15 November 2005

wilco - "misunderstood (live)" (from the kicking television : live in chicago lp, available for purchase here.)

in brief : an unlikely singalong.

wilco in 2005 is opening their live album w/ "misunderstood." true, they opened being there w/ the song, but in 1996, by comparison, it closed the show. it is the only song that they play from being there--it should go w/o saying that there's nothing from a.m.--and they get it out of the way at the start. listening to both the performance and the crowd's reaction seems to make this clear.

being there was their classic classic rock double-album, their exile in main street, but what "misunderstood" sounds like is nothing so much as mott the hoople. perhaps tweedy lacks ian hunter's bonhomie, but the vocal similarities are there, and i would think that a band should be flattered by the comparison. the crowd is into it, for sure, singing the opening lines, then erupting into applause and shouting the lyric : "YOU STILL LOVE ROCK 'N' ROLL!!!" surely, radiohead doesn't have to put up w/ such a thing. now that's the band, i'd imagine tweedy & co. would rather be compared w/, yhf their okc, a ghost is born their kid a.

"misunderstood" as opener strikes one as a particularly yorkie move : yes, the length and pace, but also the key lyric. as rock show openers go, "i'd like to thank you all for nothing at all" is hardly "hello chicago!" (but they'll get that w/ "via chicago.") on record, this section lasts about twenty-eight seconds and is chopped up so that tweedy doesn't sing "nothing" more than five times in a row. on kicking television, it's extended to just shy of a minute, w/ tweedy screaming "nothing" some thirty-odd times consecutively. it's like your cd player has gotten stuck on the word; it's also like sideshow bob & the rakes in the "cape feare" episode or brian griffin holding his knee and squirming in pain--you wonder how long it can possibly go on, and you also wonder if it's funny. the crowd is trying to answer the same questions, as they whistle, cheer, groan, and ultimately REALLY get into it. one understands just what the band is up to : it's the opening of the show and they know the crowd will put up w/ just about anything. it's going to be a good night; and no one is going to request "creep."

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