Song of the Day: Wilco – Kamera

Jordan Posner Recalls: Hi. I live in Chicago. Around here, Jeff Tweedy can often be seen riding the CTA and helping out on various construction projects. I think once he served me at the Dunkin Donuts at the Fullerton Red/Brown/Purple stop. He usually helps me carry groceries.

Seriously. Every morning he hangs out in front of the Marina Towers.

The point is, I really want to like Tweedy, because he seems like an exceptional human being. Once you put yourself in the proper context, Wilco is a great band as well. In fact, there’s nothing bad about them at all. It’s just that when they get too complacent, they tend to be kind of boring.

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I realize I might get kicked off the site for saying this.

I will erect my tent and fly my sigul at the nearest Hooverville.

That’s why, instead of accentuating their faults, I choose to honor Wilco when they truly moved me.

And when they moved me, predictably, was when I was in high school.

The year was 2002. Wilco’s undisputed masterpiece Yankee Hotel Foxtrot had just been released. I was preparing for a year of keg-related shenanigans at Ohio State.

We were looking forward to ruing the day when Donald Trump would be elected president of the United States.

Things were different back then, is my point.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot came out of nowhere. Sure, Wilco was an already-established alt-country group that was ever inching toward rock. The great records Being There and Summerteeth pretty much cemented their transition into alt-rock superstars. This full band sound was certainly a far cry from Tweedy’s previous group Uncle Tupelo. Nobody was prepared for what Yankee had to offer. There’s a reason Wilco fought to the bitter death with their record label over the final version of this record. There’s a reason the band underwent a drastic personnel change in light of this album. It changed things. Despite what you think about Wilco at this point in time, “Kamera” is a great taste of a band that dared to break all the rules of modern rock, and survived (in one incarnation or another) to keep making music. The song even feels as though it’s about to collapse under its own weight. Everything about it is strained to breaking, and the whole vibe feels amazing.

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