Preferential Treatment: Wilco

In Preferential Treatment, I take a band’s full-length albums and list them from least favorite to most favorite, with a bit of justifying commentary. I welcome your comments, whether they be disagreements or complete non-sequiters. (!) denotes an album that I consider a classic.

SUMMARY:

YHF > BT  > Stth > SBS > tWL > MA(W) > AM > AGiB > Wta

THE STORY SO FAR:

You don’t need me to tell you about Wilco, but here’s the breakdown: trailblazing folk-punk band (Uncle Tupelo) breaks up, budding songwriter (Jeff Tweedy) starts own band, creates incredible double LP (Being There), veers towards the avant-garde, creates masterpiece (YHF), band nearly falls apart, forms new outfit that may be the greatest live band of the new millenium (Wilco 2.0, my term), and keeps making great, if not classic, albums.

THE TREATMENT:


Wilco (The Album): I’ve commented elsewhere that the band’s eponymous seventh album seems like it’s played too fast, and I think that has something to do with making it Wilco’s most forgettable long player. It’s not that the songs are bad by any means, it’s just that that perfect sense of gravitas that provides an extra dimension for almost every other Wilco record is absent, and the songs here just seem to breeze by with nary a flutter. It’s a fairly intangible complaint, but I’ve seen Wilco live three times in the last several years, and they haven’t played one of the tunes here. If that doesn’t speak to how they feel about this set, then I don’t know what would. ("Wilco (the song)", "Deeper Down")

A Ghost Is Born: After 3 great albums and the dismissal of co-songwriter Jay Bennett (who did his fair share to make BT, Summerteeth, and YHF what they were), the odds for a four-peat weren’t in Tweedy’s favor. Ghost is a typical Wilco album: on one hand experimental, exploratory, and open-ended, on the other hand brimming with melody and a poet’s wit. In my opinion, the production seems a little sterile, and nothing confirms this better than the excellent live album Kicking Television that was released a year or two later, when Tweedy had filled out Wilco 2.0’s lineup. Songs that sounded a bit flat here sound alive and filled-out in a live setting. Not a bad record, but it is the sound of a band in flux, without a strong sense of where it is going. ("Muzzle of Bees", "Wishful Thinking")

AM: There was a time that AM seemed utterly forgettable, especially next to YHF or Summerteeth. It was never a bad record, it was just straight-forward and easily labeled as "mediocre". Being There always seemed like the band’s first major statement anyway. But time has been and continues to be kind to AM. It’s got that mid-90’s alt sound going, a bit of a generic mesh in terms of production, but the songs are remarkably strong power-pop affairs at root. As Wilco 2.0 has welcomed more and more of these tunes back into their setlists as regulars, things have come full circle, and AM cuts seem every bit at home alongside classics like "Via Chicago" and "Jesus etc." Absolutely worth revisiting if it’s been a while. ("I Must Be High", "I Thought I Held You")

Mermaid Avenue I/II/III: The Mermaid Avenue albums weren’t entirely Wilco affairs, but there’s enough that’s strictly Wilco between the three albums that you can consider their efforts as a standalone affair. Bragg generally gets top billing with these because of the more explicitly blue collar nature of his previous work, but Tweedy and the boyz deserve plenty of credit for setting Guthrie’s lyrics and musical vision in a more contemporary setting. And who can deny the greatness of Tweedy led numbers like "California Stars", "One By One", "Secret of the Sea", and even the silly "Hoodoo Voodoo"? There’s plenty to love among Wilco’s tracks, which are generally pensive, dreamy Americana at its finest. ("Hesitating Beauty", "When the Roses Bloom Again")

The Whole Love: This one is another grower. Although supported by fantastic bookends, don’t discount the slowly unfolding goodness of tracks 2 thru 11. "I Might" has a nice post-punk edge to it, and "Dawned On Me" and "Born Alone" are both understated but celebratory cuts that highlight the best about Wilco 2.0. The closer, "Sunday Morning", is a sublimely understated shuffler, and perhaps one of the greatest alt-country/folk-rock compositions of all time. ("Art of Almost", "Sunday Morning")

