Summer Teeth

  On the front of the CD, one can see the image of a woman blowing a giant bubble out of bubble gum.
  The image is in black and white and reveals little; all one can make out is the large bubble,
  which looks like the moon, and the lips embedded within the bubble.
  This is an album about those long, nebulous summer vacations of our youths, where anything seemed possible
  even blowing the biggest bubble in the world.
  even kissing that girl you could see through the light and haze of the fire.
  even believing one day everything would make sense.

Release Date: March 9, 1999
Label: Reprise
ASIN: B00000I5J5
Written, Produced, & Performed By: Wilco

 1. Can't Stand It                          (3:46)
 2. She's A Jar                             (4:43)
 3. A Shot In The Arm                       (4:19)
 4. We're Just Friends                      (2:44)
 5. I'm Always In Love                      (3:41)
 6. Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again)   (3:20)
 7. Pieholden Suite                         (3:26)
 8. How To Fight Loneliness                 (3:53)
 9. Via Chicago                             (5:33)
10. ELT                                     (3:46)
11. My Darling                              (3:38)
12. When You Wake Up Feeling Old            (3:56)
13. Summer Teeth                            (3:21)
14. In A Future Age                         (2:57)
15. Blank                                   (0:23)
16. Candy Floss                             (2:57)
17. A Shot In The Arm (Reprise)             (3:54)

My definition of a great album is one that can either invent something wholly new (Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band or The Velvet Underground and Nico or Who's Next) or one that can take what we already know and are familiar with and mold it into something new and alive (Pet Sounds or Doolittle or Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). Summer Teeth falls squarely into the latter camp.

I grew up with a medley of Pet Sounds and Jefferson Airplane and Revolver and Buck Owens filling my ears and thoughts. For many people, the music you hear as a child becomes very defining for you, and you return to it in those desperate moments; the pop music of the late 1960s and early 1970s is no different for me. The sounds of those days, the scratchy LPs playing out over summers that would seem to never end. The sounds of days of fear and sorrow, but also of hope and a belief that people could make a difference.

If you take all of those feelings and sounds, of incredible joy and loathsome fear, of simple melodies and experiments in psychedelia, and you brought them to the turn of the century and blended them together in a studio that Brian Wilson could have only dreamed of when he tried to smile, you get something like Summer Teeth.

What would the music of America sound like if we hadn't lost Bobby and Martin Luther? To me, this is as close as it gets; the album itself even hints at this, with the centerpiece named Via Chicago.

Put your hand in mine and your ears into these headphones, and let's take a few roads less travelled: an America where the dreams of the 1960s weren't crushed, which this album is something of a paean to, and also that beautiful summer of 1999 when all of the winding roads in my life came back together again. Wilco sings to both.

 1. Can't Stand It                          (3:46)
CHICAGO, August 27, 1968: The Democratic National Convention was thrown into disarray today when several dozen delegates abstained from the nomination process, ensuring that neither Robert Kennedy nor Hubert Humphrey received the number of delegates required to win the party's nomination. As several hundred thousand protesters marched in the streets outside the convention, chaos also exploded inside the convention as hundreds of delegates began to shout "No more war!" when it became clear that the convention was in a state of deadlock. "There is clearly an ideological divide in the party," said Chicago mayor Richard Daley. "I believe the Democratic Party can select a nominee that will appropriately represent the wide variety of viewpoints at this convention."

I was so lost in the medley of a giant pop tune that nothing seemed real any more. I fell in love again, all over again, with a woman who had been by my side for years who never really knew that my heart had left her. It wandered through the dark days of 1998, when I had no idea where my life was going and everything ahead seemed shrouded in the deepest darkness, and it fluttered from fancy to fancy, believing somehow that these random, fleeting people would somehow save me from this darkness.

You know it's all beginning
To feel like pretending
No love's as random
As my love
I can't stand it

And there comes Can't Stand It into my life, like some sort of long-forgotten outtake from the Revolver sessions, bringing the acid-twinged birth of the new music straight ahead into 1999. Dreams and hopes, can they be real? Or is it all another candy-covered illusion?

I remember the first long, hot day of that summer, riding my bicycle quickly back to the apartment that I was sharing with a good friend. There was a vicious storm brewing right behind me, ready to consume the Iowa landscape with a rushing flood of lightning, wind, and water, and as I raced to get home, I could feel the endorphins begin to course through my veins and I stood up on the pedals and shouted the words of this song to the heavens: Your prayers will never be answered again. They didn't need to be. I was alive, for the first time in a long time, and as the huge heavy droplets of the oncoming storm began to drop down on me, I thought of someone who was far away for the summer, and I sang the chorus as I flew down that last leg of highway, getting drenched to the bone.

