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Weird Tales

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Audio CD, October 13, 1998
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$15.85 $1.03

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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 13, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Rykodisc
  • ASIN: B00000DCWE
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,920 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. To Call My Own
2. Looking Forward To Seeing You
3. Until You Came Along
4. Lost Love
5. If I Only Had A Car
6. Jane
7. Keys
8. I Can't Keep From Talking
9. Reflections On Me
10. Making Waves
11. White Shell Road
12. Please Tell My Brother
13. Fear of Falling
14. All The Same To Me
15. Jennifer Save Me

Editorial Reviews

Featuring members of the Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, Run Westy Run, and Wilco, Golden Smog has in the past felt like a typical side gig: for die-hard fans only. Not anymore. Weird Tales is inspired top to bottom, whether on the four-song streak of ragged rock that fronts the disc or the singular moments that follow, like the strangely soul-funky "Keys," Jeff Tweedy's Woody Guthrie-ized "Please Tell My Brother," or Kraig Johnson's "Making Waves," a crushing story of suicide behind the bathroom door. Including new Smogger Jody Stephens (ex-Big Star drummer), Weird Tales is an emotion-rich trip of Midwestern rock tones, loaded with both individual spirit and collective vision. If they keep this up, we might have to start calling them a real band. --Neal Weiss


Tales is a major step forward from [Golden Smog's] spotty debut. -- Entertainment Weekly

Like the work of the slightly more majestic Matthew Sweet, 'Weird Tales' is a continuation of the pop key-line that links The Byrds, Teenage Fanclub and Eels.... Golden Smog's plaintive ballads and pop-ist frenzies offer a return to backwoods basics. -- New Musical Express

[Golden Smog] fill this CD with loads of good-time twang and harmony-rich tales of wounded spirits and romantic salvation. -- People

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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See all 49 customer reviews
If we both like the CD, it has to be doing something right!
Daniel Gunter
The simple innocence combined with layered harmonies a superb combination of musical talents.
IMHO, "to call my own" is one of the best songs I have ever heard.
P. Opus

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Gunter on December 20, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Like one of the other reviewers here, I bought this CD on a whim back in 2001, attracted to it because of its interesting cover. I gave it a listen and liked it quite a bit, but was not entirely sure about it. I kept listening to it--and it improved on each listen. With Gary Louris, Jeff Tweedy, and others, Golden Smog combined several considerable talents who proved, in some respects, to be superior to either the Jayhawks or Wilco. On this CD (which is some respects different from the other Golden Smog CDs), the influence of the Byrds, the Beatles, and Dylan can be heard--but there are some heavier rocking songs, including the powerful "White Shell Road" with its intense guitar work (and strange, brilliant lyrics).

I don't want to shortchange any of the songs on this great CD, but I think that three in particular deserve mention. In the order of their appearance, the first is "Until You Came Along," which was long my favorite on the CD. This is an anthemic song about love found at long last, and it calls out to be played loud loud LOUD. The second (in order of appearance) is "Fear of Falling," which features extraordinarily fine lyrics. It opens with the lovely, plaintive lines "I am not a shadow; I am flesh and blood. / Meet me in the middle if you think you could, / If you think you could." This is a song of great tenderness. Finally, "Jennifer Save Me" joins sad, gentle lyrics and a lovely melody to interesting sonic textures.

But I can't really shortchange the other songs on this CD. I've been listening to it as I write this review, and I wonder how I can avoid writing about the great guitar in "If I Only Had a Car" or the anguish of "Making Waves" or the sad vision of a relationship falling apart in "Reflections on Me." These are all great songs.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Brian D. Rubendall HALL OF FAME on April 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Rock and Roll "supergroups" rarely live up to the sum of their parts. Usually the egos involved sabotage the seemless musicianship needed to make good music (for proof, I direct you to most of Emmerson, Lake and Palmer's dreary output). Not so with Golden Smog's superb "Weird Tales." The two heavy hitters among the the Smog's lineup are Wilco's Jeff Tweedy and The Jayhawks' Gary Louris, and it is to them that many of the best moments on the album can be attributed.
Tweedy's contributions include the very Wilco-like "Lost Love" and "I Can't Keep From Talking," as well as the traditional folk number "Please Tell My Brother," that is one of the best things he's ever written. For his part, Louris answers with the very Jayhawks-esque "Until You Came Along" and "Jane" as well as the surprisingly rocking closing track "Jennifer Save Me," that is the CD's best song. Other highlights include onetime Jayhawk Kraig Johnson's "Looking Forward to Seeing You" and the Johnson/Louris collaboration "If I Only Had a Car."
Overall, an excellent collaboration that greatly exceeds its side project expectations.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By P. Opus on November 9, 2004
Format: Audio CD
I've been a fan of this kind of music since I picked up a copy of Uncle Tupelo's "Anodyne" at Amoeba Records in Berkeley some years back. Since then, I've amassed a collection including music by Wilco, Tupelo, Son Volt, Old 97s, Jayhawks, My Morning Jacket, Alejandro Escovedo, and more. I have to say that this disc gets nearly the most play out of all of them.

I can't define exactly what qualities make this disc so appealing to me. Something in the harmonies, the fact that the musicians are obviously enjoying themselves, the similarity in sound to some of the better 80s "college rock" (like REM and the Replacements) as well as Big Star and Teenage Fanclub's later work, and also the time the disc came into my life, right when I needed it. It's kind of an anchor in my huge music collection, and I am always seeking more discs that will have this kind of an impact on me.

IMHO, "to call my own" is one of the best songs I have ever heard. If I were ever to write an equivalent to Nick Hornby's "Songbook," this track would be chapter one.

If you made it this far, and are still reading this review, you really owe it to yourself to take that next step and just buy it. It's that good.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Mad Dog on September 13, 2004
Format: Audio CD
The songs range from beautiful, soaring, poignant, alluring ... Even the worst songs are pleasant to listen to and have several good hooks.

This album comes across to me as a sort of "Greatest Hits of Alt Country". It says something that all of the artists put their best songs (IMHO) onto this album. Many of the songs contains harmony singing and the harmonies never fail.

My fave songs:

To Call My Own (#1) -- Strangely uplifting. I don't know what the singer is singing about, but this song sounds like a "redemption song" with hook upon hook upon hook.

Until You Came Along (#3) -- Gospel song disguised as a love song (if that makes sense). This song (with slight rewording) would fit into a contemporary Gospel service. I'm 'feeling it'. Definitely waiting for a Christian rock group to cover this.

Jennifer Save Me (#15, Finale) -- As beautiful as rock music gets IMHO. Sort of an 'alt-country' version of ELO's great 70's hit "Telephone Line".

Making Waves (#10) -- Weird song about suicide that I have not figured out, other than to say that this is quite a moving song.

Please Tell my Brother (#12) -- Hits home pretty hard. I better go think about calling my mother. Bye.
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