Sky Blue Sky: The first album featuring Wilco in its current and longest-lasting manifestation, it’s a grower. Tweedy’s songs are a bit more simple this time around, but this might be the first album where he sounds truly comfortable in his own skin, and thanks especially to the crack ensemble of Wilco 2.0 the results reveal themselves more wonderfully with repeated listens. It’s a pretty great nuanced guitar album, with standout "Impossible Germany" paying homage to both Television and Steely Dan (which – yes – might just be the most Dad-rock combination of all time). ("You Are My Face", "Leave My Like You Found Me")

Summerteeth (!): A radioactive power-pop detour before the descent into experimentalism, Summerteeth is Wilco at its catchiest. "Shot In The Arm" has, I think, been played in just about every Wilco concert since the record was released, but it’s the languid, lyrically dense "Via Chicago" that seems to define the wonder of this record. It can be overwrought at times, but how can you argue when repeated listens reward you with the glories of cuts like "When You Wake Up Feeling Old"? Sweet and savory, great for late night driving. ("Summerteeth", "I’m Always In Love")

Being There (!): Being There is the album that opened doors for Wilco, and the record where Tweedy overtook Farrar in the great post-Tupelo race for artistic cred. It’s a truly beautiful experience, an epic of devotion to middle America suburbia and 70’s rock mythos, a dreamed-out and completely personal concept album. At times starry-eyed and sentimental, at others an abandoned hard rocker, it’s a lovable mess, everything a double-album should be. Experimental alt-country before YHF was even a glimmer in someone’s eye. ("Far Far Away", "Sunken Treasure")

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (!): Welcome to earth. This is the Wilco record that changed alt-country forever. It was the record that turned me on to Wilco, and it was the record that made them the "American Radiohead" (even if that term doesn’t really fit all that well). Sure, there’s an epic back story associated with this album, from the label troubles to the exit of Ken Coomer and Jay Bennett, and a host of outtakes available for free, but the real triumph is the songwriting, pure and simple. The bells and whistles are a big help, but this one plays like a greatest hits record unto itself. Classified somewhere between Kid A and Rumours. ("War On War", "Poor Places")

Quick Review (LP): Mermaid Avenue I by Wilco (+ Billy Bragg)

Wilco (+ Billy Bragg)
Mermaid Avenue I
Elektra; 1998

My Rating: A- (82/100)

Best Tracks: “Walt Whitman’s Niece”, “California Stars”, “Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key”, “Birds and Ships”, “At My Window Sad and Lonely”, “Hesitating Beauty”

Waking the dead: questionable alt-country concept goes right.

TRACK NOTES

"Walt Whitman’s Niece" (4.5/5)

  • Raucous and joyful.
  • Love the bar room sing a long.
  • “Last night or the night before that/I’ll not say which night…”

"California Stars" (5/5)

  • Classic.
  • Brilliant.
  • You can just hear Woody’s soul coming through in the lyrics here.
  • Always thought the lyrics had a sarcastic edge to them though.
  • By the way, newbies, this is alt-country. Now go lay down in an open field on a clear summer night and take in the cosmos.

"Way Over Yonder in the Minor Key" (5/5)

  • So beautiful.
  • Natalie Merchant’s vocals are key here.
  • Great fiddle work.

"Birds and Ships" (5/5)

  • This is just one of the most beautiful songs I’ve ever heard.
  • Nobody could’ve done it like Natalie.

"Hoodoo Voodoo" (4.5/5)

  • I’m pretty sure this is the riff from "Lady Madonna." But that’s OK. This tune still rules.
  • So goofy, so fun.
  • Great performance by the band. It’s all about the cowbell.

"She Came Along To Me" (4/5)

  • "The women are equal/And they may be ahead of the men"
  • Nice slide riff.
  • Pretty cool tune, though it could’ve used a stronger hook.

"At My Window Sad and Lonely" (4.5/5)

  • Another gorgeous tear-jerker.
  • You can hear a lot of Bennett’s influence on this one.

"Ingrid Bergman" (3.5/5)

  • Woody think Ingrid Bergman pretty.
  • WG missed his calling as a copywriter for Viagra.

"Christ for President" (2/5)

  • Dumb.
  • Stupid.
  • Er, worthless.
  • All of the above.

"I Guess I Planted" (3.5/5)

  • Forgettable.
  • Still, there’s sort of a swagger, and a bit of catchy melody.

"One By One" (5/5)

  • Another beautiful track with Tweedy at the front.
  • Really wondrous. This is a "soul shining" type of track. Just gorgeous.

