Kicking Television: Live in Chicago

Kicking Television: Live in Chicago

4.0 1
by Wilco
     
 

View All Available Formats & Editions

They're not a "jam band" -- far from it, really -- but Wilco have established themselves as one of the most dynamic live acts on the planet, a reputation that's cemented by this razor-sharp two-disc set. Recorded over a four-day stand in the band's de facto hometown of Chicago, Kicking Television documents the gelling of what leader See more details below

Overview

They're not a "jam band" -- far from it, really -- but Wilco have established themselves as one of the most dynamic live acts on the planet, a reputation that's cemented by this razor-sharp two-disc set. Recorded over a four-day stand in the band's de facto hometown of Chicago, Kicking Television documents the gelling of what leader Jeff Tweedy has called the band's best lineup ever, and it suggests that further highs are yet to come. Wilco set the tone early on with a precise, pounding version of "Misunderstood" that gains extra tension from Tweedy's hyperextension of the "nothing" chant at the song's core. From there, the sextet explode in all sorts of directions, with much of the adventurousness coming from guitarist Nels Cline, who uses "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" as a launching pad for his gripping free-jazz excursions. His presence has clearly altered Wilco's general makeup, but Tweedy remains at the helm of the ship, what with the subtle (and not-so-subtle) changes he puts his compositions through here. Radical reworkings include "The Late Greats," which sheds its skronk-dappled skin to reveal a high-lonesome honky-tonk core, and "Jesus, Etc.," on which the studio version's cerebral musings are lightened with a late-night looseness redolent of the brandy snifter. On songs like "Heavy Metal Drummer" (probably the closest thing Wilco has to an instant gratification anthem), Tweedy lets his inner pop purveyor take charge -- a state of affairs that keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen is particularly important in shoring up. More than anything else, Kicking Television is a document of a group of musicians so comfortable in their own (collective) skin that they play as if the audience wasn't even there -- a method that proves far, far more crowd-pleasing than it sounds.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Mark Deming
While Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and A Ghost Is Born established Wilco's reputation as one of America's most interesting and imaginative rock bands, both albums were the product of a band in flux, and this was particularly evident to those who saw the group on-stage after the release of YHF. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot may have blazed new sonic trails for Wilco, but the departure of Jay Bennett in the latter stages of its production left the band with an audible hole when they played the new material on-stage, and while multi-instrumentalist Leroy Bach may have been a technically skilled player, he looked and sounded like a cold fish in concert, unwittingly emphasizing the cooler surfaces of Wilco's new music and negating much of the passion of Jeff Tweedy's songs. However, by the time Wilco hit the road following the release of A Ghost Is Born, the group's latest round of personnel shakeups had the unexpected but welcome effect of spawning one of the group's best lineups to date; after Bach amicably left Wilco, the addition of keyboard and guitar man Pat Sansone and especially visionary guitarist Nels Cline gave the band players whose energy and passion matched their technical skill, and suddenly the band was playing its challenging new material with the same sweaty force Tweedy and company conjured up in the band's earlier days. Thankfully, Tweedy had the good sense to document the prowess of Wilco's latest incarnation on-stage, and Kicking Television: Live in Chicago, recorded during four shows at the Windy City's Vic Theater, offers a welcome second perspective on the band's more recent work. With the exception of two numbers from Wilco's collaborative albums with Billy Bragg (in which they set Woody Guthrie's poems to music), Kicking Television focuses exclusively on their "post-alt-country" work, but while many of the songs featured here sounded cool and mannered in the studio, here they gain new muscle and force, not to mention a great deal of enthusiasm, and while tunes like "Ashes of American Flags" and "Handshake Drugs" are never going to be crowd-pleasers in the manner of "Casino Queen," the élan of this band in full flight shows that the fun has been put back in Wilco, albeit in a different and more angular form. Nels Cline's guitar is especially bracing in this context, and his marriage of melodic weight and joyous dissonance fits these songs while expanding on their strengths at the same time. And the title cut thankfully proves that Wilco still can (and still does) rock on out. Kicking Television is the best sort of live album -- a recording that doesn't merely retread a band's back catalog, but puts their songs in a new perspective, and in this case these performances reveal that one great band has actually been getting better.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Daniel Durchholz
There is a celebratory mood to the two-disc set.... They may be at their creative zenith.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/15/2005
Label:
Nonesuch
UPC:
0075597990324
catalogNumber:
79903
Rank:
13683

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Wilco   Primary Artist
Nels Cline   Guitar,Lap Steel Guitar,Group Member
John Stirratt   Bass,Vocals,Group Member
Jeff Tweedy   Guitar,Vocals,Group Member
Glenn Kotche   Percussion,Drums,Group Member
Rich Parenti   Saxophone,Baritone Saxophone,Baritone (Vocal)
Mike Jorgensen   Piano,Keyboards
Pat Sansone   Guitar,Keyboards,Vocals,Group Member
Nick Broste   Trombone
Patrick Newbery   Trumpet,Flugelhorn

Technical Credits

Woody Guthrie   Composer
Jay Bennett   Composer
John Stirratt   Composer
Jeff Tweedy   Composer
Wilco   Audio Production
Mycle Konopka   Engineer
Glenn Kotche   Composer
Timothy Powell   Engineer
Nathan Baker   Cover Photo,Technical Crew
Zoran Orlic   Cover Photo,Inlay Photography
Stan Doty   Live Mixing
Frankie Montuoro   Technical Crew
Matt Zivich   Technical Crew
Chris Hoffman   Technical Crew
Mikael Jorgensen   Composer
Deborah Miles-Johnson   Technical Crew

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >

Kicking Television: Live in Chicago 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago