30 October 2010

Pick To Click: Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith - "Not In Love"

The Cure's front-man emerges from the shadows and lends his distinct vocals to Crystal Castles' remake of a 1984 Top 20 hit by Platinum Blonde.

29 October 2010

Freedom For Suu Kyi? Revisiting Damien Rice's "Unplayed Piano" and U2's "Walk On"

The Associated Press reports this morning that mounting pressure from regional neighbors may finally convince the military junta of the nation of Myanmar (formerly known as Burma) to release Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi after elections are held in mid-November. The democracy icon has been imprisoned or held under house custody for 15 of the last 21 years. (In 1990, she received 82 percent of the vote in her country's elections, but was denied power by the ruling dictatorship.)

The talented, but publicly withdrawn, Irish singer-songwriter Damien Rice was approached by the US Campaign For Burma back in 2005 with a request to contribute an existing song for a benefit album to call attention to the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi. In an rare interview that year with The Guardian, Rice did not want to be pictured as another Bob Geldof, and was loath to be seen as a political activist: "He is just a regular guy, he says somewhat beseechingly, a musician 'who has seen something that is wrong and is trying, in some small way, to help'."

After visiting Burma and learning more about the situation, Rice penned an original piece entitled "Unplayed Piano," one of the more affecting songs of the past decade. A duet with then-partner Lisa Hannigan, the lyrics spotlight the isolation of the prisoner and a solemn, but respectful, plea to not forget a leader in what is now one of the most closed countries in the world:

Unplayed pianos
Are often by a window
In a room where nobody loved goes
She sits alone with her silent song
Somebody bring her home

Here are Rice & Hannigan performing "Unplayed Piano" at the Nobel Concert in Oslo in 2005:

Because of the 9/11 attacks and U2's appearance on a national US television special shortly thereafter performing "Walk On," that song is associated with uplifting the spirit of Americans in the wake of the deadly terrorist actions. But the lyrics written by Bono for "Walk On" are actually inspired by Aung San Suu Kyi. In a piece written for a website dedicated to the Burma leader's well-being and release, the Dublin bard writes:

Suu Kyi is a real hero in an age of phony phone-in celebrity, which hands out that title freely to the most spoiled and under qualified. Her quiet voice of reason makes the world look noisy, mad; it is a low mantra of grace in an age of terror, a reminder of everything we take for granted and just what it can take to get it. Thinking of her, you can’t help but use anachronistic language of duty and personal sacrifice.

U2 wrote the song “Walk On” to honor this amazing woman who put family second to country, who for her convictions made an unbearable choice—not to see her sons grow and not to be with her husband as he lost his life to a long and painful cancer. Suu Kyi, with an idea too big for any jail and a spirit too strong for any army, changes our view—as only real heroes can–of what we believe to be possible. The jury is still out on whether we deserve the faith she has put in us.

U2 has used "Walk On" as a centerpiece in many of its concerts, inviting Amnesty International and One volunteers to the stage who don Aung San Suu Kyi masks and hold lanterns in tribute to the peace prize winner.

27 October 2010

Preview The New Brian Eno Album

TNOP UK correspondent Miles Gallagher reports that the new Brian Eno album, Small Craft On A Milk Sea, will be released here in the States next Tuesday 2 November. The enigmatic Eno has been on a creative roll as of late, collaborating with David Byrne on the fine Everything That Happens Will Happen Today and producing U2's No Line On The Horizon. This set of originals, assisted by Jim Hopkins and Leo Abrahams, is said to have been inspired by some of his favorite motion pictures. Pretty Much Amazing is streaming two of the new titles, "Horse" and "Emerald and Stone." And you can go to the NPR site to listen to the whole album.

26 October 2010

This Date In Rock History: 26 October

On this date in 1951, bassist and funkmeister extraordinaire William Earl "Bootsy" Collins (aka "Casper The Funky Ghost" and "Bootzilla") was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. A happy funky birthday to Bootsy, with a wish for many more, because we all want the funk and we all need the funk.

To celebrate, let's dance, if only because it's de-groovy . . .

25 October 2010

Your Weekly Dylan Cover [#22]

The Morning Benders
"Outlaw Blues"
Original Dylan version found on Bringing It All Back Home (1965)

The first side of Bringing It All Back Home is a watershed event in the career of Bob Dylan. It is the introduction of electric rock and roll to the masses from a singer-songwriter idealized by many for his acoustic folk songs that galvanized the masses in support of political causes.