"Eisler on the Go" (4.5/5)

  • The Eisler story is here.
  • Good Bragg track. 
  • Very evocative. The tune matches the lyrics well. A bit despondent.

"Hesitating Beauty" (4.5/5)

  • Great lyrics, great tune.
  • I love this one. Classic Wilco.

"Another Man’s Done Gone" (4.5/5)

  • Grand piano and Tweedy go really well together. See "Venus Stopped the Train" or "Cars Can’t Escape." He should do it more often.
  • Doesn’t sound like a Guthrie tune here, but I ain’t complaining.
  • Muy bueno.

"The Unwelcome Guest" (4.5/5)

  • The boys ride off into the sunset on this one. Nice touch.

ALBUM NOTES

  • Well, this isn’t exactly a Wilco album, since Billy Bragg composed about half of the tunes, and the lyrics are all the doing of Woody Guthrie. What would Wilco be, however, without classics like "California Stars", "At My Window Sad and Lonely", and "One By One" in their repertoire? There is plenty of essential Wilco here, and quite honestly, this album as a whole is simply wonderful.
  • In terms of consequence, Mermaid Avenue wins on 2 levels. First of all, it cemented Wilco as alt-country heroes following Being There just in time for them to start getting all experimental. Second of all, it confirmed the continuity of the non-Nashville country sound with old school Americana.
  • All in all, it’s not perfect, but it’s excellent. If they’d trimmed some of the fat here and added a few of the choice cuts from Volume 2 ("Airline to Heaven", "Secret of the Sea") they might have had a masterpiece. Still, I’m not complaining one bit.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (4.5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consequence (5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Songs (4.3/5)

Quick Review (LP): Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco

Wilco
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Nonesuch; 2002

My Rating: A (88/100)

Best Tracks: "I am trying to break your heart", "Kamera", "War On War", "Jesus, etc.", "I’m the Man Who Loves You", "Poor Places"

Cosmic American Music goes through the looking glass.

TRACK NOTES

  • "I am trying to break your heart"
    • This is what happens when you take a simple folk song, deconstruct it, and throw everything at it including the kitchen sink.
    • "I am an American aquarium drinker/I assassin down the avenue" – I’ve got no idea what that means, but I love the way it sounds.
    • It sounds so simple, but as Tweedy has aged, his brilliance has consisted partly in the simplicity of his songs.
  • "Kamera"
    • The song that is, to me, the definition of "Dad Rock" for the new generation.
    • Love the Steely Dan vibe.
    • Power through restraint. Love the sonic flourishes in this tune.
    • Also, it’s great how the "Tell them I’m lost" bit gets juxtaposed against the basic melody.
  • "Radio Cure"
    • This is THE deconstructed song of the record. If you listen to the original version (I believe it was called "Corduroy Cutoff Girl") it was much poppier.
    • "Distance has no way of making love understandable" is the central theme.
    • I’m not a big fan of this song. A bit of a distraction in my book.
    • Anyway, check out "Corduroy Cutoff Girl." It’s an interesting study in how a track can change in production.
  • "War On War"
    • Hot damn, this is one catchy tune.
    • This is the type of song that you hear for the first time and immediately want to hear more from where it came from. So great.
    • "You’re gonna lose/You have to lose/You have to learn how to die/If you wanna wanna stay alive"
    • It’s an entirely new take on Parsons’ Cosmic American Music.
  • "Jesus, etc."
    • Beautiful.
    • "You were right about the stars/Each one is a setting sun"
    • "Tall buildings shake/Voices escape singing sad sad songs/Tuned to chords/Strung down your cheeks/Bitter melodies/Turning your orbit around"
    • Those lyrics, coming on the heels of 9/11 (actually before), are spine-tingling in a prophetic sort of way. This was the song that year.
    • Easily one of the greatest pop songs ever.
  • "Ashes of American Flags"
    • Again, love the lyrics here.
    • "All my lies are always wishes/I know I would die if I could come back new"
    • That slightly distorted guitar riff that sort of flares in owns this tune and really holds it together.
  • "Heavy Metal Drummer"
    • Poppy, almost to the point of being asinine. Gotta admit, though, I dig it.
    • "I miss the innocence I’ve known/Playing KISS covers/Beautiful and stoned"
    • Bleepity bloopity bleep.
  • "I’m the Man Who Loves You"
    • Another amazingly catchy tune.
    • It feels like Tweedy is riding a wave through this record, lyrically and musically.
    • Bennett did his fair share here, didn’t he?
    • The horns at the end are key.
  • "Pot Kettle Black"
    • This one doesn’t get top billing, but it’s strong enough.
    • Similar feel to "Kamera."
    • Dig the guitar fills on this one.
  • "Poor Places"
    • This one’s a centerpiece. Fairly deconstructed, but comes out on the other end of that process even better than before.
    • Listen to this version against the original (demo) mix.
    • Love the way the noise and the lyrics play against each other.
    • Gorgeous melody here.
    • The ending is brilliant to the point of being glorious.
      • “Reservations”
        • I like this tune, but always felt like it could have been a little more resounding.
        • Then again, perhaps a little more flourish would have been too over the top for this record?
        • That chorus is doggone lovely.
        • What is that distant organ thing at the end?
        • That creaking noise at the end is a nice touch.

