Wednesday, 28 January 2015

Wilco - Side with the Seeds

Rusty's waltz wednesday presents: Side with the seeds, by Wilco


side with the seeds comes off of one of my favorite Wilco albums. Briefly the band is from Chicago, headed by jeff tweedy. To my ear their songs are roots/Americana, but they do wonderful things with the sound space to create weird, exciting, eery, or all of the above sounds to - in their words - not have every track sound like a folk song.

A great addition to the band when they recorded sky blue sky was jazz guitarist Nels Cline. I didn't know much about Nels, but his playing on this album is mind blowing if only for the breadth of styles that he can play. I'm not one to kvell over an electric guitarist, but Cline plays a style that's at once messy, but so refined.

I saw them play in Montreal when they were touring this album; it was probably the best concert I'd ever been to.

The song:

This song might be in 6/8, but either way - like I said in my selection criteria post: if I can count some threes in there, it's a waltz goddamnit.

I haven't given the words a close listen and probably won't. All's I care about is that they don't get in the way of me enjoying the song as a whole. Typically, Tweedy's voice has this raspy-yet-vulnerable tone that immediately hooked me on to wilco some years ago.

The melody rounds out into a bridge part at the two minute mark, where Nels takes the first of his two solos, but shows restraint. We then get another verse, and then it's Nels' turn again, and he brings out the slaymaker.

This recording is live, but sounds as good or better than the studio version. I don't want to turn this into a morality play, but <preaching> there's a lot to be said for the organic process of making music that's lost when much of the performance comes from canned sounds </preaching>. ENJOY!

Wednesday, 21 January 2015

What's a waltz anyways?

Well friends, I thought I should clarify my waltz selection criteria.

It's informal, and here it goes. I'm going to try to keep it simple, and keep it moving.

1. Find the beat.
2. Find the beginning of a measure - its usually right on a beat, and at the beginning of a melody part. It     usually stands out. I try not to over think it.
3. Start counting 1-2-3-1-2-3 in time with the beat.
4. Does the counting match the song? That is, does each "1" start on the beginning of a "phrase"?
5. If the answer to 4 is "yes", wellsir, according to Rusty's waltz Wednesday criteria you've got yourself a waltz.

Let's try with an old post: Beach House's On the Sea

To my ear, I the first phrase begins as the piano comes in around the 12 second mark.

The piano does a nice job of sounding out the "1-2-3". The melody phrase consists of three LOUD-soft note combinations.

Once you start counting your "1-2-3"s, you'll find that the "2" always lands on the middle - which is usually the highest accented note in each 1-2-3 phrase.

Got any questions or comments? I'm all eyes, so comment below! Bye now.