Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Kirk Baird

Hurry up and listen: Wilco disc leaked online a month before release date

Welcome to the new Blade blog Culture Shock, a three-times-a-week riff by Pop Culture Editor Kirk Baird on pop culture news, events, and trends. The blog will appear Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings here, with the odd night or off-day posting if something is merited.

The new eponymous Wilco disc is out, about a month before its official release.

Wilco began streaming the record on its Web site after it was leaked online.

The Chicago-based band e-mailed this statement to fans:

Well, we made it nearly a month with copies of Wilco (the album) floating around out there before it leaked. Pretty impressive restraint in this day and age. But the inevitable happened [Tuesday] night. Since we know you're curious and probably have better things to do than scour the Internet for a download (though we do understand the attraction of the illicit), we've posted a stream of the full album. Feel free to refer to it as "wilco (the stream)" if you must.

We also have our usual guilt abatement plan for downloaders. If you have downloaded the record, we suggest you make a donation to one of the band's favorite charities, the Inspiration Corporation -- an organization we've supported in the past & who are doing great work in the city of Chicago. Information and donation button here.

This is the third time Wilco has streamed an album on its site before the record s release, in large part because the recordings were leaked before the on-sale date.

Official releases are becoming a thing of the past at the very least, the dates are less meaningful. Too many people can t want to wait to hear, see, or play new music, movies, and even video games. As a result:

They re willing to settle for songs that are still in the production stage, or are even unfinished by the band.

They ll watch a pirated studio screener disc that periodically pops up a warning message about illegal copying, or worse, sit through bootlegged versions of movies filmed in a theater with a camcorder.

They ll play games that are still in the development stages and plagued with bugs.

Why? Because no one wants to wait anymore. We re an increasingly impatient society, spoiled by quick food options, and convenient drive-thrus in pharmacies, cleaners, and liquor stores. More than one wedding chapel in Las Vegas, where I lived for eight-plus years, offers a drive-thru wedding ceremony. Because, you know, nothing says lasting commitment like a five-minute marriage ceremony in a car.

Look, we re all guilty of being impatient. How many times have you gotten irritated because you just missed a traffic light? So you sit there fuming, possibly cursing under your breath as you wait f-o-r-e-v-e-r for the red light to go green. Finally it does, and you speed off, irritated at being inconvenienced.

Next time you miss one of those f-o-r-e-v-e-r lights, though, time it. See how long it really takes before it s your turn to drive. I ve done it. The most I waited was two minutes. TWO MINUTES. That s less than than half the time of a new Wilco song.

It s also approximately 120 of the approximately 2.6 million seconds until the official release date of Wilco.. Assuming, of course, you manage to wait.

Speaking of online downloads ... I'm working on an article about the end of physical media (CDs, DVDs) and would like to talk to readers who get all their music and movies -- perhaps even games -- online. In other words, you quit buying DVDs and CDs in favor of iTunes, or other online methods. See my contact info below and shoot me an e-mail if you'd like to be part of the story.

Agree or disagree with a posting? Lemme know. Have a topic or suggestion? Lemme know that, too. Send an e-mail to or call 419-724-6734.

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