From October, 2011. Promoting their new record, The Whole Love.
The Tiny Desk Concerts are performed in the NPR Music offices and are intended to be intimate sessions between the artists and the few lucky people in attendance. In my opinion they are usually hit or miss. Sometimes the vibe just isn’t there, or the music itself doesn’t adapt or translate well within the close quarters.
This short, 18 minute stripped-down set with Wilco, however, most definitely hits. Jeff Tweedy does his usual quirky, playful, borderline uncomfortable banter between songs, and the group as a whole seem to be pretty into it. The guitars all sound really nice — the steel certainly shines through — and the bass sounds great. The little percussion setup is quite funny and surprisingly sounds good as well. The only complaint I had was that you can barely here the keys at times — most of the time, actually.
The Whole Love is probably my favorite record since Summerteeth, which was released over a decade before The Whole Love. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy the stuff in-between — I own all of their records — but I just feel It’s the strongest since Summerteeth.
I know a lot of people are going to disagree with me and cry blasphemy because I didn’t claim it was their best since Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and that’s cool. I just didn’t dig that record as much as most people I guess. I am grateful it finally put them on the map and allowed them to garner the recognition they deserved, but it was still just about a B/B+ in my book.
Anyway, enough politics… enjoy!
From the NPR Music YouTube channel:
Armed with acoustic guitars, tiny amps, a desktop percussion unit and a ton of grace, Wilco plays three new songs from The Whole Love and an old favorite in a stripped-down but powerful set at the NPR Music offices.
“Dawned On Me”
“War On War”