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Kicking Television: Live in Chicago

Wednesday, Nov 2 2005
From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Wilco has become one of America's finest rock bands, its constantly evolving sound a seamless mix of country, folk, and jolting blues that retains its urgency even during the quieter moments. Not surprisingly, the group has also grown into a potent live act, thanks in large part to newcomer Nels Cline (guitar), whose scorching solos provide the perfect backdrop to singer Jeff Tweedy's imploring howl. Kicking Television, a double-disc souvenir from a recent four-night stand in Chicago, captures that chemistry perfectly, during both the melancholy strains of "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" and the frenetic climax of the album's finest number, "Spiders (Kidsmoke)." With pristine clarity, it finds Tweedy at his peak as a stage performer, tearing through Wilco's formidable catalog with the zeal of a man possessed.

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Rossiter Drake


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