nels cline

Album artwork by Raymond Pettibon!

What happens when four musicians record an album in three days? Well, as luck would have it, something amazing happens. At least, that’s the case for the debut release of Big Walnuts Yonder. Though they prefer to consider themselves an anti-supergroup—in that they consciously rebel against the cliche of bringing their known sounds to the group—when your band consists of Mike Watt (Minutemen, The Stooges), Nels Cline (Wilco, Nels Cline Singers), Greg Saunier (Deerhoof) and Nick Reinhart (Tera Melos), it is hard to resist slapping the “supergroup” label on them, but be warned, because this band is no mere supergroup, and they are full of surprises.

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Guitar god Nels Cline, as photographed by Emily Anderson.

When The Whole Love was released late last year, I believe that anyone that heard it knew that it was a record that was screaming for a tour. Of course, when it came out, instead of doing a big road show, they opted to play midsize theaters, locking out only the folks with the fastest internet connections or the pockets deep enough to purchase from a scalper. It took almost a year for these guys to finally book a full fledged tour, playing these songs the way they should be played- outdoors, in front of thousands of people. I guess they needed to really get to know these songs before playing them on the big stages. The wait paid off.

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The success of Chicago experimental-alt.country-indie rock combo Wilco really defies the conventions of a successful rock band. Where most bands become as big as they will get within about 5 years of performing, these guys seem to get bigger and bigger every year. At nearly 20 years into their career, they are doing a “small venue” tour of 3,000 seat theaters, and each date on this tour seemingly sold out in minutes. SpinningPlatters were lucky enough to check them out on the third night of a mini Bay Area tour, where the hit San Jose and San Francisco on Saturday and Sunday respectively.

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Cat Power!

You know what’s awesome about February? It’s one step closer to Noise Pop, Fauxchella, and SXSW. It may be a little slow, but there are plenty of reasons not to go to bed early this week.

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Wilco. Not pictured: Berkeley.

Wilco. Not pictured: Berkeley.

I’ve seen a lot of bands in my day.  I’ve seen a lot of very famous people, and I have been very close to them.  I often think that I am immune to the surprise of seeing someone in the flesh that I primarily know from pictures, but Jeff Tweedy is one of those frontpersons that has such a unique charisma, that I my heart skips a beat whenever I see him.  [read the whole post]

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