Can't Stand It is an amazing, beautiful shot of straight pop magic straight out of 1968, when the world hung in the balance. Was it to be a beautiful world, or was it to be a nightmare? As the rain fell, I knew the answer.

 2. She's A Jar                             (4:43)
MINNEAPOLIS, October 3, 1968: Trailing both New Democratic Party candidate Robert Kennedy and Republican Party nominee Richard M. Nixon by more than thirty percent in recent polls and lacking financial backing to continue his candidacy, Democratic Party candidate Hubert Humphrey dropped out of the presidential race today, endorsing Robert Kennedy. "We have a clear choice in this country," Humphrey remarked. "We can look forward to a bright future of peace and freedom, or back to a past of fear and disillusionment."

She went away that summer. She agreed to spend her days working for underprivileged youth, running a program where children whose parents didn't go to college could get a head's up on what was to come. The students would spend their day reading great literature and discussing it, and learning how to design computer programs. It was a place to spread their mental wings in an environment where that would be wholly accepted and encouraged, since their blue collar background might have otherwise quashed such dreaming.

I would sit at the apartment at night and think about her with these students, watching her carefully coax them out of their shells, using her own working class background and her amazing wit to bring out the inner light in these kids.

She's a jar
with a heavy lid
my pop quiz kid

She's A Jar drifts by like a mellow dream; for me, I close my eyes and imagine myself transported back to my lazy childhood, sitting on the back porch and learning about life from my grandfather. He still speaks to me, a subconscious advisor that I pull up in my sleepy strangeness, who sits there in his infinitely beautiful wisdom and reveals to me how simple all of the seeming complexities of my mind really are. I can see him sitting there on the porch, playing this song softly and slowly, playing the harmonica like Jeff Tweedy does here during the middle of the song, soft and mellow, and with just a glance and a smile at the beautiful woman sitting in the yard reading a book, he immediately revealed what I had known all along, that she was the woman for me. She's a jar with a heavy lid, my pop quiz kid.

 3. A Shot In The Arm                       (4:19)
BOSTON, November 5, 1968: While final tallies will continue into the night, current projections indicate that Robert Kennedy has defeated Richard M. Nixon in the United States presidential election. Kennedy appeared before an excited crowd of cheering supporters at the Regency Hotel in Boston this evening. "Today is the first day of a new America. Today we turn our eyes from the fear mongering of the past and into the bright, shining light of tomorrow. Today, we are not Democrats or Republicans; we are Americans," Kennedy said to the crowd, who cheered wildly for each comment.

I sat out on the deck most evenings, watching the sun go down, thinking about where I was and why I was there. I was clueless, I knew it, and I had spent the last year in a pit of despair flushing my dreams away. Maybe all I need is a shot in the arm.

What you once were isn't what
You want to be any more

This track is like one of those great psychedelic anthems of the late 1960s, like an updated version of White Rabbit or Volunteers or Painted Dayglow Smile. The whirring, rippling noises filled my ears as I sat out there staring into the sunlight, trying to figure out where I was to go from here. I had somehow come through the darkness and out the other side, lucky enough to still have someone who loved me at my side.

My dreams from an earlier life flowed through my mind: dreams of being a writer and somehow relating the truths and lies of my parochial life to the world. I closed my eyes and pictured a wide sea before me, with waves churning with musical notes as they brushed along the banks, and then I knew: I was supposed to be a writer.

I am supposed to be a writer. That's what I do. That's what I can do. That's what I want to do. That's who I am.

 4. We're Just Friends                      (2:44)
WASHINGTON, April 5, 1969: True to his campaign promises, President Kennedy today ordered the withdrawal of all American troops from the nations of Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia by the end of the year. "All people have the right to choose their own form of government. We must lead by example and show the world that America is a beacon of hope in the world, that a democratic society founded on trust between the people and the government can and will win the day," the president said during a Rose Garden press conference this afternoon.

I remember that cold, gray afternoon when I first listened to Let It Be; not that atrocious overproduced album, but the original single, where all that you could really hear is the piano work and some gentle guiding percussion. Picture me there, sprawled out on the floor of my bedroom in the earliest stages of adolescence listening to that single over and over and over again, trying to make up my mind if this was a love song or a song of faith. It took me a long time to figure it out.