ALBUM NOTES

  • Imposing album cover. It just grabs you. Those towers look like giant electrical transistors or something.
  • Noise all over the place in general. This is a fun record for headphones. It sounds very liveable, like they didn’t worry too much about the perfect take.
  • Fabulous concept. The impact of distance upon communication in general and love in particular. This record covers a lot of emotional ground but stays on subject pretty well.
  • I’m not crazy about a few of the tunes (mostly "Radio Cure"), but even that one holds together well with the rest, and is pretty pivotal in terms of concept.
  • This one may have a sensational back story (see the film, it’s a winner), but the great thing is that the music doesn’t rely on any of that.
  • This was the last album with Bennett. While Wilco changed drastically after his departure, they have managed to find their way ahead. He certainly left his mark though. Regardless of how JT and JB felt about each other, they made a great musical team.
  • Ken Coomer got the axe too. Apparently his drumming was too inflexible.
  • You’re doing yourself a disservice if you don’t download the demos right now.
  • All in all, one thing is for certain. If you are a dude named “Jay”, then stay the hell away from Jeff Tweedy.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consequence (5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

Quick Review (LP): Summerteeth by Wilco

Wilco
Summerteeth
Reprise; 1999

My Rating: A (86/100)

Best Tracks: "Shot In The Arm", "I’m Always In Love", "How To Fight Loneliness", "Via Chicago", "When You Wake Up Feeling Old", "Summerteeth", "In A Future Age"

Fractured folk and power pop hybrid – “summer here and summer over there.”

TRACK NOTES

  • You know what "Can’t Stand It" reminds me of? "You’re So Vain." Cool tune though, poppy as a hell, a great jumping off point.
  • "She’s A Jar" is the first of the record’s slower, abstract folk numbers. Tweedy’s in abstract poetry mode there.
  • "Shot In The Arm" is still a live favorite of the band. It’s a really cool, spacey, Neu!-ish tune. Great lyrics.
  • "What you once were isn’t what you wanna be/Anymore!"
  • "We’re Just Friends" is a personal favorite. Sort of reminds me of Randy Newman.
  • Same with "Always In Love." I love how big it is as a power-pop song. Tweedy sounds like he’s coming off the rails.
  • "Nothing’severgonnastandinmywayagain" is cute, but it’s a bit annoying too. I’ll take it though.
  • "Pieholden Suite" may not be one of the better tracks here, but it sort of points toward the band’s more experimental/fragmented approach on later records.
  • "How To Fight Loneliness" is a gorgeous little acoustic strummer. Great instrumentation.
  • "Via Chicago" is another tune that points toward Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Brilliant in every way.
  • "I dreamed about killing you again last night/And it felt alright to me" – that is so great.
  • "ELT" is cool, but sort of drags in the middle and pails in comparison to some of the other power pop numbers herein.
  • I just don’t care much for "My Darling."
  • I love "When You Wake Up Feeling Old." It’s one of my all-time Wilco favorites. It almost sounds like something Chicago would’ve recorded in collaboration with The Beach Boys.
  • The title track features some great lead guitar work. It’s a nice combo of the record’s two sides.
  • "In A Future Age" is similar to "Via Chicago". Perhaps not as dark, but equally great. Love the piano work there.
  • Imagine The Beach Boys of the mid-60’s forming a band with Alex Chilton and Chris Bell in the early 70’s and you pretty much have the magnificent "Candyfloss."

