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Music Reviews 12.28.05 

Wilco

Kicking Television: Live in Chicago

Nonesuch

Wilco's progressive transformation from straight-ahead country-rock to daring experimentalism almost defies belief. Yet as much as the band is praised for its live show, it still seems challenged to keep the intensity level high for an entire concert. On this double-disc set Wilco avoids the problem by cherry-picking from a four-night engagement. Longime loyalists beware: the program draws heavily from the last two albums.

Last year Wilco became a six-piece, so these new arrangements can sound busy at first. Nonetheless, the gorgeous piano work of Mikael Jorgensen and powerful presence of new guitarist Nels Cline save the day. Expect your love for some of these new versions to sneak up on you. Pristine sound quality and a palpable sense of the band really going for it don't hurt. If nothing else, Kicking Television raises the intrigue factor on the question of where Wilco will go next.

--- Saby Reyes-Kulkarni


Daddy

At the Women's Club

Cedar Creek Music

In the early '90s, Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack were down in Nashville giving the status quo a purple nurple with their alt-country act The Bis-Quits. In that same tradition the duo has re-emerged as Daddy --- a rockin' outfit that gives real rockin' country an 18-wheel push.

There's just enough long hair and flannel in the tone to appease those who arrived at Merle via The Bottle Rockets and enough rich harmony and southern charm for those who remember Nashville before the boob job. They reverently and proficiently pluck and twang over a 2/4 stomp but are still able to pull off an unexpected cover like The Faces' "Ooh La La."

At the Women's Club is wild and loose --- due in part to it being a live recording of the band's second-ever show. I give these guys a year --- then everybody's gonna know who their Daddy is.

--- Frank De Blase

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