I made so many mistakes. Like a broken record, I keep repeating the same stupid fallacies. I don't believe in myself. I don't believe in her. I don't believe that anyone cares. It's all just a lie I use to insulate myself, to make my feelings of loneliness justified when in fact they happen because I can't won't communicate what's going on inside of me.

Over and over and over again
I try to make amends
For everything I've done wrong
My whole world just spins

I wrote her this long letter, trying to explain what was going on inside my head, and this song, this remade Let It Be with its gentle piano and acoustic guitar, filled up the pen in my hand and pressed it to the paper for me. I heard Tweedy's lost voice and I felt the pressure of the pen against my paper and soon I had filled up nine pages, the black ink filling up every nook of the white space.

What do I believe in? I believe in Jesus and I believe in her.

 5. I'm Always In Love                      (3:41)
BOSTON, November 7, 1972: As expected, Robert Kennedy resoundingly defeated Richard M. Nixon in a rematch of the 1968 election. Kennedy's domestic and foreign agendas of promoting a brighter future won the day, as he emerged from under his brother's shadow to promote a plan of unalienable rights to education, nutrition, and health care to all children in America while fostering a non-confrontational relationship with the USSR and China, culminating in a 1972 tour of the east in which Kennedy visited Moscow and Peking.

And when you least expect it, The Turtles break out. The two of us spent countless summer days walking in the park or through the woods singing the words of their classic Happy Together, as though this simple pop song from so many years ago expressed some deep truth that we both understood but were unable to express to each other. I'm worried I'm worried I'm always in love

This song somehow captures the same feeling without having that overwhelming chorus. It's a musical sunbeam of understanding from halcyon days of the past. It's that terrible understatement that only the words of a pop song can represent, one that tries to express our deepest sentiments with the blunt instruments of human language. I'm worried I'm worried I'm always in love

Will I catch the moon
Like a bird in a cage
It's for you I swoon
I'm always in love

I couldn't hold her that summer, as much as I wanted to. Instead, I would walk through the sunlit park, climb a tree, and sing I'm worried I'm worried I'm always in love, sometimes loudly, sometimes softly to myself, but always singing with her heart as my audience. I believed in something again.

And that in itself is a miracle.

 6. Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again)   (3:20)
LOS ANGELES, June 3, 1976: Martin Luther King Jr. claims victory tonight in the hard-fought California Democratic Primary, with early totals indicating a narrow victory over top rival Edward Kennedy. This victory gives King an almost insurmountable lead for the party's nomination. The race had been very tension-filled, with many viewing this race as divisive as the 1968 race between Robert Kennedy and Hubert Humphrey; Edward Kennedy is seen as an even more liberal version of his outgoing brother, while King is viewed as a moderate and a representative of the social advances of the last twenty years. The surprising endorsement of King by California governor Jerry Brown just days before the vote is viewed as a crucial turning point. "We march ever onwards into the bright, shining freedom of tomorrow," King told a crowd of enthusiastic supporters.

That summer, I discovered and fell in love with The Kinks. I was familiar with their big singles (Lola, All Day and All of the Night, Come Dancing, and You Really Got Me), but I found a number of their LPs at a record shop and picked them up at a discount shop. I spent one lazy weekend learning about the village green and Arthur through the magic of recorded music.

I watched on television as we asserted ourselves internationally, bombing Serbia into oblivion to get rid of a "butcher" and threatening another. We were and are lost in a maelstrom of madness in which military might makes right, and I closed my eyes and let the music take me away to another world.

We'll find a way regardless
To make some sense out of this mess
Well, it's a test but I believe
A kiss is all we need

All you need is love, he once said, and the bass and baritone and acoustic guitars drive this pleasant little Wilco song forward with the same meaning that the long lost balladeer sang about on the BBC so many years ago. Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again) is a song that seems as though it was lost during the British Invasion and yet here it is, uncovered and unveiled by Wilco in another summer, thirty years later. Dare I dream of a world where a kiss is all we need, where love is all you need?

 7. Pieholden Suite                         (3:26)
BIRMINGHAM, November 5, 1976: By the narrowest of margins, Democratic candidate Martin Luther King Jr. has defeated Republican Ronald Reagan. Several swing states narrowly went to King, who was trailing decisively in most polls prior to Election Day. In front of a euphoric crowd of supporters, King raised his fist in victory, shouting, "This is a great day for this nation! We will walk down that path to a brighter tomorrow!"