ALBUM NOTES

  • Great late night driving album. Amazingly good for top of the lung singalongs in order to stay awake.
  • This album, more than any other, strikes me as a partnership between Tweedy and Bennett. Bennett really exerted his "throw everything at it" production mindset with Summerteeth.
  • There are two sides to this album: a sunny, power pop side where the upbeat tunes foil Tweedy’s utterly miserable disposition at the time and the understated, experimental folk side where fractured but gorgeous tunes pass the time and Tweedy crafts some amazingly adventurous lyrics.
  • I compare this one to Radiohead’s OK Computer. Not quite as experimental as it seemed when it first came out, but it serves as a turning point for the band and the record when people really started to take notice.
  • Given the two faces of the album (power pop/fractured folk), I’m starting to sense some of the brilliance of the record.
  • When it all comes down to it, this album contains about 10 or 11 amazing songs, and while many are unpolished, there is an open-ended feel to everything here that makes it very listenable.
  • The definition of “summerteeth” according to the Urban Dictionary. I’m thinking this refers to the fact that the album contains both light and dark songs. It could also refer to the way the lyrics are really biting at times. Also, Tweedy has a thing for interesting words as well, and I think that factors in.
  • Always thought that moon image was a captivating cover.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5
Consequence (4.5/5)
Consistency (4.5/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

Quick Review (LP): Being There by Wilco

Wilco
Being There
Reprise; 1996

My Rating: A (86/100)

Best Tracks: "Misunderstood", "Far, Far Away", "Monday", "Outtasite", "Forget the Flowers", "What’s the World Got In Store", "Say You Miss Me", "Sunken Treasure"

Power-pop + Art-punk + Cosmic Americana + Epic country = Classic LP

NOTES

  • "Misunderstood" is the height of transcendence. Brilliant in every conceivable way.
  • First you have those lyrics. ("When you’re back in your old neighborhood/Cigarettes taste so good/But you’re so misunderstood/So misunderstood…")
  • Then the instrumentation. The way different instruments carry the tune by themselves at different times.
  • And Tweedy sounds completely lovesick over rock and roll.
  • "Far, Far Away" is transporting. THAT’s cosmic american music right there. That’s what I think of.
  • "I long to hold you in my arms and sway/Kiss and ride on the CTA"
  • "Monday" sounds like the fusion of Big Star and Grand Funk Railroad. Power pop glory. Love the horns. Brilliant.
  • "Outtasite (Outta Mind)" is a second power pop gem. These guys sound like they are having a blast. Sounds Petty-ish.
  • "Forget the Flowers" is a cool little truck stop country tune. It’s unassuming, but it’s a winner.
  • "Red-Eyed and Blue" is the sort of off-kilter experiment that makes this album so special. Sleigh bells and whistles!
  • "I Got You" is good power-pop, though not as great as tracks 3 and 4.
  • "What’s the World Got In Store" is a personal favorite. Gonna request it when I see them live in a few months.
  • "Hotel Arizona" is a bit of a joke by title alone, but in all reality it’s a pretty cool rock song.
  • What does "Say You Miss Me" remind me of? It’s those background vocals. Fantastic groover regardless.
  • "Sunken Treasure" is one of their greats. "I am so out of tune with you…"
  • "Someday Soon" is another brilliant slice of roadhouse country.
  • "Outta Mind (Outta Sight)" is an unncessary aberration on an otherwise brilliant album.
  • I think of Dylan on "Someone Else’s Song." Nice accordion in the background.
  • "Kingpin" is too jammy. In my opinion, filler, though I guess it’s a bit of a highlight live.
  • I like the feel of "Was I In Your Dreams." Sort of woozy, a drunken, lovesick singalong perhaps?
  • "Why Would You Wanna Live" is fairly forgettable. Belongs toward the end of the record.
  • "The Lonely 1" may be kind of pitiful, but it’s gorgeous as well. Reminds me of the film Almost Famous. I love to think of a young kid looking up to his rock star hero.
  • "Dreamer In My Dreams" never really does anything for me. I know they were trying to go for that Stones thing, and it works nice enough on the album, but overall, it’s subpar Wilco. (Is it anything more than a fractured rip-off of "Honky Tonk Women"?)
  • Supposedly based on a film of the same name. Even sounds faintly cinematic.
  • Interesting recording process for this record. Each song was rehearsed, recorded, and mixed on its own day.
  • Apparently 30 songs were recorded. Deluxe edition, anyone?
  • Love the simplicity of the album cover and artwork in general. The album concept is reinforced by the shots of the band in the studio. As for the album cover, nothing really says “being there” in rock and roll like the hand on the guitar. Understated, but appropriate and, to a degree, brilliant.

