We Aren't The World (Safety Girl) - Wilco

from the album Schmilco (2016)

Once upon a time, my never-ending road show had taken me to Saint Louis where I decided to stop in on some old friends from my Milwaukee days.  The visit turned into a lost weekend.

They rented a house with some musicians who were playing Americana, although I knew it as Alternative Country at the time.  They smoked reefer and listened to Johnny Cash records.  When they learned I could play bass, they handed my Fender Jazz and let me sit in their ring of fire.  I saw no reason to ever leave.

On Friday (or was it Saturday) night, we went to a basement bar to see a band named Uncle Tupelo.  Earlier that day, the roommates were playing the Anodyne album.  It was love at first sound.  And after seeing that - now legendary - band in that tiny venue, I was changed in a way that had only happened twice before (after first seeing The Ramones and Billy Bragg) and never again.

Aside from the magnificent voices Jay Faraar and Jeff Tweedy, whether singing solo or in harmony, the rest of the band simply sounded incredible.  Despite the small, crowded room, I was able to differentiate and appreciate each of the other three musicians (bass, keyboards, and drums) in a way that was uncommon, particularly compared with the NYC music scene I was accustomed to.

This greatly influenced my musical journey over the next twenty-plus years; a journey that has included Wilco every step along the way.

I am most drawn to their lower-volume songs because they afford a greater opportunity to appreciate the musicianship of the individual band members and the fidelity in their studio craftsmanship.  It is for this reason that the I dig their latest album, Shmilco.

Of these songs, I am drawn to We Aren't The World (Safety Girl).  Soft and melodic, every musician can be appreciated.  The bass lines of John Stirratt and the drumming of Glenn Kotche shine on this record.  Listening to this song, you realize how important this rhythm sections to the sound of the band.

It takes me back to that night in Saint Louis, when I discovered a new way to listen to music.

Click Here to listen to We Aren't The World (Safety Girl).

Click Here to stream the entire Schmilco album.


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