10.23.2005

All my daydreams are disasters

Truffles are tasty. They're excellent sprinkled over a dish in thin slices. One thing I don't think I'd like, though, is just to sit down and eat a whole truffle. It just sounds too rich. After awhile you wouldn't really appreciate it anyway.

That's the way I feel about Uncle Tupelo. Each of their songs is like a delicate little truffle slice to be sprinkled among my iPod listening. Taken in one giant bite like I did today, however, and they begin to lose their flavor.

Uncle Tupelo are probably given more credit than they deserve. Through the years they've been built up into this mythical powerhouse. Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar have been turned into the Lennon/McCartney of Belleville, Illinois. I think both guys have done better work with their subsequent bands (Wilco and Son Volt). What stands out about Uncle Tupelo is how young these guys sound.

So 89/93: An Anthology sounds more like history. You can hear Jeff Tweedy find his style and his voice and you can feel Jay Farrar's swagger through the headphones. There are several fine songs here but few masterpieces. "Screen Door" and "I Got Drunk" (with the catchy chorus of "I got drunk and I fell down") are a couple of my favorites.

But after awhile all the alt countryness of gets to me. Nothing sounds new and I start to think maybe I've taken too big a bite of that truffle. I think I'll stick to listening to Uncle Tupelo in sprinkles.

Favorite Song of the Week:
"If She Wants Me" by Belle & Sebastian - I'm always of two minds when it comes to Belle & Sebastian. Most of their songs sound just a little too twee for me. But then on every album I find a song or two that I can't get out of my head. "If She Wants Me" is from Dear Catastrophe Waitress and it's a slightly funky tune filled with hopeful lyrics like "If I could do just one near perfect thing I'd be happy."

2 comments:

ae said...

This is a great anthology and I love this band, but I also totally get tired of it after the first third or so. Generally I listen to the first couple songs, then skip ahead to the stuff from "March 16-20, 1992." ("Moonshiner," "Black Eye" - the really sad, twangy ones.) I need to just get that album but am lazy.

bigshoulders said...

longtime UT fan, but haven't plunked down the cash for the anthology. i'd rather listen to the first 2 records in spurts. and then pop in Anodyne for a change.

love that line from New Madrid: "All My Daydreams are Disasters." that's the way i feel sometimes too.

b.s.