I discovered during those long summer months of 1999 that I hadn't forgotten how to write after all. I wrote strange little short stories about armies of insects that lived in my skull. I wrote argumentative pieces about how McCarthyism never really died. I wrote a lengthy paean to my bowel movements.

The words flowed from my pen to the paper like water for chocolate. The ideas moved from my keyboard to the screen in a strange flood. And on so many levels, I wrote about the new life, the new source of love that flowed in my heart.

In the beginning
We closed our eyes
Whenever we kissed
We were surprised
To find so much inside

Pieholden Suite delicately moves forward from the softness of the opening verse to the trumpet-guided instrumental section that fills up much of the latter half of the song, almost like a later Beach Boys song. It's a song about self-discovery, when the world inside seems so expansive and full that it almost matches the world outside.

Regardless of what I write about, I am writing about her, the love that she brings into my life, filling a once-empty reservoir with the warm waters of her intimate truth.

 8. How To Fight Loneliness                 (3:53)
WASHINGTON, December 4, 1979: President King, during a press conference discussing a plan to increase regulation of the oil industry in the face of a severe energy crisis, announced that he would not seek re-election as president. King was prepared to face a strong battle with Edward Kennedy for the nomination of the Democratic Party after three years of an administration that has had to deal with several crises, both at home and abroad. When asked, King encouraged his vice president, Walter Mondale, to seek the party's nomination, and that President King would give Mondale his full support.

The transistion from Pieholden Suite into How To Fight Loneliness is so gentle that you don't even notice that they are distinct songs; the music keeps floating along with the gentle melancholy of an early 1970s pop song from Joni Mitchell or James Taylor.

How to fight loneliness
Smile all the time
Shine your teeth 'til meaningless
Sharpen them with lies

I missed her desperately that summer. I kept a photograph of her upon my desk, one that I took of her when we went fishing. She was clad in a flannel shirt and wore a fisherman's hat upon her head, and her face was turned toward the camera with a giant smile. That lonely summer, my eyes would glance over to her smiling face, and I would know that she would return soon. And that would be enough.

You hear that acoustic guitar that opens the song, filling up the first ten seconds before Jeff Tweedy's voice breaks in? It's the sound of hope that goes on to form the basis of everything that follows. It's the same hope that would fill my heart every time I looked at her wearing that fishing hat and smiling that huge smile.

 9. Via Chicago                             (5:33)
BEL AIR, November 8, 1980: Republican candidate Ronald Reagan has soundly defeated Democrat Walter Mondale in what is seen as a voter rejection of twenty years of Democratic control of the White House. Promising a brighter future for America, Reagan promises a new economic direction for the United States and a harder line in terms of defense. Reagan appeared before supporters announcing that "a new day has dawned in America."

This is the centerpiece of the album, unquestionably. It drifts along, painting a picture of the exact things that filled my heart during that summer of 1999, a love that is so close, yet too far away to touch. This song dissolves, for lack of a better word, like Surf's Up by The Beach Boys. It slowly moves from a gentle acoustic song of longing into a gentle audio painting as Tweedy announces that he's coming home via Chicago.

I printed my name on the back of a leaf
And I watched it float away
The hope I had in a notebook full of white, dry pages

I went to see her once that summer. I'm coming home via Chicago, I whispered to her, taking the line straight from Jeff Tweedy's mouth, and she let out a euphoric shout, enthralled that I would make the trip to see her. I remember the long, long trip, writing in my journal about her, always writing in my journal that summer.

I remember walking up the hill to the place where I knew she would be, and I could see her sitting in the yard, just waiting for me to be there, and with every step I got closer to her closer closer closer...

10. ELT                                     (3:46)
WASHINGTON, January 21, 1985: President Gary Hart takes the oath of office today, promising to "wash away" the errors of the last four years, focusing on re-establishing strong diplomatic ties with the USSR. In the aftermath of Afghanistan, in which the United States and the USSR exchanged small nuclear strikes in early 1983, the already-weak economy swooned even deeper, bringing about unemployment rates not seen since the Great Depression. During his inaugural address, Hart promised to return America to the "bright path," promising "a future without fear, where children learn that they are friends with people around the world, and don't have to learn to hide under their desks."

Wilco rocks a bit here, providing a heavier and less melancholy counterpart to Via Chicago; what happens next? Our hero sees her and finds that she is what has been filling his dreams; every little thing is gonna tear you apart, Tweedy intones over the rocking sounds of the song.

