Irish doctor with too many thoughts, too little time and a blog that's supposed to check in on reality.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

It's just my favorite shit

Post title is a quote from an interview in Paste Magazine with Jeff Tweedy of Wilco about their new live album.
Having just returned from seeing Tift Merritt in Whelans, the end of the interview is very relevant. Tift rocked, by the way! She couldn't afford to bring her keyboardist or drummer - but she more than made do with herself and her guitar. I really agree with Tweedy's comments on live music - they really remind me of the sleeve notes of Martin Hayes and Denis Cahill's Live in Seattle album (pause while I walk to shelf to retrieve same) where he discusses the difficulties in deciding which tunes to play at his heavenly concerts - "Our allegiance is to the spirit of the moment. Our primary wish is that the musical experience be one the lifts our spirits and those of the audience." If you've been to a Martin Hayes concert you know what he means and you can totally appreciate that he would have philosophical dilemnas about performance. Bruce Springsteen sings about making his guitar talk. Martin Hayes makes his fiddle talk, walk, dance and write the odd novel while he's at it.
But back to Tweedy -
I think this is an example of a difference in how we were brought up to appreciate music versus the world we live in, which seems to rely upon much more going on simultaneously. Very rarely is there an audio element without a visual element, with computer games and even with iTunes and things like that, people are sitting there doing something else. And I just think there’s much more mystery to listening to this live record and trying to figure out what the hell’s going on, especially since the crowd is such a part of it, with these seemingly random cheers happening—why?
I think Wilco is never going to accomplish this goal, but I would love for more people to listen to music as a sole activity. I think it’s a really transformative way that that art form can touch you. Aside from live music, which I think is really important to being human—to be a part of a crowd experiencing music—recorded music is like literature when you allow yourself to sit and listen. I mean, you know. That’s all you did when you were growing up; that’s all you needed to do. You found friends that could sit and be quiet and not f—in’ ruin it; those were your friends, you know? If somebody couldn’t do that, you couldn’t hang out with them. I don’t care how cool they were; they were not cool.

In a follow up to my top 19 albums of 2005 post Sinead at sigla blog has a deluxe/DualCD/Double DVD/bonus version with FIVE top 10 lists.....


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