"Outlaw Blues" seems to call the public out. The fifth song on the album, Dylan's rollicking, jangly blues has him spitting out the famous line Well I might look like Robert Ford/But I feel just like Jesse James. Now seen as a typical ying/yang lyric that Dylan is associated with, at the time it probably reflected the desire of the writer not to be identified with any cause, but rather an artist seeking to blaze his own trail.

[A side note: It is fascinating to note that "Outlaw Blues" was recorded in New York at Columbia Records Studio A on January 14, 1965. During the same three-and-a-half hour session, master takes of "Love Minus Zero/No Limit," "Subterranean Homesick Blues," "She Belongs To Me," and "Bob Dylan's 115th Dream" were also all recorded and selected for the final album.]

Our cover this week is from the San Francisco area quartet The Morning Blenders. Their version of "Outlaw Blues" - which sounds like a channeling of Grizzly Bear - was only recently recorded as part of a digital tribute to Bringing It All Back Home, a compilation which also includes performances by folk rockers J. Tillman (Fleet Foxes), Laura Viers and Peter Moren (Peter, Bjorn & John), to be released on 2 November.

In an interview earlier this month with the AP, band member Christopher Chu said he wanted to make "Outlaw Blues" sound creepy. "[Dylan] arranges his songs so perfectly that it's hard not to just want to do a 100 percent faithful rendition," Chu said. "But at the same time, that's not what I wanted to do with a cover. I wanted to pick a song where I could change it up a bit."
Chu, 25, knows Dylan's music well. Dylan is one of the first artists he began to obsess over as a young fan, along with the Beach Boys and Neil Young. He's convinced that he missed out on a golden era of music. His favorite Dylan album is Highway 61 Revisited. "His influence is so wide that no matter what age you are, you eventually run into Dylan," Chu said.

Buffalo Springfield Reunite

For the first time in 38 years, Neil Young, Stephen Stills and Richie Furay performed under the banner Buffalo Springfield at the 24th Annual Bridge School Benefit Concert this past weekend in Mountain View, California. The video captured below is a little Shakey (sorry about the pun, but it seemed appropriate), but the sound quality is fine. The Springfield perform their most enduring song, "For What It's Worth." This one is a fine, bluesy take with Stills in as good of voice as we've heard in many a year and Young jamming the acoustic solo.

We'll comb through the video catalogs being posted and bring you more highlights from the Bridge Concert, which continues to be one of rock music's highlights of the calendar year.

23 October 2010

Dawes & The Morning Benders Collaborate

If there is one album that The Night Owl should have elevated to its Top 10 in 2009, it is Dawes' North Hills (it was in our second ten). The debut of this Laurel Canyon, California group has continued to enjoy regular rotation on the turntable at TNOP World Headquarters. Dawes continues to hone its craft on the road in support of that strong effort, and are also in the process of introducing new tunes, to the approval of audiences.

Dawes recently went into the Yours Truly studio to record two of the stronger songs off of North Hills, collaborating with Chris and Jon Chu of San Francisco's The Morning Benders. [The Benders released their second long-player earlier this year, the fine Big Echo.] The guests lend a particularly strong harmony to the affecting "If You Let Me Be Your Anchor." Enjoy.

22 October 2010

Pick To Click: Johnny Flynn - "Kentucky Pill"

The first single from Johnny Flynn's new album Been Listening finds the Brit stretching his legs and veering a bit from the folkie circle he shares with Laura Marling, Noah and the Whale, and Mumford & Sons. Embracing Americana with a twist of Mexicali, "Kentucky Pill," the opening track on the CD, sounds fresh and ready for repeated listens.

21 October 2010

The National - "Terrible Love" (Alternate Take)

The National's expanded, double-disc edition of High Violet, complete with unreleased tunes, live songs and this alternate take on "Terrible Love" will hit the racks on 22 November.

Tom Berninger directed the very likable film above, highlighted by the boys' appearance this past month at a mammoth political rally in Madison, Wisconsin, highlights from recent tour dates and Matt Berninger's perfect spit take (take that, Jerry Lewis!).

