Thursday, July 14th, 2011
Wilco love you, baby, and wants to give you some tickets
Austin NelsonSo y’all know Wilco, right? Chicago-based outfit that rose from the ashes of Uncle Tupelo and survived numerous lineup changes and label drama to release some of the best pop/rock/roots records of the past almost two decades and establish themselves as one of America’s best bands. Yeah, that Wilco.
They’re following up 2009’s Wilco (The Album) with their eight studio album The Whole Love on September 27 – the first to be released on their own label dBpm Records. And, being the road warriors that they are, they’re a-gonna tour it with the first leg of North American dates starting up a good two weeks before the record is even out.
Toronto’s two dates – we’re a bona fide overnight destination for the band now – go early on in the tour, September 16 and 17 at Massey Hall with New wave pop legend (and songwriting royalty beneficiary thanks to the first single from The Whole Love) Nick Lowe supporting. Massey has been their Toronto home away from home starting back in 2004 and since then, the Old Lady Of Shuter Street has hosted many memorable shows (as well as a famous dressing down by Jeff Tweedy for being too courteous – 10MB video clip under the link there); no reason to think these ones will be any less so.
So considering both the fan and Friends of Massey Hall presales went yesterday morning and unsurprisingly sold out in minutes, this Friday’s public onsale at 10AM is almost your last chance to score tickets for the show. Note that I said almost. Courtesy of the band and LiveNation, I’ve got a pair of tickets to give away for the Saturday night show. To enter, I want you to leave a comment on this post with your favourite Wilco in Toronto memory, and that can include Wilco-related anecdotes involving any of but not limited to Uncle Tupelo, Golden Smog, The Autumn Defense, Jeff solo, whatever. And if you’re new to the band and don’t have one, something related to their music and not the shows is fine too. Make sure your email is in there, and don’t worry – it will remain hidden from nasty spambots. The contest will run until midnight, August 26 so if you want to try your hand at the public on-sale and enter if you miss out, do that. But if you score some ducats, don’t water down the odds for those less fortunate – unless you just want to share some reminiscences, then just note that you’re not entering the contest proper. And to get things rolling, mine remains their last-minute post-cancelled-Lollapalooza-tour club show at The Mod Club in August 2004 with their rotating-substitute-drummer set opening for Neil Young at the Air Canada Centre in December 2008 not far behind.
I’m sure there’s someone out there for whom their favourite Hogtown Wilco memory took place the evening of November 20, 1996 circa Being There when Jeff Tweedy and Jay Bennett performed a super-intimate acoustic set in the back room of C’est What. I wasn’t there, no sir, but someone with a cassette recorder was, and they tapped said recorder into the soundboard and made a fine-sounding recording of the show. I was given a copy of said show on cassette a few years ago but not having anything resembling a working cassette deck, it just sat there like a special prize hidden away behind technological lock and key. I actually borrowed my brother’s cassette deck with the intention of ripping it and sharing it with the world and last night while messing with cables and laptop audio settings that refused to cooperate, it occurred to me to see if maybe – just maybe – someone had already gone to the trouble. And they had. The full recording of the show is available over at Ohmpark and probably sounds a good deal better than I’d have been able to manage. Enjoy a couple samples below, head over there for the rest and share some stories below.
MP3: Jeff Tweedy & Jay Bennett – “I Got You (At The End Of The Century)” (live at C’est What – 11/20/96)
MP3: Jeff Tweedy & Jay Bennett – “Dreamer In My Dreams” (live at C’est What – 11/20/96)
MP3: Jeff Tweedy & Jay Bennett – “Pick Up The Change” (live at C’est What – 11/20/96)
Video: Interpol – “Lights”
Rebekah Higg’s second full-length Odd Fellowship will finally see the light of day on August 23. Exclaim has album details and a bunch of eastern Canadian dates – nothing in Toronto yet, but there’s a week between London and Wakefield, I can’t imagine those won’t get filled out before long.
Room 205 has a video session with Austra; just one song for now but these tend to get padded out over time – expect more to be added. The Times-Colonist and BrookylynVegan talk to Katie Stelmanis, who also shows/tells The Guardian how she wrote “Lose It”.