I should've been listening
To every word you said
Oh, what have I been missing
Wishing, wishing that you were dead

How could I have spent the year before so lost, when I had such a beautiful, amazing woman who wanted to save me? How could I have rejected her in my heart, even though I hid it all from her? Her movements are like magic in the moonlight; her smile like the crescent of the moon in a sky of infinite stars, the brightest thing of all.

I can still see the two of us in my mind's eye, walking along a stream and talking about our respective summers: mine was spent as an intern, and hers spent as a teacher. Our hands locked together, I can still see us strolling along that gentle muddy path, repairing wounds in each of our hearts.

How could I have let her go?

11. My Darling                              (3:38)
WASHINGTON, November 8, 1988: Gary Hart wins re-election in a landslide, riding strong economic news and a series of peace agreements with the USSR to a strong victory over Republican challenger George Bush. "The last four years have been great, but the next four will be even greater!" shouted an exuberant Hart to a hall full of supporters upon receiving word that he had clinched the electoral college vote.

I went back to my internship, and on the way back I listened to the second half of Abbey Road over and over again. It's one long medley, where one song melts directly onto another, as The Beatles extinguish their career with yet another piece of musical genius. My Darling feels like that entire medley, pushing pieces together and blurring them until the lines no longer appear.

Breathe now, think sweet things
And I'll think of all the right words to say

She was still asleep when I left her that morning. I kissed her earlobe and left a note on the pillow next to her. Have you ever really looked at someone you love as they sleep? They never look more beautiful than they do right then, because it is all so honest and true; you get a glimpse at their core, the very essence of all of the elements that make you love that person.

I don't know what she dreamed about that night, or what she dreams about any night, but I know that when I looked at her that morning, she was happy. And that, in the end, is all I really needed to know.

Her majesty's a pretty nice girl, but she doesn't have a lot to say sings Paul McCartney at the very end of Abbey Road, at the end of the giant half-album-long medley. And as Wilco's song finishes up, I feel much the same way: her majesty is a pretty nice girl.

12. When You Wake Up Feeling Old            (3:56)
WASHINGTON, November 7, 1990: In the aftermath of OPEC's oil boycott of the United States because of President Hart's lack of initiative in preventing Iraq's military domination of the region, the Republican Party regained control of both houses of Congress today in mid-term elections. New Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole, at a Republican Party gala held in Washington to celebrate the victory, said, "We will not allow our friends in the Middle East to be dominated by a brutal dictator. We will not allow our economy, our way of life to fall apart."

This is a piano-led song with just a hint of country-folk twang, something I could almost imagine coming out of the radio in 1973. The mix of piano and acoustic guitar in this song sneak up on you, and when Jeff Tweedy begins to use a toy harp during the bridge, it somehow works, no matter how silly it seems. Just like life.

I know I can't sing
'Til she brings the song to life
And I blend with kings
I'd never change a thing

That summer, I spent many long days in a greenhouse, tending to plants via watering, weeding, and sifting soil. I had a little CD player in the greenhouse with me, and during those long, hot summer days in there, I listened to countless hours of music, such that I can scarcely think back to those days without a soundtrack running through it. I discovered Wilco that summer, and I played this CD incessantly, which is why, I suppose, that this album is something of a landmark of those days when I emerged from the darkness of depression.

I wasn't much for singing along to songs unless she led me into it, so I would usually just hum along to the music and let it carry me through watering and weeding and planting. I would think about her and hum along to the music and plant a few plants and my day would end and I would ride home on my bicycle, driving along like a little pop song, like this one.

13. Summer Teeth                            (3:21)
KANSAS CITY, November 3, 1992: Even with President Hart's "New Energy" policy reaping dividends with more than 10% of cars in the United States outfitted with non-oil engines, Republican Bob Dole defeated Democrat Bill Clinton by a wide margin on a platform of a united stand with the USSR against Iraq. During his victory speech, Dole personally invited Premier Mikhail Gorbachev to visit him in the White House, telling an enthralled crowd that together they would defeat those who would try to take away the light of the world.

Like a cloud his fingers explode
On the typewriter ribbon
The shadow grows

The title track of this album is a pleasant little pop ditty with some nice Kinks-esque music and lyrics straight out of the Village Green era. What does that mean? It sounds like it was recorded at a garden party around 1968, with the sounds of nature all around simultaneously encapsulating and expanding the song.

It was such a long summer, in which I found my true loves again: the written word and the lady of my heart. I spent my weekends writing and my weekdays in a greenhouse, and all of the time my mind floated to other things, dreaming of her return to my arms. It was the longest, most passionate summer of my life, alone with the flowers blooming in my fingers and the love blooming in my heart.

