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Kicking Television: Live in Chicago Import

4.4 out of 5 stars 59 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Kicking Television-Live in Chicago, recorded over four nights in May at The Vic Theatre. "It's really the best it's ever felt," said Jeff Tweedy to the Detroit Free Press earlier this year. "I would say at this point, I don't think I've ever been in a band that's felt this connected and unified with this collective vision." To document that collective vision that band called upon veteran mixing engineer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Dave Matthews, Johnny Cash) to capture the energy, excitement, clarity and musicality that has earned Wilco continued praise for their live shows around the world. Warner. 2005.

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Recorded over four-nights in front of a sold-out hometown crowd at Chicago's historic Vic Theatre in 2005, Kicking Television: Live In Chicago is the first official live release from Wilco. It's remarkable to think that a band so well known for for its richly varied, inspiring live sets waited so long to get one these things out. At the same time, it's a little foreign hearing songs that once felt like personal treasures, plus a set-closing cover of Charles Wright's "Comment," handed over to the masses - the quietly disturbing "Misunderstood" is transformed into an audience sing-along, "Handshake Drugs" becomes a communal jig, and "Heavy Metal Drummer" a certifiable party anthem. Luckily, the whoops and clinking cocktail glasses can't take away from Jeff Tweedy's compelling laments or the band's full-throttle charge, particularly on a knuckle-gripping reworkings of "A Shot In The Arm" and "Ashes of American Flags." --Aidin Vaziri

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Misunderstood
  2. Company in My Back
  3. The Late Greats
  4. Hell Is Chrome
  5. Handshake Drugs
  6. I Am Trying to Break Your Heart
  7. Shot in the Arm
  8. At Least That’s What You Said
  9. Wishful Thinking
  10. Jesus, Etc.
  11. I’m the Man Who Loves You
  12. Kicking Television

Disc: 2

  1. Via Chicago
  2. Hummingbird
  3. Muzzle of Bees
  4. One by One
  5. Airline to Heaven
  6. Radio Cure
  7. Ashes of American Flags
  8. Heavy Metal Drummer
  9. Poor Places
  10. Spiders (Kidsmoke)
  11. Comment


Product Details

  • Audio CD (November 15, 2005)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Nonesuch
  • ASIN: B000BCE90O
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (59 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,507 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Paul Allaer TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 15, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Ever since the long-delayed official release of 2002's "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot", Jeff Tweedy has done a lot of touring, both with Wilco and solo, and even with the band going through some line-up changes, if you have seen Wilco touring behind the "ghost is born" album, you know that this is one of the tighest-sounding bands on the road these days.

"Kicking Television: Live in Chicago" (2CDs, 23 tracks, 113 min.) brings the best of a 4 night stand at the Vic Theatre in Chicago in May, 2005. Rightfully so, the setlist is heavy on the YHF and ghost albums. For me the best song on the entire set is the 11+ min. epic "Spiders (Kidsmoke)", which live sounds miles better than it does on "ghost". The highlights are many: "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart", "Muzzle of Bees", "Poor Places" and the 2 Guthrie-worded songs "One by One" and "Airline to Heaven" (from the "Mermaid Avenue" CDs) are my personal favorites, but there really is no weak song on the entire album. The other band members are equally strong throughout.

If you've seen Wilco live, do yourself a favor and buy this, you won't be disappointed! In a sense, this live album almost feels like the closing of another chapter in Wilco's journey. Maybe Tweedy is ready to embark on another musical experiment altogether, to which I say: sign me up!
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Format: Audio CD
Wilco's Kicking Television (the title of an internet only outtake from A Ghost Is Born) is a double disk live album that was culled from four shows performed in May, 2005 at the Vic Theater in the band's hometown of Chicago. Songs from the band's last two albums, Yankee Foxtrot Hotel & A Ghost Is Born, dominate the album. That's not a complaint as those are two of the finest albums released this decade. The band has stretched out to a six-piece unit and bandleader Jeff Tweedy plays with brilliant consistency. "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" far outstrips the studio version and might be the best track on the album, "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" is a beautiful cacophony of noise, "Jesus, etc." (which Mr. Tweedy hilarious introduces by saying "let's get this party started with some midtempo rock") has it's violins replaced by an effective slide guitar, "I'm The Man Who Loves You" has a great vibe and shining horns, "Hell Is Chrome" has a piercing guitar solo and "Hummingbird" finds Mr. Tweedy dropping the guitar and working on the keyboards. Older songs include a crowd favorite "Via Chicago", a stirring "Airline To Heaven", the pop brilliance of "A Shot In The Arm" and the closing track a cover of Charles Wright's "Comment (If All Men Are Truly Brothers)". Mr. Tweedy will never be the most energetic performer, but he has loosened up over the years. It helps make for better performances and makes Kicking Television a cd one must purchase.
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Format: Audio CD
I attended the Saturday night show (May 6) at the Vic Theater, one of the evenings during which this package was recorded, and one of the best shows I've had the privilege to attend. This recording is one of the best live albums I've ever heard, and one that faithfully recaptures the energy and excitement of the live experience. Wilco is tight, like no other band I've ever heard in performance. Looking forward to the DVD.
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Format: Audio CD
I've seen Wilco live at least a dozen times and was about 3 rows back at the Vic on May 4th, when this album was being recorded. If you've never seen Wilco live, you need to run out and buy this CD, because as good as YHF, A Ghost is Born etc., are, the studio recordings only hint at what an amazing band Wilco really is. Part of the joy of seeing them live is feeling the connection that Wilco has with their fans, and as much as it is possible to feel through a CD player, you feel. Jeff Tweedy sounds confessional, and the band moves between intimate moments and explosive sound. Wilco becomes increasing more and more experimental each time I see them, and this live album reflects that experimentation. If you love WIlco, you need to own this CD.
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Format: Audio CD
Some things are so good you don't want to spoil them all at once. I've had books that were this good - so good that I didn't want to rush through to the end, opting instead to dole out the pages at a leisurely pace, preferring to read at just the right time when I could really take it all in. And this is an album that falls in this category - regardless of it being live, regardless of it being filled with songs I already know (aside from one,) I want to let each moment breathe and be something special for fear that if I rush through to hear it all I'll somehow spoil it. And so the truth is that while I've listened to almost nothing but <em>Kicking Television</em> since Tuesday morning, I've yet to actually hear the whole thing - when I've gotten distracted for any period of time, I've restarted listening to it from the beginning.

At the time of this writing, I'd gotten close, but I hadn't even reached the monstrous Can-meets-Rolling-Stones epic "Spiders (Kidsmoke)" (track 10 of 11 on disc 2,) from whence my sub-header is stolen, yet I can say that this is one of the best live albums I've ever heard. The sound is stunning - it's honest and warm, untouched other than getting some loving tweaking at the mixing stage. No overdubs where the musicians flubbed a note or two, or where the vocals weren't just right, and that's the way a live album should be, especially for a band like Wilco and even more especially for <em>this</em> version of Wilco, who are easily the finest grouping of musicians Jeff Tweedy has assembled to back him. And even though the songs were recorded over four separate concerts on as many nights, everything meshes perfectly. There's no attempt to hide the fact that this isn't one concert, but more a representation of what a Wilco show can be.
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