Aloe Blacc Rocks Le Metro Paris

One of the more interesting musical stories of 2010 has been the emergence of American soul singer Aloe Blacc. Born to Panamanian parents, Blacc (born Egbert Nathaniel Dawkins) grew up in Southern California and earlier in the decade was a rapper of some note in his home state. But with the release of his second LP Good Things on 30 September (Stones Throw Records), Blacc joins the ever-growing neo-soul movement. And with impressive results. His exploration of social injustice and relationships are alluring to the listener.

The perfect example is "I Need A Dollar," a tune that definitely captures the recession-era U.S. The song broke on to the music scene as the theme to HBO's How To Make It In America. Blacc's style reminds one of the stark truth in the voice of 1970's era Bill Withers.

Our friends at La Blogotheque recently captured Aloe Blacc and his band in the Paris underground. Here's a two-fer for our listeners: "Hey Brother" and the aforementioned "I Need A Dollar." Dig it.

19 October 2010

Mumford & Sons Ready To Conquer The U.S.

The Night Owl has been championing Mumford & Sons for quite some time now, and has been delighted with the breakthrough of their debut album, Sigh No More, in the States. Now, on the eve of a sold-out 21-date tour in the U.S., the English folk-rockers are making a splash once again with two significant musical developments.

The first is the band's duet with Ray Davies for the latter's upcoming collaborative tribute album (to be released 1 November) chocked full of the music of The Kinks. Before departing and crossing the Atlantic, Mumford & Sons stopped by Later with Jools Holland to perform the medley "Days"/"This Time Tomorrow" with Davies.

The other significant bit of news is that the band has recorded a 4-song EP under the alias The Wedding Band. It is being released as a limited edition especially for the tour, so watch for your chance to buy. In the meantime, one of the songs contained therein, "Thumper", has leaked on to the net for your listening pleasure.

18 October 2010

Your Weekly Dylan Cover [#21]

Rod Stewart
"Tomorrow Is A Long Time"
Original Dylan version found on Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. II (1971)

There may be some disagreement on this choice.

And that's OK, of course. But let me remind our gentle readers that when this popular feature started back in April, a caution accompanied the blog entry: "Regular readers of this blog know that Bob Dylan is affectionately referred to as the 'Patron Saint' of TNOP. This new weekly feature sifts through the thousands of cover versions of Dylan songs and provides you with our favorites, as well as a quick memory of our first exposure to the Dylan original."

The background of Dylan's "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" is worth a few words. It came to mind given the fact that tomorrow Columbia Records will finally officially release the original studio version, an out-take from The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan sessions (1963), on the latest "Bootleg" compilation, The Whitmark Demos. Most fans - like this author - are most familiar with the live version that first appeared on Greatest Hits, Vol. II, taken from the famous "Town Hall concert" in New York City, 1963. It is a truly affecting performance by Dylan; a heartbreaking, literate love song of longing set to an acoustic guitar chord structure similar to "Don't Think Twice, It's All Right."

The first cover of the song was a watershed for obvious reasons: Elvis Presley recorded it in 1966, a curious "bonus track" to the soundtrack of another one of his Hollywood films, this one called Spinout. (Perhaps Colonel Tom Parker actually felt sorry one day for Elvis and allowed him to record the tune; for instance, the title song to the movie had The King singing such dreck as: To spinout, yeah spinout/Better watch those curves, never let her steer/So spinout, yeah spinout/A road to love is full of danger signs.) Dylan, like many musical titans of his era, thought Elvis a seminal figure in American music. He has been quoted as saying, "When I first heard Elvis' voice I just knew that I wasn't going to work for anybody; and nobody was going to be my boss. Hearing him for the first time was like busting out of jail."

So there may be some truth to the yarn that Elvis' take on "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" may be Dylan's personal favorite cover of one of his songs. (Presley's slow, loping version is indeed pretty, and if you can find the Dylan follow up recording from his New Morning sessions, it is almost as though Dylan is aping it.)

But I find it no more compelling than the Sandy Denny cover in 1972. That one is similar in tempo and treats the listener to the pedal steel of "Sneaky" Pete Kleinow.

Which brings us, finally, to Rod Stewart. For those only familiar with cocktail music Rod or disco Rod, do yourself a big favor and go out and buy 1971's Every Picture Tells A Story. Now. It is arguably one of the ten best albums ever released in rock and roll history.

