Wilco's "Being There"
Reading Dan Tobin's recent post about Wilco's "Being There" at www.dantobindantobin.com made me think a bit about Wilco's collection of discs. I think Wilco peaked with the "Being There" double disc, despite the high quality of what came after it.
Everytime I listen to "Being There," it sets off some strong emotions and brings up some good memories. Perhaps the strongest is when I played the disc for the first time for Dan and our good friend Alon in a car on the way to get some beer on the Cape. EVERY time I hear the disc, I think about being 22 years old, in a car with two great friends, on the Cape in the summertime.
I really like "Summerteeth" and "YankeeHotelFoxtrot." "Summerteeth" has some really strong songs, but none of them set anything off in me. There was all kinds of stuff happening when I first bought that disc...mainly mooning over a girl that it never worked out with. But when I hear songs like "We're Just Friends" that meant a lot to me then, they don't awaken much now.
Same with "YFT." I had no idea that it was in the works till Tobin sent me a bootleg copy shortly after Sept. 11 at my office, which was reeling from the Anthrax scare and his package nearly got picked off for that reason -- Dan printed in block letters, just like the Anthrax mailer...
Anyway, I was knocked out by the album at the time, and still think it's quite good. "PotKettleBlack" is one of my favorite songs from the current decade. But listening to it doesn't put me back on my couch in the post 9/11 weeks and recall any of the emotions I had at the time.
"A.M.," which preceded "Being There," was a good album, nothing more, nothing less. I remember a hip older friend in my freshman year of college making me a mix with "Box Full of Letters" and thinking it was pretty good, but not as awesome as "Quicksand" by Dinosaur Jr.
"Being There" probably didn't need to be a double disc -- "Sunken Treasure," "Someday Soon," and "Lonely 1," are all outstanding, and probably should have been separated out and put on the 1rst disc as a single CD.
But man...that first disc takes me back...