Wilco closed their show in Brooklyn last night with a stunningly beautiful cover of David Bowie’s “Space Oddity.” It’s very true to the original, but they also made it their own (especially with Nels’ parts). If you’re as sad about Bowie being gone as I am, it may not be a bad idea to have a box of tissues nearby.
Twitter user nananeri has an awesome eye–she spotted that Kim Gordon was sporting a Nels Cline signature guitar strap at the Red Bull Music Academy’s improvised round robin duets show in Brooklyn last week. This picture accompanied Brooklyn Vegan’s story about the event, posted here.
Hopefully Nels and Kim will collaborate at some point, especially considering how much work he’s done with Thurston and Lee and how much he adores Sonic Youth.
Happy birthday to Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy! Had he not invited Nels to join Wilco, I (and maybe some of you) probably never would’ve discovered Nels’ work, so today is certainly worth celebrating. Let’s all blast some Wilco tonight in Mr. Tweedy’s honor!
(photo by Justin Borucki; see the whole photo set and read an interview we previously posted here)
For a great interview with Nels and Jeff Tweedy and 19 pictures by Justin Borucki shot last September at the Wang Center in Boston, visit Guitarworld.
Here’s an excerpt from Nels: “I feel like my role is to play what the song wants. I came into Wilco to try to fit into an orchestral vision of a band, not to be a hot soloist or anything like that. When I’m asked to solo it’s sometimes a challenge for me to play a 10- or 20-second pop-song thing, because I tend to like to wind things out for a long time; I’m more comfortable with the long form, shall we say. [laughs] But in general I’m just trying to play something that makes the song sound beautiful or recognizable or powerful, or whatever these things might be.
Sometimes that involves adding things like looping and distortion and other elements that are maybe newer aspects of the Wilco sound. But that’s certainly not an attempt on my part to change the sound of the band at all. Those things come naturally to me, and everybody has seemed to embrace them in their own way.”
Thanks to photographer Roger Kisby for sharing some excellent portraits he took backstage at the Guitar Mash event that happened at the City Winery in New York a few weeks ago, including this one of Nels.
Nels Cline and Julian Lage during their debut performance, part of Downtown Music Gallery’s 21st birthday celebration at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village on May 25. Nels composed a few new pieces for the duo, so let’s hope an album is in the works at some point down the line, though Nels will be busy with Wilco through October.
A little picture of Nels and his Lunchbox amp appears on the Amazon page for the amp. For $273 you can have one of the same pieces of equipment that Nels does…but chances are his magic isn’t all in his gear.