List this (and some Wilco to boot)

I am a list-maker.

I love to chronicle the best of this, my favorite of that, all in a tidy top 10 format.

There’s no real purpose to any of these lists, no true function for them other than being ways to pass the time in boring meetings. Sure, they could be conversation starters if I should ever find myself engaged in a discussion with some Pretty Young Thing (or even a Pretty Close To My Age Thing), but I never carry these lists around with me. Besides, I’d look fairly lame (or lamer, I guess) if during the conversation I whipped out a notepad and started rattling off my Top Comedic Actors on TV. (For the record, the list includes Jason Bateman, John Ritter and Kelsey Grammer).

Still, though, I make the lists, chronicling my life’s little obsessions in black ink on white paper. There’s some comfort in looking at them, knowing that right here in front of me are my Favorite Albums (which is a completely different category than my Best Albums; don’t ask – if you don’t get it, nothing I say will ever make you see it).

Most of my lists are fluid. My Top Movies of All Time generally contain the same movies, or at least 6-8 of them, but the order of Nos. 3-10 often changes. (Don’t worry – I’ll reveal these titles, and more, in subsequent blogs, but today I’m far too focused on other things, including, apparently, making as many parenthetical asides as possible).

So, in the coming days/months/whenever, I plan on listing some of these lists, running from Favorite Album Covers to Favorite Punctuation (as you might have guessed, the parentheses and long dash will be part of that one).

In the meantime, I share with you this:

My Favorite Wilco Songs

I’m heading to Nashville on Sunday to see Wilco play at the Ryman. This will be my eighth Wilco concert, tying them with Bruce Springsteen, albeit temporarily because I’m seeing him in Cincinnati in March.

The beauty of a Wilco show (and Springsteen, too, for that matter) is that no matter how many times you see them live, you experience something different each time. The set lists vary, the performances change, the stage banter isn’t pre-scripted.

And then there’s the music, which for my money places them far ahead of any bands playing these days. You can have your Foo Fighters or your Fall Out Boy (and I happen to be a fan of both), but nothing compares to Wilco (other than Springsteen, of course) (oh, and maybe Steve Earle).

Here’s what I’ll be listening to as I head to Nashville.

1. “Impossible Germany,” Sky Blue Sky

2. “Reservations,” Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
3. “Handshake Drugs,” A Ghost is Born
4. “Shot in the Arm,” Summerteeth
5. “Ashes of American Flags,” Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
6. “Via Chicago,” Summerteeth
7. “At Least That’s What You Said,” A Ghost is Born
8. “Misunderstood,” Being There
9. “You Are My Face,” Sky Blue Sky
10. “Theologians,” A Ghost is Born; “Sunken Treasure,” Being There; “Walken,” Sky Blue Sky; “Hummingbird,” A Ghost is Born; “Shouldn’t Be Ashamed,” A.M.

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