ATTRIBUTES
Cohesion (5/5)
Concept (5/5)
Consequence (5/5)
Consistency (4/5)
Songs (4.5/5)

5 Things: “Secret of the Sea” by Billy Bragg/Wilco

5 things I love about “Secret of the Sea”…

1. It’s Woody Guthrie and power pop all in one.
2. “If you could guess the secret of my love for you/Then we both could know the secret of the sea”
3. The ragtime piano breakdown.
4. Tweedy’s vox, some of his best ever.
5. Bennett’s slide work, one of his signature sounds.

What do you love about this track?

News Bits: Jay Bennett Dead

bennett1This is old news now, but with word of his death I just want to say that Jay Bennett is somebody I sort of forgot about in the last several years. The unfortunate thing for his legacy is that he will always be remembered primarily (in the public eye at least) as the guy who Jeff Tweedy kicked out of Wilco in a very public way. That’s really sad for Bennett and for Tweedy because it doesn’t really all seem to have been as black and white as that. As someone who played in a few bands back in the day, I can bear witness to the messiness of intra-band relationships. Great friendships and creative partnerships can become strained over the weirdest and most unexpected things, and the blame is never quite so clear cut as it seems to the onlooker.

It’s really sad that the last word on Bennett’s life was that lawsuit against Tweedy. It makes Bennett look like a jerk and a sore loser, but I don’t really think that’s true or appropriate. I think you had a guy reaching to keep his dreams alive when hefty medical bills threatened to destroy everything he had. It’s just speculation on my part, but Bennett never seemed to harbor all that much bitterness toward Tweedy after he was kicked out of Wilco, and I want to think that although his motives may not have been the purest they nevertheless seemed necessary and inevitable to a guy who had fallen on extremely hard times. 

bennett2Anyway, not to dwell too much on all that stuff, I just wanted to post a little tribute to the late, great Jay Bennett, a musician and artist whose legacy is far greater than the credit he is likely to get. All you really have to do is read the liner notes to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot to see that he co-wrote 8 of the 11 songs on there and all you need to do is read this article to see that he contributed greatly to the sound of the album. The popular accounts all say it was a Tweedy/O’Rourke affair, but I sometimes wonder if that’s overdoing it a bit?

Bennett was a major creative force behind two other great records in Wilco’s catalog, Being There and Summerteeth, and there’s no doubt he made significant contributions to the Mermaid Avenue records as well. One can easily make the case that Wilco’s first great period ended with Bennett’s departure.

All in all, my favorite Wilco w/ Bennett work is the group of demos recorded for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Since Bennett later recorded versions of many of these songs himself, it’s safe to say that he carried much of the songwriting duties. Personal favorites are “Cars Can’t Escape”, “Venus Stopped the Train”, and “Alone (Shakin’ Sugar)”, although there are several others that are worth hearing.

Here’s a few other interesting Bennett links:

Impromptu “Department Store” Interview with Bennett a few months after leaving Wilco – most moving is his tribute to Ken “I Was Wilco’s First Drummer” Coomer, with Bennett regretfully admitting the part he played in showing Coomer (apparently a good friend) the door

Download full album Whatever Happened I Apologize (free and legal) – just released it this year too, pretty good record

21 Reasons Why Jay Bennett Should Be Back In Wilco – interesting facts here, they claim Bennett is responsible for the melody of the awesome “California Stars”

Remembering Jay Bennett

Last of all, I’ll close with an upbeat little rarity of Bennett’s from back in the day, the silly little song “Junior.” To me, there’s nothing finer to close a tribute to the guy than to say that here was a man who never took himself too seriously, a guy who did it all for the joy of rock and roll, and a guy who I pray will rest in peace.

bennett3