The Minus Five – Down With Wilco (Yep Roc)
Dorks like me play games like “What If…” all the time. What if Neil Young and Kurt Cobain had recorded together? What if John Lennon and Beck could get together? What if Wayne Coyne sang vocals for the Band? It’s usually a futile exercise in rock geekdom. But what if Paul McCartney joined Wilco? Well, we have a pretty close approximation with The Minus Five’s Down With Wilco, with Scott McCaughey playing McCartney to Wilco’s…well, Wilco.
The melodies of this album could be lifted right off your pick of any of Macca’s solo career. From the opening “Days of Wine and Booze” to the lilting “Daggers Drawn” this is a lesson in Macology. Growing up, I always though McCartney had written the Badfinger hit “Day After Day” and even swore I’d heard a version of the song sung by the former Beatle. I was wrong, but I am about to make the same claim on “Dear Employer.” Seriously, do we have footage of the recording of this beautiful song? I believe Scott McCaughey died in a car crash in 1967 and was replaced by Paul McCartney. It’s just a theory but I think I’m on to something.
Enough of that horseshit. Comparisons to McCartney are valid though and first listen will bear that out. But like Macca’s solo career, this album has a few missteps, including some dopey lyrics and psychedelic soundscapes that just sound old-fashioned. The playing is superb with Wilco’s John Stirratt (fast becoming my favorite bassist) providing melodic lines and a fat tone that the Cute One would kill for today.
Good album overall. It’s a must-have for Wilco fans with Tweedy taking lead vocals on “Family Gardner” and providing backing vocals on other tracks. Now, what if Jay Bennett played with Jay Farrar…
MP3s available for Retrieval of You and Groove Supply (via Yep Roc). Buy it from Amazon.
8 thoughts on “The Minus Five – Down With Wilco”
please, send me tour dates
The George Washington Bookstore and Tavern is a small venue in Concord, NC. We opened Nov. 15, 2002. We are a quality restaurant/tavern that features original music on Friday and Sat. nights.
If you have any touring bands in this area, we hold around 150 comfortably.
Minus Five is refreshing. Check our website at http://www.georgewashingtonbookstoreandtavern.com
THIS IS A TERRIFIC ALBUM THAT GETS BETTER EACH TIME IT’S PLAYED. I THINK SM IS CHANNELING RAY
DAVIES ON MOST OF THE CUTS, AND BRIAN WILSON, AND
YEAH, THE BEATLES. IT’S MY MUSIC LIFE OVER
THE PAST THIRTY OR SO YEARS, AND DONE BEAUTIFULLY. THE BEST ALBUM OF THE YEAR SO FAR.
This album is so wonderful…I agree it gets better with each listen…it’s a pop connossieur’s album fershure…makes me wanna know who plays what?
I love Sean O’Hagan’s arrangements…just fvcking brilliant, man…
*offers to fight anyone who says anything different*
This album is a gem. Thanks God there are still the Partridges, the Finns, the Newelles and the McCaugheys trying to write the songs The Beatles could not.
And… can I add that the vocals on “That’s not the way…” sound more like the quiet George than the cute Paul?
i think it is really good. just sitting hear reading this brings my retrieval of you into my head and will be stuck there all day.