And suddenly, there she was.

14. In A Future Age                         (2:57)
WASHINGTON, December 13, 1995: Today is a dark day in America. After two years at war with the Arabian Alliance, the war has been brought to the mainland of the United States. Two United Airlines Boeing 747 jets, loaded with explosives, were crashed into the White House and the Capitol building today, killing 37 senators and 108 Representatives. A group of terrorists known as American Jihad, centered in Jordan, claimed responsibility, stating that the "great revenge for the crimes of America" was just beginning. President Dole addressed the nation from an undisclosed location, encouraging the country to be calm in this time of crisis, but stressing that those responsible would be brought to justice.

She came back a week earlier than I expected her, and somehow she convinced someone to let her find me in my greenhouse. My hands were covered to the elbows in mud when I saw her, and I immediately began to scrub off the mud as she ran into the greenhouse. When she came close, I picked her up and wheeled her around in my arms, ecstatic that she was finally there and that everything was going to be all right.

Let's turn our prayers
To outrageous dares
And mark our page
In a future age

This song formally ends the album, asking this question with this mellow march: what will we do in the future? What comes next? Tweedy's carefully metered lyrics ask this question as the album drifts away, as summer teeth come to an end and drift into fall.

What would yet come for us? Neither one of us knew, but in that eternity when I held her in my arms again, I didn't need to know. All I needed to know is that she was there again, and everything was going to be normal and bright and beautiful again.

15. Blank                                   (0:23)
BALTIMORE, November 5, 1996: Democratic nominee Joe Biden defeated President Bob Dole in a landslide victory today, while the Democratic Party took control of both houses of Congress. A somber Biden gave a brief victory speech at his campaign headquarters in Baltimore, promising that America would rise from the ashes of these dark days. Biden's challenge as President is a great one: turning around a three year war in the Middle East, a complete oil embargo by OPEC, and a devastated United States economy.

This track is empty.

Everything that follows is a coda.

Does that mean that it is any less important?

16. Candy Floss                             (2:57)
WASHINGTON, November 7, 2000: For the first time in history, there will be a unanimous vote in the electoral college. President Joseph Biden was resoundingly re-elected, winning almost 80% of the popular vote, an amount unprecedented in American politics. After four years of success, including a complete withdrawal from an Iraq-dominated Middle East with a guarantee of no aggression toward Israel, a tax guarantee for all non-oil using cars that has caused more hydrogen burning cars than oil burning cars to be sold in the United States, and enormous tax incentives to all classes for increased spending, Biden has ushered in a new era of both peace and economic prosperity.

The first of two "hidden tracks" on the album, Candy Floss is a very upbeat pop song, about that first love we all have, and oozing with late 1960s upbeat pop sensibility.

I'm the boy that looks excited
I'm the boy thats gonna fall apart
Candyfloss, she kissed me first
And I'm the boy, don't get me started

Much of the rest of 1999, for both of us, was like falling in love all over again. She could tell there was something new inside of me, and there was: I felt for the first time in a long time like there was a bright future ahead for both of us. I held her in my arms like there was no tomorrow, and I can still see the spark in her eyes that I saw then.

She is my candy floss.

17. A Shot In The Arm (Reprise)             (3:54)
WASHINGTON, October 5, 2003: Despite strong encouragement to run for a third term and wide bipartisan support for an overturn of the 22nd Amendment to allow him to run, President Biden today announced that he would not seek the nomination of his party. Instead, he encouraged all parties to engage in an open and fair dialogue about the future of the United States, free of mudslinging and personal attacks. Early frontrunners include John F. Kennedy, Jr. and J.C. Watts.

The album closes with an alternate version of the third song on the album, which is unquestionably the most radio-friendly song on the whole album. This version is a bit more distorted, a bit more production trickery involved, a bit more sterile in that regard, but it doesn't lose the magic of what came before.

And as I held her in my arms at long last on that hot August afternoon, I knew without a doubt that I would never, ever let her go again.


As I sit here listening to this album, Jeff Tweedy sings to me about a world that could have been, a world full of a different kind of hope and optimism, one that somehow fell to the wayside so many summers ago. I listen and I wonder what could have been, but I am also thankful for the beautiful things I have, the things that revealed themselves to me that long hot summer.

The beauty of this album is like a teardrop in my mind, though I'm not sure whether it is a teardrop of joy or sadness.

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