Side One of Every Picture ends with "Tomorrow Is A Long Time." Stewart and Faces' pal Ron Wood produce one of the more memorable arrangements of a Dylan song. The roots of "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" are obviously country - Hank Williams would no doubt have felt comfortable singing it - and one would think the gravelly voiced Londoner would have no business tackling the song. Wood makes the pedal steel purr and Dick Powell's fiddle glides throughout as Stewart makes Dylan's words flesh.

It's a definitive reading of one of Bob Dylan's most enduring songs.

Original Listening: Bob Dylan, "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" (Bob Dylan's Greatest Hits, Vol. II, 1971)

Bootleg Listening: Bob Dylan, "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" (New Morning sessions, 1970)

Demo Listening: Bob Dylan, "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" (The Bootleg Series Vol. 9: The Witmark Demos, 1962-1964, 2010)

Another Cover: Elvis Presley, "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" (Spinout Original Soundtrack bonus track, 1966)

This Date In Rock History: 18 October

On this date in 1926, Charles Edward Anderson Berry was born in St. Louis, Missouri. Yep, the Blues had a baby and they named him Chuck Berry. And then told Tchiakovsky the news.

14 October 2010

Patti Smith Nominated For National Book Award

Rock royalty Patti Smith has been nominated for the National Book Award in the non-fiction category for the memoir about her long friendship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe entitled Just Kids. The National Book Foundation provides the following synopsis of the tome:

In Just Kids, Patti Smith’s first book of prose, the legendary American artist offers a never-before-seen glimpse of her remarkable relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in the epochal days of New York City and the Chelsea Hotel in the late sixties and seventies. An honest and moving story of youth and friendship, Smith brings the same unique, lyrical quality to Just Kids as she has to the rest of her formidable body of work—from her influential 1975 album Horses to her visual art and poetry.

Below is a video of Patti reading an excerpt from the book, recalling how Mapplethorpe shared the triumph of Smith's 1978 hit "Because The Night." An impromptu, very sweet a cappella performance follows.

Ascending: O Emperor

[The following entry was contributed by TNOP's County Clare correspondent, Celtic Ray.]

The Co. Waterford band O Emperor has burst on to the Irish music scene with the release of its first long-player, Hither, Thither. In between gigs around the island - including appearances at Oxygen and Electric Picnic - the band has spent the better part of the last year writing and recording the LP in a drafty country house. The results are quite impressive: the five piece group drifts among many styles, utilizing a number of instruments in their arsenal.

"Sedalia" is a dreamy, Beatlesque ballad, showing off the gorgeous vocals of Paul Savage and the piano of Philip Christie. The narrator is a weary follower in a relationship, realizing how the passage of time has robbed him of forward promise.

O Emperor freely admits to a Radiohead influence, and it is on prominent display in the first single and album opener, "Po":

Another highlight is "Don't Mind Me," which takes this writer back to the Fleetwood Mac days of the 1970s (pre-Buckingham/Nicks). This take of the swaying tune at Limerick Live on Cruises Street from February shows off the versatility of O Emperor. The boys have been playing together since they were 17, and it shows with this tight performance (thanks to Indie Limerick for the video):

O Emperor's multi-faceted sound combined with thoughtful lyrics make them a band on the come. Beware of a breakout in the coming months.

13 October 2010

Happy Birthday Paul Simon! "Graceland" - Live 1987, Harare, Zimbabwe

Happy Birthday Paul Simon! Bob James Covers "Take Me To The Mardi Gras"

Happy Birthday Paul Simon! Spoon Covers "Peace Like A River"

This Date In Rock History: 13 October

On this date in 1941, Paul Frederic Simon was born in Newark, New Jersey to Hungarian immigrant parents Belle and Louis Simon. By the end of 1941, the new parents had moved with their son to Queens, New York.

Louis Simon was a college professor, bassist and bandleader, and had performed on the radio in Hungary. He passed his keen interest in music on to Paul, who by the age of 11 met classmate Art Garfunkel and appeared in a sixth grade production of Alice In Wonderland. By the time they were 13, the duo started playing school dances, working on a vocal harmony in honor of their heroes, The Everly Brothers.

