Monday, November 14, 2005

Critical Condition: Wilco! Springsteen! Phoenix and Witherspoon!

Great news for people who love Wilco! A live album is born today... and it's a two-discer!

Pitchfork raves about Kicking Telvision:

Though the band loosens up the new songs, the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot numbers remain consistent with previous live renditions-- that is, still awesome. Tweedy's clenched voice is consumes by noise on "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart", xylophones ever-tinkling. "Let's get this party started...with some midtempo rock," he jokes, then fulfills his pledge with "Jesus, Etc.", slide guitar replacing violins on the chorus and the verses sprinkled with reggae-tinged synths. He tries humor again leading into "I Am the Man Who Loves You", announcing, "This is my favorite part of the show: I love you!" before unleashing an erection of guitar noise and a porno-funk intro to an uptempo performance with bright Sgt. Pepper's horns. Faithful renditions of "Radio Cure", "Ashes of American Flags", "Poor Places", and poppy "Heavy Metal Drummer" round out the second disc.

Meanwhile, Thom Jurek is stoked about the new 30th Anniversary package of Bruce Springsteen's Born to Run:

Presented in this way, Born to Run is enough to make one accept that rock & roll is a force to be reckoned with rather than something to market cars, beer, and lingerie; it contains the mythic power of the ages, and dare it be said the proof that God himself can speak through a sleazy looking, beat, flesh and blood batch of street urchins using the ordinary as a means of speaking of the power, vulnerability, romance, and redemption of everyday life as something to be celebrated , struggled through, and cherished.

Finally, Stephen Thomas Erlewine weighs in on the soundtrack to the new Johnny Cash biopic, Walk the Line:

So, Walk the Line winds up being a curious yet enjoyable listen. By no means does this replace the Cash or Carter originals, but it's a good tribute to both musicians, while providing some fascinating insight to the art and craft of Phoenix and Witherspoon as actors.


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