Twofer ahead! Today’s post is free for everyone. As a reminder: Songs are released frequently on Starship Casual (typically behind the paywall). Upgrade your membership to unlock the song vault. “Normal American Kids” Here’s a version with a bit more energy and some freer phrasing. I like the tone (exhausted despondency) of the
These are lovely, and Jeff’s marginalia so interesting. Now please indulge me as I hijack in a well-meaning way. I was at the Aug. 12 Cedar Rapids show. It was simply excellent. Sadly the local paper didn’t review the show, as I enjoy comparing notes and learning. But a blogger or two took their obligatory turns, and the trouble with superfan bloggers is that they seem professionally obligated against joy. One suggested the show was a very competent dry run for the young tour, another put it solidly “in the middle” of the 40-some shows he’s seen. Well I’m here to tell you it was in the top 3 of the 3 I’ve seen, and it was fabulous. And mirthful. Fans breaking protocol to bring gifts and signables to the stage elicited a Wilcovian (did I just coin that? Me likes.) mix of bemusement and befuddlement, with Jeff finally declaring it “bold ... and ill-advised” to much laughter. Even more laughter later, toward the end of what I experienced as a very joyous, spirited performance, when Jeff thanked the crowd for its appreciation and said, “You’ve been such a wonderful audience. I don’t usually enthuse about audiences this way. [Pause for effect] I’m not a big fan of audiences in general.” This brought the house down, or most of it, with the rest coming down with the last few slamming tunes. I’m going on record to say it was a wonderful show. Thanks for indulging.
I love the aural landscapes the Wilcos make together & the mood that created. But the acoustic versions you’ve been sharing here really let the lyrics stretch out and shine. Thank you for sharing them.
I also wanted to thank you for something else. My mother passed away earlier this month, and I have been leaning heavily on your work the last few weeks. Thank you for openly and honestly exploring death & grief in your writing. It’s made processing this a little easier, I think.
Thank you so much for sharing these and your thoughts behind them. Love this content! And the Mood Dampeners would be a killer band name. 🤘
My player was set to 1.25x so, for a few seconds there, I was like, "Wow, Jeff's not kidding about this being a higher-energy version!"
After listening to NAK: I remember the first time I heard this song, I just felt it really resonated with me, with the perspective my younger self had. I grew up in kind of a weird, “dysfunctional” home; my mom was a lot older than my friends’ moms, and I was the last of five kids, so was kind of an “only child” - was an accident, etc. And we were a religious family (the kind that doesn’t associate with others) plus my mom had mental health issues and was very “not social” to put it kindly.
As a kid, I felt like I was often looking out a window at all the other kids being normal, and I knew that we were not normal. And that, of course, has extended on into adulthood... because that kind of deep-set belief does not just go away when you grow up.
I desperately wanted to be normal as a kid, and I still do. But also...as I’ve aged, I’ve just started feeling like “screw all those normal people." Ha! 😊 Though I do now understand that almost everybody has their problems. There probably really isn’t a “normal." Just people who are better at creating the illusion of normalcy. (Maybe?)
Anyway --- I like this song a lot. And I love this acoustic recording of it. ❤️ Thank you!!
Thank you again, Jeff. These intimate recorded performances and accompanying commentary are gifts. Everlasting Everything is among my all-time favorites. I wouldn’t call it a bummer, although I can see how it could be a mood dampener to a casual concertgoer. To my ears the lyrics and melody do an exceptional job of capturing the beauty of life because of impermanence. I like all your songs that swing into this territory, including but not limited to Nobody Dies Anymore, Born Alone, Robin or a Wren, the one that says “…a light left on in an empty room,” Lifetime To Find. The list goes on.
TL/DR: Thank you, Jeff.
yeah, “Everlasting Everything” is one of the best tunes in the Wilco book, if you ask me.
Everlasting Everything is one of my favorite songs (admittedly, I have a lot of favorites.). Loved this rendition and the thougtful entry about it.
Jeff, for me “Everlasting” is one of the greatest songs you’ve ever written. It means a hell of a lot to me.
OK, I admit, I had to look up "Bill Fay," and I'm so glad I did. I listened to his "Be Not So Fearful" and I am just about in tears.
THEN I listened to Everlasting Everything, and I am now closer to those tears. Deep shit, bro. :) No, really. Sublime.
Halloween is a hard time for me, emotionally...as I often don't feel "cool enough" as all the "normal kids" out there...and now that I have a child, I worry so much that she's accepted and I hope she's having a magical childhood, even IF she's not invited to all the little kiddie parties I see pictures of, on Facebook or Instagram (Insta-sham - oh, I just made that up; it's perfect.)
It's all good. Everlasting love....is all there is... That is so beautiful. I am happy to be alive during this time with the likes of you, Bill Fay, and my favorite artists. (Art saves lives.) I want to keep diving in to all this poetry and music. Peace
Thanks Cap’n for these beautiful acoustic renditions of your songs. I was particularly moved by “Normal American Kids”, and finally read along your words while listening to you play and sing. It opened my eyes to what I think the song is truly about, and had me reflecting on my own experience with NAK’s. Thanks for that.
Love both songs and versions. Everlasting Everything is such an incredible song--bummer or not. No more of a bummer than Bull Black Nova (sorry Vince).
I hope these are a sign that Together at Last Volume 2 is in the works.
Everlasting Everything falls into my "hidden gems" list of favorite Wilco songs. The low-key songs that tend to hide in the background. Gems like Solitaire, Black Moon, Dash 7, Pieholden Suite, and How to Fight Loneliness. I love hearing these, and appreciate the new versions of two of them now. Thanks Jeff.
I take a lot of comfort from Jeff’s music & comments in interviews.
Wilco are one of of the best bands I have ever seen live.
everlasting everything would be so lovely to hear live despite it being a big downer, which i don’t think it is actually.