16 February 2006


"Spiders (Kidsmoke)" by Wilco which clocks in at 10:48

Sometimes I'm able to pinpoint the very song, the exact moment, that a band wins me over. I remember when it happened with The Smiths, it was as soon as I heard "This Night Has Opened My Eyes" for the first time, but this is about a different night that opened my eyes. This is about the song that finally made me realize that liking Wilco was something I'd enjoy. See, to me Wilco was just some crap alt-country band. When people would talk to me about Wilco, Whiskeytown, Son Volt, Uncle Tupelo, Golden Smog, my eyes would just glaze over and my brain stopped paying attention to my ears. You have to understand, this kind of music was pretty darn popular where I grew up so, naturally, I didn't want anything to do with it. I mean, I'd never really so much as listened to an entire album by any of those bands but that's the beauty of being close-minded, it takes no effort what-so-ever. All I knew was that those bands were making music I didn't care to hear. When Mermaid Avenue came out I begrudgingly bought it (because I love Billy Bragg) and totally loved it, but I never actually acknowledged that Wilco had anything to do with that album. To my demented, closed, mind it was all Billy Bragg.

I was one mean, stupid, sonbitch when it came to giving Wilco a chance. One friend of mine gave me, free of charge, a copy of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot when it came out. He said, "I KNOW you'll like this record". I never even put it in to listen to. Why? Dumb. What it finally took to get me to check them out was a different friend actually buying me a ticket to see Wilco in concert in October of 2004 at Radio City Music Hall. No way I'd turn down a free ticket to such a concert...my stupidity goes only so far.

At the show I remember liking what I was hearing right away. They played "Hummingbird" and "Muzzle of Bees" and "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" early in the set and I was really getting into it. The show went on and I found myself quite shocked at how much I was liking Wilco. And then it happened. That thing that happens, like I said before, when something clicks. That moment you actually fall in love with a band's music and you realize you'll be buying a few of their albums (like) the next day. Well, it had been building throughout the show for me so as soon as they started with the groovy bounce of "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" I was hooked and by the end of the song I was head over heels. Listen, you'll see what I mean.

This version of the song is from A Ghost is Born (the picture here is the cover of that album). Don't be stupid like me, go buy it and while you're at it pick up Kicking Television: Live in Chicago too because these guys RULE in concert.

EAR FARM's 8+ is a weekly feature that showcases songs longer than 8 minutes. In the recent past these songs were featured on EF's 8+:
British Sea Power - "Lately"
Islands - "Swans"
Isolée - "Pillowtalk"
Animal Collective - "Banshee Beat"
Wilderness - "Post Plethoric Rhetoric"
The Wedding Present - "Interstate 5"
Sleater-Kinney - "Let's Call It Love"
My Morning Jacket - "Dondante"