Before graduating from high school, Paul and Artie cut the single "Hey Schoolgirl" under the name of Tom & Jerry. It reached #49 on the pop charts in 1957.

Over the next six years, the pair attended college (Paul at Queens College and Artie at Columbia University) and Paul tried his hand at contracted song-writing, in the shadows of the famous Brill Building in Manhattan.

By early 1964, Simon & Garfunkel landed an audition at mighty Columbia Records. Clive Davis signed them to a contract and their phenomenal six year run resulted in multiple gold records, a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Paul Simon's solo career has now spanned an incredible 40 years. The cornerstone of his work remains the seminal Graceland (1986), but readers would be remiss to not include in their collection the consecutive three-album span that ranks with the best pop music has to offer: Paul Simon (1972); There Goes Rhymin' Simon (1973); and Still Crazy After All These Years (1975).

This is not to dismiss his other work, which to this day remains original and vital, ranking him with contemporaries Bob Dylan and Neil Young as artists who refuse to rest on their laurels. Simon recently completed a new album helmed by Phil Ramone, which he calls "the best work I've done in 20 years."

Additional Reading & Viewing:

11 October 2010

Banksy Infiltrates NewsCorp

Now that's rock and roll.

In a delicious bit of irony, The Simpsons handed their famous opening over to the mysterious British graffiti artist and subversive Banksy last night. (Watch above, if the video feed hasn't been shut down as of yet.) It would be fun to be in on the meetings at News Corp this morning.

This reminds us of the movie The Wild One, when Marlon Brando's character is asked "What are you rebelling against, Johnny?" His famous reply: "What do you got?"

08 October 2010

Your Weekly Dylan Cover [#20]

Susan Tedeschi
"Lord Protect My Child"
Original Dylan version found on The Bootleg Series: Volumes 1-3 (1991)

Bob Dylan's 22nd studio album, Infidels, was released in October 1983. Co-produced with Dire Straits' Mark Knopfler, it was trumpeted in the media as Dylan's return to secular music.

The previous four years had seen Dylan in the midst of what is now popularly known as his "Christian period." Musically, he had been quite prolific; three LPs had been generated, with public reactions ranging from positive (Slow Train Running) to mixed (Shot of Love) to downright negative (Saved).

While Infidels contained some songs that were overtly political ("Neighborhood Bully" and "Union Sundown"), there were some spiritual numbers cut during those sessions. But they were left on the shelves. The two most notable were "Foot of Pride" and "Lord Protect My Child." Both would surface on the first of the Bootleg series released by Columbia in 1991.

"Foot of Pride" is a fire and brimstone corker. Dylan and his band are literally and figuratively electric.

"Lord Protect My Child" is surprisingly transparent; a mother struggles with the weight of the world and the dangers that confront her son on a daily basis. She desperately clings to the thread in her life that doesn't let her down: faith.

Italian-American Susan Tedeschi was born and raised in the Boston, Massachusetts area. The story goes that Susan was attracted to music from an early age and didn't much care for singing staid hymns in the choir at her family's Catholic parish. She started to attend predominantly African-American churches and found the musical selections "less repressed and more like a celebration of God."

Tedeschi's take on "Lord Protect My Child" from her 2005 album Hope and Desire reveals an artist in the middle of her sweet-spot as a singer. The affecting vocal thrills the listener with the ultimate "Sunday-go-to-meetin'" vibe, and is complimented nicely by the deft dobro skills of her husband, Derek Trucks.

Original Listening: Bob Dylan, "Lord Protect My Child"

Another Cover: The Lost Dogs, "Lord Protect My Child" (Scenic Routes, 1992)

06 October 2010

A Year Has Passed & Gone

It's TNOP's first birthday! Thanks to the 15,000 readers who have stopped by the site, sharing our love of music. Keep passing the word.

Now it's time to go back to work. Need to avoid that sophomore slump.

The Lost Instrumentals: Average White Band - "Pick Up The Pieces"

Six lads from Scotland formed a band in 1972, some of them already with minor credits to their name as backup musicians. Comprised of two sax players, a bassist, drummer and a lead and rhythm guitarist, the group caught its break when they backed up Eric Clapton at his "comeback" concert in 1973. The Clapton connection was important for two reasons: first, the guitar god's manager took them under his wing and landed them a contract with Atlantic Records in the US: and second, Clapton musical associate Bonnie Bramlett gave the boys a name: The Average White Band.

