The Weekday Ramble is a daily dose of sports, music, culture, and more from Rambling On founder Erik Ritland. For more information check us out on Reddit, Twitter, Facebook, or at our website.
Friday January 9, 2015
Wilco’s A Ghost is Born, the futility of the Minnesota Wild, and the three best albums of 2014.
More than you think
In the wake of Jeff Tweedy's return to form on his 2014 solo album Sukierae I've been re-listening to a lot of the Wilco catalog. Actually, I listened to some of it for the first time ever. Turns out that the band were on autopilot for Wilco (the Album) and The Whole Love as I remembered from my limited exposure to them.
This morning I listened to A Ghost is Born, easily the post-Yankee Hotel Foxtrot album that I come back to most. I realized that it just might be the darkest Wilco album, which makes sense considering that it was written when Tweedy was dealing with addictions and rehab. He had to awkwardly buy the "Handshake Drugs" to realize that "Hell is Chrome" in rehab. Lines like "where would we be without wishful thinking?" and "his goal in life was to be an echo" are chilling.
Weak and mild
Continuing the futility in Minnesota sports that we’ve become used to, the Wild have been terrible. They’ve lost 14 of their last 21 games. They don’t score, their defense is suspect, and their goaltending is worse. Is it baseball season yet?
What’s so disappointing with the Wild is that they were supposed to be good! You can criticize the Twins for many reasons but you knew that they’d be terrible going into the last couple seasons. That the Wild may not make the playoffs with probably their most talented team ever is ridiculous.
The Wild play two of the top teams in the league this weekend, the Nashville Predators and the Chicago Blackhawks. If they win both it’ll be a miracle. If they win one they might still have a chance. If they don’t win at all head coach Mike Yeo better start brushing up his resume.
This week we began counting down our top 15 albums of the year. So far we’ve revealed #4:
10. Neil Young - A Letter Home
9. Bill Mallonee - Winnowing
8. Foo Fighters - Sonic Highways
7. Tom Petty - Hypnotic Eye
6. Bruce Springsteen - High Hopes
5. Willie Nelson - Band of Brothers
4. Marty Stuart - Saturday Night/Sunday Morning
Our top three were all created by all-time legends. Johnny Cash comes in at #3 with his forgotten ‘80s collection Out Among the Stars. Pink Floyd presumably end their career with a classic, The Endless River, at #2.
And…for number one….
Bob Dylan and the Band, The Basement Tapes Complete.
More than a collection of recordings, the release of the complete Basement Tapes is one of the most important events in American music history. Read my lengthy appreciation here.
Erik Ritland is a writer and musician from St. Paul, Minnesota. His blog and podcast Rambling On features commentary on music, sports, culture, and more. He is also a contributor for Minnesota culture blog Curious North. Support Erik's music via his Patreon account, reach him via email, or find him on Facebook and Twitter.