[she]’d sing by [her]self, too, it seemed like getting out of the way of [her]self or some kind of need to demonstrate ability and just make that note very simple.” A simple folk song is the best folk song, and Shelley has a knack for combining ancient themes that resonate in their poetry.
Wilco + Amendola Vs. Blades: Wednesday the 7th
Scott Amendola and Wil Blades are two names that ought to be very familiar for even the loosest finger on the pulse of Bay Area musicians. Amendola, masterful percussionist behind the drum kit, and Blades, potentially the largest regular threat on a Hammond B-3 on this coast, first came together to bring Duke Ellington’s Far East Suite to life in its entirety as a duo. Of course, despite the difficulties, the pair managed to pull it off and it became a staple of their sets together.They have also spent time combining avant-garde fusion, funk, bebop, and rock music into their own original bag of tricks. Said Blades to Berkeleyside in 2014: “In the duo we’re able to really open up the songs, bring a certain spontaneity that maybe wouldn’t happen with a quartet and trio. I definitely have to really be focused and on top of things. At the same time, there’s so much freedom there’s really no such a thing as a mistake. A mistake can lead to cool things happening. You’re not going to through the whole band off, so you can take a lot more chances.” This looks promising to be the most high-energy evening of the entire run.
Wilco + Deep Sea Diver: Friday the 9th
Probably one of the most appropriate acts to open for Wilco in this marathon of music is Deep Sea Diver, brainchild of multi-talented indie royalty Jessica Dobson. With touring credits with Beck, Spoon, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, and Conor Oberst to her name, as well as a full year as an official member of The Shins, Dobson never let her own passions fade away. She eventually split with The Shins in 2013 because as a full member, she didn’t have the resources to cater to the piece of herself she calls Deep Sea Diver. On paper, if you’re going because you love Wilco the way New Jersey hates hipsters, Deep Sea Diver is the show you want to catch.
Wilco+ Kacy & Clayton: Saturday the 10th
Second cousins Kacy Anderson and Clayton Linthicum are a pair of Canadians whose music is just as culturally dispersed as Quebec is long. On the heels of their third full-length, the young duo — barely over the drinking age in Canada — have been making music together for over a decade. For the first time on record, Linthicum joins Anderson on vox for the majority of the tunes. They have been held in high regard for their ability to craft new folk-style tunes that feel a hundred years old and steeped in tradition, despite barely having a pair of decades each under their belts. They will definitely offer a unique and fresh perspective to ponder.
Wilco + Kevin Morby: Sunday the 11th
Kevin Morby is another artist who has a history of bouncing around and marching to the beat of his own drums. Indie fans might recall him as the bassist for Woods, a band that he was helped form in Brooklyn, NY in 2005 and departed from eight years later. He may also be recognized as the front man of The Babies, another indie rock group Morby helped found in Brooklyn with the intention of creating and playing stress-free lazy afternoon songs that reminded him of days before he was in semi-successful touring bands. in 2014 The Babies announced a period of inactivity so that Morby and Vivian Girls‘ guitarist Cassie Ramone could focus on their own solo projects. On his latest record, Singing Saw, Morby has drawn comparisons in style to Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan.
With that, there is absolutely no shortage of interesting and talented acts that Wilco has chosen to open for them. Given that the majority of acts are also very low-key and light in members, I like to think that the opener will set a precedent for the uniqueness of each night. Perhaps Wilco willl choose to accentuate and continue the low-fi and folky acts with more of the same, or perhaps they will create a yin-and-yang tension by contrasting the openers. Hopefully the large slew of guests will lend themselves for a sit in or two during the main set, but it’s all up to Tweedy at this point.
Wilco, Joan Shelley
September 6, 2016
Wilco, Amendola vs. Blades
September 7, 2016
Wilco, Deep Sea Diver
September 9, 2016
Wilco, Kacy & Clayton
September 10, 2016
Wilco, Kevin Morby
September 11, 2016