It isn’t so amazing that Woody’s fucksongs are more fun and interesting than his political screeds — who’s (including Billy Bragg’s) aren’t? Nor is it so amazing that Wilco could make like the lost Basement Tape. What is amazing is that, in a project so weighted with potential historical significance, that they played down the politics and the Basement Tapes aspect when all most of us know about him was that he was a lefty folkie who was a major influence on Bob Dylan. What’s left, then, is a guy who wanted to fuck a celebrity; make his daughter happy and oh yeah, had a plan for making the world a better place. Pretty much like the rest of us, when you think about it. And when it was all over, head out here to California, and dream forever while listening to the state song he wrote for us.
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Written for the 1998 Village Voice Pazz & Jop Poll