“Spiders (Original Version)”

wilco
Wilco
Live, 2002

The first time I saw Wilco live was in 2002 at London’s Astoria, on the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot tour. They opened with this then-unreleased song, performed more or less as you hear it here, and I couldn’t get it out of my head for weeks. Two years later, of course, they turned it inside out for A Ghost is Born, a recording that stands to this day as one of the most beloved and alienating tracks in the band’s catalogue. With time I’ve grown to love both versions equally, but there’s no denying the original’s mellow, hooky charm. One advantage here: the relative stillness of this live presentation leaves plenty of room for the lyrics, among my favorite in Wilcodom.

[audio http://www.jasongonulsen.com/wlco_2002-09-02_d1t01.mp3]
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