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2015 Songs Header

Here’s another late addition to our favorite music of 2015–this time it’s our favorite songs. You’ll find Logan’s favorites first, then Chris’s, each in alphabetical order.

And if you have any interest, here’s a link to a Spotify playlist with most of the songs below–enjoy!

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mp3: Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want1

mp3: I’m Sorry2

mp3: I Love You But I Don’t Know What To Say3

mp3: Please Do Not Let Me Go4

mp3: Was It Something I Said?5

mp3: No6

mp3: It’s Not Your Fault7

mp3: I Can’t Explain8

mp3: I’m Leaving You Because I Don’t Love You9

mp3: It’s Just That Simple10

mp3: Please Please Please11

mp3: Wait12

mp3: I Just Don’t Understand13

mp3: Nobody Gets Me But You14

mp3: Listen to Me15

mp3: You Can Do Better Than Me16

mp3: What Am I Supposed To Do?17

mp3: Just18

mp3: Keep on Chooglin’19

mp3: Pause20

mp3: Pardon Me?21

to be continued…

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Wilco - 28

You’ve probably heard it all before, and I’m not going to tell you anything different. Wilco may be the best live band playing today, and after seeing them on Friday night at Coveleski ballpark in South Bend I can now (finally) attest to that fact. I just can’t think of many bands right now who are in their position: who’ve been playing long enough to accumulate a deep catalog of genuinely incredible songs, and who just love to play them. In addition to that, I’d argue that right now might be the best time to see them, considering that they’re not touring behind a recent album but are instead playing some of the most varied sets they ever have – their 2 1/2 hour set Friday night was pretty evenly split between pre- and post-A Ghost Is Born material, leaning just slightly toward the older albums (lots of YHF and Being There). Simply put, it was one of the best rock and roll shows I’ve ever seen. In addition to the fantastic music, the outdoor atmosphere was fun and summery and there were jokes being made all night – about Zumba, Glenn Kotche’s broken toe, and pigeon crap (Tweedy: “back in the old days roadies would crap in our mouths… and we’d keep on playing!“)

Yo La Tengo was also fantastic, and it was pretty fitting to see them at a ballpark (their name is Spanish for an outfielder’s cry “I have it!”) – they played mostly cuts from their last two records plus a few songs from 1997’s I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, and a Neil Young cover in memory of Ben Keith who passed away last week. They played a good mix, ranging from the electric mayhem of “And The Glitter Is Gone” to the piano shuffle of “Mr. Tough”, with plenty of noisy interludes in between. Somewhere in their set Ira Kaplan explained why Wilco was headlining the night and Yo La Tengo wasn’t: before the show he’d peaked into Wilco’s dressing room and saw them practicing, while he and his two bandmates snuck into the ballpark’s storage shed and took pictures in the mascot costumes (later that night Tweedy insisted “Don’t let them fool you – they practice a lot…. I’m taking pictures”).

We were down in front for all of Yo La Tengo’s set and about the first half of Wilco’s. When we’d finally had enough of the drunken masses we moved back to the lawn area where families had laid out blankets and parents were dancing with children to songs like “Forget The Flowers” and “Heavy Metal Drummer”. After that we moved back to the grandstands for the last 45 minutes or so and sat next to a group of older fans with binoculars and notepads, excitedly jotting down setlists and geeking out when they heard the first few lines of Neil Young’s “Broken Arrow”. What I’m trying to say here is that Wilco brings people together. All kinds of people, of all ages. They are that great. Here’s a few other random thoughts: (1) “A Shot In The Arm” is probably one of the best sing-along rock songs ever written. (2) I finally understand why people adore “Impossible Germany” so much – that song was MADE to be played live. Holy cow. (3) Glenn Kotche is some kind of superman – I mean he has to be to go from standing on top of his drums, sticks in the air, back-lit like some sort of rock-god, to suddenly jumping down to hit the first beat of “I’m The Man Who Loves You” perfectly – I mean, come on. That’s just nuts. And (4), after the show we stopped by the only Del Taco in Indiana and while enjoying a couple Chicken Soft Tacos and a Double Del Cheeseburger I sat back and realized life just doesn’t get much better than this.

Both setlists and a couple mp3’s after the jump:

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I wrote the following bit for a contest on Fuel/Friends (I didn’t win) and I kind of liked how it turned out – so I’m sharing it here! The question was “What’s you’re favorite Wilco __________ (live moment/lyric/etc.).” Here’s mine:

It’s kind of a silly story actually, but back in college when money was tight (some things haven’t changed), I had just been getting into YHF and wanted to explore Wilco’s back catalogue. I’d read great things about Summerteeth and I loved “Via Chicago”, so I went down to the local used-record store in town (we still had one!) hoping specifically to find a copy of Summerteeth.

It sounds funny, but even though it was a total long-shot and there was really no chance they’d have it, I had this feeling it would be there. Kind of a premonition, you could say. Anyway, we got there and under the “Wilco” divider- nothing. Bummed, I looked around and grabbed a couple other things. Then, for no good reason that I can remember now I decided to look over in the Used Country Music section- just in case. I thumbed through discs of groups I’d never heard of until, magically, in the middle of a row of Kenny Chesney records- I saw those blurry lips. I couldn’t believe it. It was my own little Wilco Miracle. Since then, Summerteeth has become one of my very favorite albums, by Wilco or anyone.

This line in “When You Wake Up Feeling Old” always kinda makes me think of how me and Summerteeth got together- “Walk down any street you can find/Look at any clock telling time/Sing some strange verse from some strange song of vines/And you’ll be where you want to be”.

mp3: Wilco – When You Wake Up Feeling Old
from the album Summerteeth (buy it here)