It's not lost on me that I've traveled, in essence, two paths for concerts so far this year. It's only going to get worse, I warn you, but if that's not a problem, then tune in for the Mikael Jorgensen/Pronto review below--not to mention all those yet to come.
Mikael Jorgensen, Make-Out Room, April 30, 2009: Depending on your outlook, Wilco either makes it easy to be a fan or they give us hell. The constant touring, the numerous side projects, the endless collaborations, the solo turns--you can go crazy (and poor) chasing down every note of music that these off-shoots put out, or the hobby can keep you occupied for a long time. Or both.
There's little doubt I lean more toward the second option, but sometimes, being that overly eager fan is easy, especially when the most difficult part of an otherwise laid-back night with friends is enduring the opening act. Then again, that first act was probably more amusing than arduous. Seriously, how did his hat stay on?
Most people probably know Mike in only his role as Wilco's keyboardist and erstwhile "laptop guy," but it was more than a year ago--maybe even two?--on a trip to Chicago that Kris handed out CD-Rs of the Pronto record off a spool; I believe he called them "party favors." I've been looking forward to hearing the songs in a live setting ever since. It took a while, but Mike finally made it out to the West Coast to support those tunes himself.
Even if you know Pronto's music, it's worth it to hear Mike break it down further. Tonight, on his own, he took the album's warm, vintage-y vibe and translated it to solo acoustic guitar. I suppose it wouldn't be too surprising if I told you that the riffs came through loud and clear in this setting, showing off some unexpectedly rawk touches. Another nice touch was Mike's confident air; he held his own in the buzzing bar, even managing to warn us about the other band named Pronto on iTunes.
It looks like it's going to be a busy year for Mike, what with Wilco getting ready to launch a new album in the next month or so. Who knows when Pronto will be around again? I'm willing to find out what the future holds for them, though.
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