I was driving, listening to the song for the umpteenth time, trying to think of what that instrumental riff reminded me of, and it suddenly struck me (here's the duh): it's the Grateful Dead, of course.

Why duh? Because, uh, everyone has been comparing this record to the Grateful Dead (see link above), and, uh, I spent half my life (OK, maybe a quarter) as a Deadhead, and the Dead are the only band besides the Beatles that I can recognize within two bars. And of course, as soon as I realized that the instrumental sounded like the Grateful Dead, the song ended, and "Sky Blue Sky" began, and could that song be any more Grateful Dead? Rain and windows and little guitars? My god, it was like Jerry was hanging out in my car with Jeff, noodling away.

So how did I miss this? I think because I was so focused on the lyrics, which, for the most part, are so contemporary in a post-9/11 loss kind of way, and also because later songs are not so Grateful Dead. But it sure does make sense that I would love the Wilco CD that sounds like the Grateful Dead.

I mean, duh.


Kelly said...

I've yet to buy the CD, though I do want it... and hear both songs frequently on my alt radio station... and have drawn the Traffic comparison again and again. Low Spark motif happening here too. And well, I just love Steve Winwood and wouldn't THAT be a show to see... Jeff and Steve.

I love harmonizing to Sky Blue Sky. Why does his voice make me all teary?

I had no idea you were a Deadhead. Dang. That's faboo.

thatgirl said...

how old was steve winwood when he sang that? like fifteen?

i have not bought sky blue sky. nor a ghost is born. i think i've been tweedy'd out. should i be talked into it?