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At the Organ - EP

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Album Review

This collection of stray tracks from Scott McCaughey and his various permutations of the Minus 5 — five of which were recorded during sessions for the Down With Wilco album, with various members of Jeff Tweedy's stellar ensemble backing up Scott, with Peter Buck and Rebecca Gates also dropping by the studio — is the sort of release that's useful to fans and of dubious value for newcomers. Though plenty of folks who haven't heard McCaughey would be charmed by the great songs on deck, not to mention the fine performances that hit a solid balance between skill and easygoing playfulness, at only seven songs this is the sort of EP that just gets up to full speed when the curtain comes down for the noisy goof of "One More Bottle to Go." What's here is certainly fine stuff, but "I've Got a Lyrical Stance," "Hotel Senator," and "The Town That Lost Its Groove Supply" are good enough that they should be anchoring an album, not adding bulk to a seven-cut throwaway. In short, if you're a fan you'll certainly enjoy this, but otherwise you might want to check out Down With Wilco or In Rock instead — not that this won't make you want to hear more. Added value: this EP also includes a Quicktime video for "The Town That Lost Its Groove Supply," and the version of "The Days of Wine and Booze" here is the one McCaughey and Wilco cut on September 11, 2001.


Formed: 1993 in Seattle, WA

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

The Minus 5 began life as a side project of the Young Fresh Fellows' Scott McCaughey, who formed the band in 1993. McCaughey designed the Minus 5 as a pop collective, and each record the group released featured a new lineup. Throughout these releases, he worked the most frequently with R.E.M.'s Peter Buck, who was featured on the group's eponymous debut EP, which was only released through They Might Be Giants' mail-order record club, Hello Records. By the time they recorded their full-length debut...
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At the Organ - EP, The Minus 5
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