Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Ripples of Debt Reduction

Doing our Total Money Makeover has all kinds of consequences in our daily lives. For instance, I rarely hear my wife come home saying, 'Hey look what I got for the kids'. Instead it's, 'There's this great deal on shirts for summer at Wally World, can we do it?'. Tracking every penny from our paychecks makes us reassess our spending on a daily basis and put the emphasis on reducing outstanding debt and making our 'impulse buys' secondary.

Of course my 'impulse buys' revolve around music and concerts. So out of my mouth you're starting to hear, 'It's sold out?! It can't be sold out! We get paid on Friday! It's sold out?!

I'm referring to Wilco. The Chicago(WOOHOO!) based group spearheaded by Jeff Tweedy. The same Jeff Tweedy of Uncle Tupelo fame.

Out of Uncle Tupelo also came Son Volt, fronted by Jay Farrar. They both have solo projects as well. Uncle Tupelo could be characterized as an "alternative country" band. Not quite country(real country here folks not Rascal Flatts or Carrie Underwood) and not quite rock & roll.

I've enjoyed both men's vision for music but in different ways. Whereas Jay Farrar and Son Volt tend to stay more in a alt country style, Jeff Tweedy and Wilco have taken Americana style of music, thrown in some tangents and experimentation and pulled off some amazing and I mean amazing music.

You may want to start with their first couple of albums, A.M. and Being There but you'll see the evolution in scope on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the follow up A Ghost is Born.

Two incredibly rewarding albums, sans the 10 minutes of feedback at the end of one track(you'll have to figure out which one I'm referring to).

To parlay off of YHF, the album, you want to check out the DVD documentary, I Am Trying to Break Your Heart. The director set out to follow the making of an album and caught a lot more; Jeff Tweedy dealing with the departure of two members, a record label that doesn't buy in to their new album and artistic breakthrough of enormous proportions.

But to really get a grasp of their music, you HAVE to catch them live. I had the pleasure to see them at the Cain's Ballroom on the Ghost is Born tour. At the time, I had heard one album of theirs and picked up a pair of tickets knowing I HAD to go. My friend fell through and I went by myself; not a big deal to me as most concerts are an individual experience for the most part.

If you've never been to the Cain's, you should check it out. It is steeped in history of who's who in country music and was the home of Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys. It was never known for it's sound quality; low ceiling, plaster walls, wood floor. Not good acoustics.

A few years ago it was purchased by a local doctor and hired a couple of individuals who completely renovated the place and also purchased a new sound system. The changes have been great!

Back to Wilco. This was their first time to Tulsa and it showed. Most bands who haven't played here do not know what to expect from the crowds. But the sight of a sell out crowd, singing every lyric blew them away. It showed in their music.

But what really caught me was the ability to completely deconstruct a song halfway through and pull it all back together by the end was remarkable. While Jeff is playing acoustic guitar and singing at a slow tempo, along with the bassist, the rest of the band begins to play out of key, banging away at their instruments to their own beat, not unlike acid jazz or something very bizarre, only to fall right back in to tempo and key with Mr. Tweedy in the next line of the song.

I would go to see them any time they came through Oklahoma

Flash forward to now...They are coming to Oklahoma!!! And I told my wife that we have to go, you will love it. She gave me the obligatory, 'ok, dear'. So it was set, I had a date to Wilco at the Cain's Ballroom, what could be better?

On a Wednesday night about a month ago, we're standing in a hallway of our church waiting for our small group to start. There's a younger couple that is there and the husband is wearing an Austin City Limits Festival t-shirt. And I have found a compadre in my musical journey. He too, thinks Wilco is incredible. He too, wants to go to the Cain's show. He then tells me it sold out.

Refer back to my reaction in paragraph #2.

The short term pain of our debt reduction will be a blip on the radar, but MAN that blip hurts alot right now.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

your wife told me she PAID that guy to tell you it was sold out....and oh...but she stuck to the plan becasue she budgeted for the pay off.