Wire to end the week. I call Wire Musical Comfort Food – they are an emotional go-to band. Listening to them has always been a battery charge – a sign that everything’s okay. Life is ultimately still full of amazement and depth.
I will freely admit to consider them a game-changing band, going back to the Pink Flag era – always thinking they were several cuts above what was currently happening at the time with Punk – how they were shaping it on their own terms, and extending on that through Chairs Missing to what I considered their milestone, 154.
Since that time they’ve been constantly evolving and exploring. Which is why they have still maintained freshness in their music, some 40 years after I Am The Fly got under my skin and stayed there.
With all that’s gone on this week – the insanity of our political situation and the intense sadness over the loss of Chris Cornell, it’s been a week to seek comfort – familiar territory, friendly territory – music that offers solace.
So I ran across this session Wire did with Marc Riley in 2011 and it immediately took the angst down a few notches. And I figured if it did that for me, it must do it for other people – and so I’m sharing it tonight because I wanted to.
Band founder Colin Newman has said Wire is the “Greatest Band Nobody Has Heard Of”. And I confess to feeling torn about that statement. On the one hand, anger and bafflement that they haven’t been given all the recognition due them. But on the other hand feeing smug that they aren’t a band for everybody – that they haven’t been exploited and marginalized by mainstream media – that they aren’t weighed down with expectations from the audience. That this seeming lack of universal acceptance and instant recognition affords Wire the opportunity to continue to explore and experiment – that they aren’t under scrutiny to be all-brilliant-all-the-time – that the ones they’ve influenced they still influence and that their legacy and example are shared and continue to be shared.
So maybe being a household name isn’t such a hot idea after all – aside from the making-a-living part. I am thinking Wire have hit a satisfying medium between the two – and maybe that’s the trick to the whole thing.
In any event, submerge yourself in headphones and cancel out the world for the next 13+ minutes. Truly-truly worth it.