Track ListingClick tracks with speaker icon to listen
|1.02||You Are My Face||4:38|
|1.04||Sky Blue Sky||3:23|
|1.05||Side with the Seeds||4:15|
|1.06||Shake It Off||5:40|
|1.07||Please Be Patient with Me||3:17|
|1.08||Hate It Here||4:31|
|1.09||Leave Me (Like You Found Me)||4:09|
|1.12||On and On and On||4:00|
|2.02||DVD: Sky Blue Sky||3:03|
|2.03||DVD: Impossible Germany||5:40|
|2.04||DVD: Please Be Patient with Me||3:06|
|2.05||DVD: Shake It Off||5:32|
|2.07||DVD: What Light||3:13|
|2.08||DVD: Side with the Seeds||4:00|
|2.09||DVD: Hate It Here||5:11|
News & Reviews
- Friday, April 27, 2012
Billy Bragg Discusses "Mermaid Avenue" Across the BBC; Its "Wealth of Quality Material Is Remarkable," Says Q (Four Stars)
Billy Bragg has been featured across the BBC airwaves to celebrate the release of Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions, on which Bragg and Wilco set Woody Guthrie's words to music. The Sunday Times and Details both dub it a "must-have." BBC Music says that "nobody has picked up on Woody as effectively—or unexpectedly—as this transatlantic get-together." The Mermaid Avenue project "was always an interesting idea," says a four-star Q review. "That it produced such a wealth of quality material is remarkable." Pitchfork too says: "What's remarkable is the wealth of material available to these artists and the number of gems these sessions produced." Drowned in Sound rates this "wonderful reissue" a nine out of ten. "Even for those who already have both of the previous volumes," says DiS, "Mermaid Avenue: The Complete Sessions is a fascinating look at one of America’s greatest writers."
- Saturday, April 21, 2012
Record Store Day Releases from Black Keys, Dr. John, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Sara Watkins, Carolina Chocolate Drops Out Now
Happy Record Store Day! Nonesuch Records has made a series of special releases available today in honor of the fifth annual Record Store Day, a celebration of the unique culture surrounding over 700 independently owned record stores in the USA and hundreds of similar stores internationally. Among the artists releasing albums and singles today are The Black Keys, Dr. John, Billy Bragg & Wilco, Sara Watkins, and Carolina Chocolate Drops. A limited quantity of each Record Store Day title is also available on the Nonesuch Store now.
About this Album
“A great album from a band in their prime.” Observer (UK)
Wilco delivers its new album, Sky Blue Sky, on May 15, 2007 (Nonesuch), three years after the band’s last studio record—the two-time Grammy Award-winning A ghost is born.
“Hands down, this has been the easiest Wilco record to make, so naturally I’m in love with it,” Wilco front man Jeff Tweedy recently told Harp magazine. “From the very first session when we sat down to work on the material, everybody has been pointed in the same direction...and that made the whole experience a lot of fun.”
Featuring the band that was assembled after the release of A ghost is born (Nonesuch, 2004), Sky Blue Sky is the first studio album from a lineup that has received overwhelmingly positive critical and popular acclaim for its nearly three years of live shows, documented on the 2005 live double-disc Kicking Television: Live in Chicago. Rolling Stone called that recording“a definitive live statement from America’s foremost rock impressionists.”
Sky Blue Sky features guitarist, singer, and principal songwriter Jeff Tweedy; longtime Tweedy band mate bassist John Stirratt; percussionist Glenn Kotche; keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen; multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone; and avant-jazz guitarist Nels Cline (recently named one of the Top 20 New Guitar Gods by Rolling Stone magazine).
The 12 new songs on Sky Blue Sky were recorded at the band’s Chicago studio, The Loft. The album was produced by Wilco, recorded by TJ Doherty (Sonic Youth, the Hold Steady), and mixed by Jim Scott (The Red Hot Chili Peppers, the Dixie Chicks, the Rolling Stones).
This deluxe package features the album on CD plus a 48-minute film on DVD. The film captures the band discussing and performing songs from Sky Blue Sky in Chicago; it was directed by Christoph Green and Fugazi’s Brendan Canty, the filmmakers behind Sunken Treasure and the documentary series Burn to Shine.
Jeff Tweedy breaks down Sky Blue Sky:
I wanted to start off this record with this idea of acceptance.