AWB released their self-titled Atlantic debut in the summer of 1974 in England. "Pick Up The Pieces" was picked as the lead single, and it promptly died without notice. The album came to US shores in October, and radio stations started to add the single to regular rotation. By February 1975 it hit #1 on the pop charts and #5 on the R&B list.

It remains one of the funkiest grooves ever reduced to vinyl. The guitar intro gives way to a staccato sax duet, powered from behind with a solid bass and drum bottom. The bridge is greeted by the communal shout of "pick up the pieces!" worthy of any Bar-Kays song and then . . . a scorching tenor sax solo by Malcolm "Molly" Duncan.

It really is a four minute, one second piece of musical genius, produced by Atlantic Records mogul Arif Mardin. It is a worthy addition to the legendary Atlantic soul canon.

Soon, AWB would be one of the first white groups appearing on Soul Train. A group of Scottish lads, no less.

Never underestimate the power and reach of American soul music.

05 October 2010

This Date In Rock History: 5 October

On this date in 1969, rock and roll comedy was born on TV with the BBC premiere of Monty Python's Flying Circus. Taking an absurdist angle on almost every topic, and peppering it with the madcap aspects of British radio's The Goon Show and The Beatles' films Help! and A Hard Day's Night, two Oxford grads (Terry Jones and Michael Palin), three Cambridge attendees (John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman) and a Yank (animator extraordinaire Terry Gilliam) created 45 memorable episodes over four seasons.

The theme was a John Philip Sousa march titled "The Liberty Bell." The troupe used it because it was in the public domain and no royalties would have to be paid for it.

Michael Palin wrote that before the nonsensical title was approved by the BBC, others were rejected, including: "Whither Canada?", "Ow! It's Colin Plint", "A Horse, a Spoon and a Bucket", "The Toad Elevating Moment" and "Owl Stretching Time".

To have to name TNOP's favorite Python sketches would be truly impossible, but we'll throw a couple your way for laughs. If you get the urge, comment below with your choices.

And now for something completely different:



04 October 2010

Music On TV This Week


The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson (CBS) - Rosanne Cash
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon (NBC) - Gayngs
Last Call with Carson Daly (NBC) - Janelle Monae

TUESDAY, 5 October
The Late Show with David Letterman (CBS) - Mavis Staples with Jeff Tweedy
Jimmy Kimmel Live (ABC) - Phoenix
Last Call with Carson Daly - Jimmy Eat World

WEDNESDAY, 6 October
Jimmy Kimmel Live - Band of Horses
Last Call with Carson Daly - Weezer
The Colbert Report (Comedy Central) - Mavis Staples with Jeff Tweedy
The Ellen DeGeneres Show (Syndicated) - Grace Potter & The Nocturnals

THURSDAY, 7 October
The Late Show with David Letterman - Gorillaz
Late Night with Jimmy Fallon - Pete Yorn
Last Call with Carson Daly - Tift Merritt

FRIDAY, 8 October
The Late Show with David Letterman - Antony & The Johnsons
Jimmy Kimmel Live - Maroon 5

Wilco Start Work On New Album

Wilco plan on starting work on a new album by the end of October. Multi-instrumentalist and group member Pat Sansone (pictured left, above, with other band mates and a noted fan) is quoted in the Los Angeles Times : "We're taking a couple of weeks off. When I get back toward the end of [the] month, we're getting back together to start working, to start the first writing sessions for the record. We've done a little bit of brainstorming, but the real work is going to begin at the end of [the] month."

A couple of months ago, the Chicago-based band announced its separation from record label Nonesuch, hinting that it might try a new business platform to promote and sell future recordings, a la Radiohead's In Rainbows. "I know some of the guys in Radiohead and talk to them, but our manager pays more attention to the[ir] business models than I do," Wilco founder Jeff Tweedy was quoted as saying. "When Radiohead streamed their album and let people pay what they wanted, I thought that was similar to what we had been doing for years, but we didn't take the money because we were on a major at the time; we ended up giving the money to charity."

Tweedy added: "Everyone made a big deal of it, but it seemed like such a no-brainer to me. The record is going to leak anyway and people are going to download it at some point before it comes out, [that] you might as well make something rather than make nothing."