Review: Uncut’s “Wilco – The Ultimate Music Guide”

With their ‘Sounds of the New West’ compilations Uncut has always been the most likely of the major music magazines to cover “our” sort of music. They also publish a series of “Ultimate Music Guides” examining the career of an artist in detail. So far, they have mostly focused on people with the maximum shelf appeal in WH Smiths, Beatles, Dylan, Bowie. But now they are looking further afield and this time it’s the turn of Wilco. Continue reading “Review: Uncut’s “Wilco – The Ultimate Music Guide””

Pick of the Political Pops: Wilco “Via Chicago”

This week we have been remembering the Chicago Race Riots of 1919 which occurred over a period of several days starting on 27th July. The event was part of a wider summer of unrest in the USA generally known as “The Red Summer”. Continue reading “Pick of the Political Pops: Wilco “Via Chicago””

AUK’s Chain Gang: Wilco “Via Chicago”

The previous Chain Gang offering was Dale Watson’s ‘Tucumcari Here I Come’ which required a search to learn was on ‘More Songs of Route 66: Roadside Attractions’. The choices available to link to songs relating to US routes and highways in Americana must be almost infinite. Obviously one option would be to revisit Highway 61 but even if you choose to stick on Route 66 then you have a choice of classics like ‘Well I’m Standing on a Corner in Winslow, Arizona’ which now has a park dedicated to it. Continue reading “AUK’s Chain Gang: Wilco “Via Chicago””

AUK’s Top Ten Americana Albums Ever: Paul Villers

At AUK we are now well into our quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the coming weeks and months each AUK writer will in turn, present their own personal selections. When each writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. This week’s writer placing his head on the block is Paul Villers. Continue reading “AUK’s Top Ten Americana Albums Ever: Paul Villers”

Wilco perform new song “Tell Your Friends” – Watch

We’re slightly late to the party with this one but at the end of last week Wilco premiered new song ‘Tell Your Friends’ as a lockdown performance for The Late Show With Stephen Colbert. Each member of the band performed the song via live stream surrounded by family and pets. The song focussing on reuniting with friends at the end of this pandemic contained the refrain: “Don’t forget to tell your friends/This is going to end/Oh, and I needed you.” It’s available for purchase on Bandcamp, and all proceeds from the single will go toward José Andrés’ organization World Central Kitchen, which provides meals and other relief to those affected by the pandemic.

AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Clint West

Welcome to a brand new feature. At AUK we are on a quest to find the ‘Top 10 Americana Albums Ever’. Over the coming weeks and months each AUK writer will in turn, present their own personal selections. When each writer has had their say, a shortlist of the most frequently chosen albums will be drawn up and voted on, in order to generate the definitive AUK writers top ten. So whilst we all have sleepless nights whittling the whole history of Americana down to just 10 albums, you can sit back and cast a critical eye. Both nods of approval and sighs of incredulity are fully expected. We welcome your comments and observations in the box provided at the bottom of the page. Continue reading “AUK’s top 10 Americana albums ever: Clint West”

“What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Paul Villers

Well we haven’t had a piece for a while (lots of things going on but people are staying safe, thankfully) so the ‘developer’ of this feature is going to put his own ten pence worth in. We hope you, dear reader, enjoy this latest instalment of “What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…” Continue reading ““What Is This Americana Thing Anyway…?” – Paul Villers”

AUK’s Chain Gang: Wilco “Passenger Side”

So we begin our first full week back with a new feature here on AUK whereby we are starting our own kind of version of Radcliffe and Maconie’s The Chain, a never-ending list of americana songs with some connection between each new track to the last. What better way to start with this track from Wilco’s ‘AM’ album, one of the first and indeed finest records in the 90s new wave of americana which contains the classic line “You’re gonna make me spill my beer, If you don’t learn how to steer”.  Which weirdly enough is exactly what I said to my Uber driver last Friday.

The best gigs of 2019: a personal reflection

“I think that live music is something that the internet can never kill”  – Jim James (My Morning Jacket).  In an age when we can access our favourite music in so many ways and so many forms, for me the best way remains – live. I’m not talking massive stadium or arena gigs, but small and medium-sized venues with character and intimacy. With only a handful of exceptions, these are the places where most Americana artists will ply their trade in the UK. Luckily for me, there are a number of such venues in Manchester providing the opportunity to see top acts for relatively small amounts of money. Continue reading “The best gigs of 2019: a personal reflection”

Wilco “Ode to Joy” (dBpm Records, 2019)

Approaching an album by Wilco is an interesting proposition for a committed Wilco fan. Is it going to be a magnum opus – ‘A Ghost Is Born‘ or ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot‘; a slight but fuzzy affair ‘Star Wars‘ or ‘Schmilco‘, or something different again – and there’s the rub. Wilco fans like different but not too different  – they are cut from the same cloth as Old Shakey.  They like it that he sticks the middle finger up to doing what’s expected but… but they’d really like to hear a new ‘On the Beach‘.
Continue reading “Wilco “Ode to Joy” (dBpm Records, 2019)”