“You Are My Face”
It’s more of a family tree, but not necessarily biographical. This song is one of the more conceptual songs on the record. It’s trying to reflect a present, past and a future in a linear kind of way, with the explosive section in the middle that’s a lot more kinetic than the droning past and the ambiguous future.
This song reminds me of waking up at a certain point in your life, and you ask yourself, ‘How did I get here?’ Sometimes you’re pretty grateful where you ended up. There are a lot of layers to that song since it’s been around so long. There are elements of political refection and historical perspective that I feel I’ve gotten more interested in as I’ve gotten older.
“Sky Blue Sky”
That is probably as direct as I’ve ever gotten in a song before. It’s a very crystallized moment: watching a parade go by in my hometown, and getting blocked from getting across the main drag, preventing me from going home. And at some point, thinking it was a good idea to turn around and not go home.
“Side with the Seeds”
It’s a pretty confusing song. There’s such a polarization in all of our lives these days, and there’s so much unhappiness. It’s a song that’s saying, ‘If an electron can do it, why can’t I?’
“Shake it off”
That’s similar to ‘Sky Blue Sky,’ in that it’s about a specific moment in time, a feeling, a reminder. The chorus is pretty direct: this too shall pass.
“Please Be Patient with Me”
I don’t know if there’s anything I can add except to point out, again, the title of the song itself.
“Hate It Hear”
My wife calls this song ‘The Liar Song,’ because I don’t know how to use the washing machine.
“Leave Me (Like You Found Me)”
This one has been around for a long, long time. There’s a simple sentiment in the chorus. Though it does become more expansive in the last verse when people are waking up, climbing the trees, and actively participating in their lives suddenly.
This song was on a set list once, written out like the spelling of the actor, Christopher Walken. It became too hard to shake that spelling.
Responding to the fact that this song was the one track posted on the band’s MySpace page, Tweedy says, “I don’t know what a single is.”
“On and On and On”
This song was actually one of the earlier songs that we demo-ed on this record, and over time – we played it once or twice live – I was doubtful about it making the record. At some point, it became the closer. It became much more meaningful to me after my mom died last September. There was something that allowed me to finish that song. I really wanted to write a song that my dad could listen to, and find some comfort in, that wasn’t a James Blunt song. I was very touched that my father was being soothed in any way by music. It did make me feel like this song was much more personal. I know how to write songs, so I thought, maybe I should write one for dad and have him respond to it. My mom died suddenly, playing cards with her friends, which is a pretty awesome way to go. She was 72. My dad and her met when they were 15, and they had not been apart that entire time. That’s a pretty major adjustment for a 73-year-old man to make.
Jeff Tweedy, vocals (1-11), guitars (1-11)
John Stirratt, bass (1-12), vocals (2), background vocals (11)
Glenn Kotche, drums (1-6, 8-12), percussion (3, 6, 9, 11, 12), glockenspiel (7)
Mikael Jorgensen, piano (1-5, 7-10), Hammond A100 organ (3, 11, 12), Wurlitzer (6), Hammond B3 organ (10)
Nels Cline, lead electric guitar (1, 3, 5), lead electric 12-string (2), lap steel (4, 10, 11), electric guitar (8, 9, 11), loops (9), electric 12-string (12)
Pat Sansone, Hammond A100 organ (1, 2, 5), vocals (2), acoustic guitar (2, 7), electric guitar (3, 6, 10), Chamberlin (4), Mellotron (5, 9), Wurlitzer (8), harpsichord (9), piano (11, 12)
Karen Waltuch, viola, violin (1, 12)
Jim O’Rourke, feedback (2), percussion (8), acoustic guitar (11)
Produced by Wilco
Recorded by TJ Doherty at the Loft, Chicago
Mixed by Jim Scott at PLYRZ Studios, Santa Clarita, CA
Assistant Engineers: Jason Tobias, Tom Gloady, and Kevin Dean
Mastered by Robert C. Ludwig at Gateway Mastering & DVD, Portland, ME
String arrangements by Jim O’Rourke
Strings recorded at Sear Sound, NYC
All songs written by Jeff Tweedy except tracks 2 also by Cline; 3, 8, 10, 12 also by Wilco; 5 also by Jorgensen
Design by Jeff Tweedy and Lawrence Azerrad, at LADdesign, Los Angeles
Cover: Sky Chase by Manuel Presti