Tag Archives: Jim O’Rourke

“Summer Noon”

Sukierae, 2014

After years of being derided for his “dad-rock” tendencies, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy has done the critics one better and recorded an album with his son. The result, a sprawling double record called “Sukierae,” is the most interesting music Tweedy’s made since the criticism started. We’re really coming full circle here. Many of the tracks share similarities with Loose Fur, his great mid-aughts side project with Jim O’Rourke and Glenn Kotche. Others sound like folky outtakes from “Mermaid Avenue” or recent Wilco albums, as you might expect. The difference is Spencer Tweedy’s drumming, which lacks Kotche’s precision but shares his experimental tendencies. Fittingly, dad records the drums at near-demo quality and builds the music around them to match. Plaintive ballad “Summer Moon” best sums up the album’s gentle melancholy.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/2-03%20Summer%20Noon.mp3]


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“Unmade Bed”

Sonic Youth
Sonic Nurse, 2004

Never was a huge Sonic Youth fan, at least not in the way many are. I was too young to hear the band in their critical prime, and when I finally decided to care, records like Daydream Nation and Goo felt dated to me. Perhaps enough time had elapsed for the group’s influence to be fully absorbed by guitar culture (and me). But I hold a soft spot in my heart for the Jim O’Rourke era, 1999-2005, when SY opened up its sound to incorporate cleaner, leaner, classic rock tropes. “Unmade Bed” would be a relatively tame showing for this band in any era, but that restraint works in the song’s favor; these are guitars that know exactly when to stand and when to stay seated. Daydream is in the Library of Congress, but Sonic Nurse is the album I’ll always remember.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/02%20Unmade%20Bed.mp3]


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