ME: So Wilco is now Radiohead?
HG: Hmmmm. I like the first few songs and then to me it actually sounds like they're trying to be musically annoying after that. Like a child repeating a noise til you make them stop.
I know to you that sounds like Radiohead, but to me Radiohead is searching for beauty in new sounds. Wilco sounds like they got embarrassed at how sweet and pretty the album was starting to turn out and Tweedy didn't like that.
ME: That's a cool take. I tuned out by track 4 and took it off by track 6. Somewhere in the middle of track 5, I considered breaking it over my knee. Or just leaving it on, but finding a new apartment.
HG: Rolling Stone called new Wilco "their most pastoral album in years."
Conclusion: RS didn't listen past track 4 either.
ME: Ha. "Sukierae," "Star Wars," "Schmilco." That's a whole lot of annoying. Next Tweedy record will be 19 minutes of breathing and grunting, maybe the sound of him shuffling in slippers from the couch to the refrigerator, plucking a ukulele string on the way. A better title for the record would have been "Narcolepsy Schnarcolepsy.
HG: Is the title maybe referring to how the record starts out like their best and then gradually obliterates everything I liked about Wilco?
ME: I just meant it puts me to sleep.
HG: No I meant their actual title "Schmilco!" I got what you were saying. Their album doesn't put me to sleep. There seems to be enough annoying noise in it that it could instead be an alarm clock at times. And yet I still love Wilco. Like if Neil Young had put out an album called "I've Got Your Harvest, Right Here," and it was "Weld" or "Trans." I also loved "Narcolepsy Schnarcolepsy," by the way. I just think I couldn't sleep to it. I think it's anti-melodic at points and the poundingly repetitive riffs feel like alarms to me. And "Common Sense" has a drone in it so annoying it could strike fear over half of Syria.
ME: I think that's when I took it off and put the record away for good. That song. I hid it. I put away in the letter "O." Well maybe my title works because the band is sleeping through it. I have this vision of Tweedy hiring somebody to help him hold his pick. That's how lazy it sounds. I was thinking of the Perry Como skit from SCTV, with Eugene Levy lying in bed and the mic propped on the pillow. That's it! The new Wilco: It's like Perry Como meets Neu!
HG: Ha! Nailed it. I feel like it gets better again once you get to track 8, "Quarters." But I really hoped after "Star Wars" they'd make a non-throwaway record. Doesn't Woody Guthrie have any more boxes?
ME: Yeah, I'll trust ya about getting to track 8.