Best Album of 1998: Golden Smog – Weird Tales

I had this whole big wind up about seeing Run Westy Run with fIREHOSE in New Orleans. Then, later about a road trip driving from Chicago to Minnesota and a quiet Monday night open mic, followed by this cheesy line about taking all your feels of midwestern americana shake over ice and pour over the rocks. But really, if you agree with Mermaid Ave being in top 12 and you haven’t given this a listen, you owe it yourself. Sure, Mermaid has Billy Bragg & Natalie Merchant (and Woodie Guthrie lyrics) but the general vibe is the same, especially on the Wilco tracks.

But at its core this is a bunch of musicians and songwriters who appear to enjoy playing music together for themselves. Which is why 20 years later when I am feeling that midwestern vibe I more often than not reach for this first.

Oh, and it really does at times feel like a love letter to Big Star, which if you’ve ever heard Wilco cover “Thirteen”, you know what I mean.

Vote Golden Smog.

(If you’re not familiar with @bestalbum95 and their running contest, I suggest you give him a follow)


  • Best Album of 1998

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