Monday, July 14, 2008

Top 40 at 40 #24

#24 Wilco Handshake Drugs 2004

We have cracked the top 25 together...worlds apart.... holding hands through the journey... or this will be deleted like the rest of them were.

So here I am ensconced with one of the most influential bands in my life for the last six years or so and an incredible song to show you. As I'm sure most of you have never heard it,from the album A Ghost Is Born. But it doesn't really matter, nor do the lyrics which are about one man's search for sanity or release through the "handshake drugs " that he bought downtown. This is the group that my wife and I really bonded over during our courtship in NYC. She was a bigger Wilco fan than I was. She was keen to the genius that is Jeff Tweedy(nucleus, singer, guitar) long before me. God bless her.

I was painting a loft in Williamsburg,Brooklyn in 2004. The owner's name was Sam and he just happened to be the chief booking agent for a great club in NY called Irving Plaza and for all of Clear Channel's venues as well. He and I were talking music of course and he asked if I liked Wilco. I said I only knew what my fiance had told me about the band, and that she was a huge fan. I kind of felt that they were too much of a hipster band for me. He invited us to see them at Irving Plaza in the VIP section. We went and I was transformed...right then and there. I had not seen a band gel so well and have so much to "say" in a long long time. Jeff Tweedy is a story teller, a poet and a beacon for those who crave something more than the dull fluorescence of typical rock songs. Jeff's emotional pathways can just overtake you. And Wilco is not too indie for those who are deterred by non melodic, whiny, dischordant non song- like indie rock (like me). The melody, the story based songs and a band that is second to none...Chicago's own Wilco have it all. I'm glad to be a closet hipster because of them. I can SING these songs. I can hang with the crowd. I almost bought a trucker hat when back when they were hip. I started to mess up my hair even more than it already is but I digress....
I really have to thank my wife Pamela for my love affair with Wilco. It is one of the many things she has introduced me to that have made our own love affair all the more better. We've seen them together now many NY, Berkeley, Oakland, Austin and every live show is better than the last.
Wilco is a live band. Many of their songs are far superior live than on record, and their records are great. Something for everyone, believe me- you stuck in the mud rockers! I was one of you once. But if you have to start somewhere, try Yankee Hotel Foxtrot from 2002, or A Ghost is Born from 2004. You might just find a dusty gem that you'll want to keep shined up from now on. If not, get yourself checked out, you may have no feeling from the ears up............

Top 5 Wilco songs 1) Handshake Drugs 2) Shot in the Arm(Summer Teeth '99) 3)Hummingbird(A Ghost is Born '04) 4)Company in My Back(A Ghost is Born '04) 5)I Am Trying to Break Your Heart (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot '02)

The version of this song I'm attaching is Live from the album Kicking Television- 2005
05 - Handshake Drugs.mp3
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