Posts Tagged ‘Wilco’

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A casual scan of Nels Cline’s dizzying discography echoes this – spanning lead guitar duties in iconic Chicago rock band Wilco, to over 200 recordings across alternative, punk and jazz. While accolades have been plenty (Rolling Stone once hailed him as one of its 20 “new guitar gods”), Nels Cline has hardly had time to rest on his laurels with various projects fuelling his flair for genre-bending.

“Share The Wealth”, his latest Blue Note Records outing with long-time band The Nels Cline Singers, is no exception.

Well Nels Cline does it again. The man just doesn’t miss. This 10-track, almost 80-minute album is a tour de force. Nels brought in a bunch of heavy hitters for this effort: Skerik on saxophone, Brian Marsella on keys, Trevor Dunn on bass, Scott Amendola on drums, and Cyro Baptista on percussion. The talent oozing out of this record is palpable. They never step on one another and each musician is given room to do damage as the music ebbs and flows between quietness and rowdiness. Nels brought this group together as an experiment and decided he liked the jams so much that he didn’t really want to mess with them as originally intended to do by picking pieces of the jams apart to make a different sonic landscape.

So here we have this behemoth of a jazz record that just pulls you in and never lets go. From the opening notes of “Segunda” to the ending of “Passed Down” you just have to strap in and go for the ride. “Beam/Spiral” really sets for taking off into outer space around the five-minute mark. “Stump the Panel” is a 17-minute excursion that will leave your jaw dropped. Each member of the band really goes for it, with Skerik and Brian battling it out in the first half before a dip in the action leads to a beautiful quieter portion until it turns into what sounds like the beginning of a horror movie. “Princess Phone”, “The Pleather Patrol”, and “Headdress” all sound like music from outer space coming to take over the land.

Listening to Nels go from quiet background player to upfront shred fest to psychedelic slides to ambient noises all from the same instrument throughout the record hurts my brain. The man just does so much with one instrument. Please listen to this one on some good headphones.

Blue Note Records; under exclusive license to UMG Recordings, Released on: 13th November 2020.

During the enforced idleness of the early months of the Covid-19 pandemic, many people hatched ambitious plans: reading unreadable books, mastering a language, baking virtuous sourdough. For Jeff Tweedy, the global crisis truncated a Wilco tour, and he found himself at home with his family. His son Spencer lives at home anyway, and his other son, Sammy, returned from New York to do remote schooling.

Tweedy had tuned in to the discussion about creativity during times of quarantine, and had learned (the arguable fact) that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while sheltering from the plague. What to do? Well, in times of stress, as in all times, Tweedy’s habit is to visit his Chicago studio, The Loft. There, he planned to write a country album named after Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy, producing a song a day.

“Love Is The King” is not that record. Tantalisingly, Tweedy suggests that a number of straightforward country-style songs were recorded before his own instincts started to kick in. True, if Shakespeare had gone countrypolitan, he might have taken his sense of jeopardy, his troubled masculinity, his interest in tempests as an emotional metaphor and created something similar. “Ripeness is all,” says Edgar in King Lear. “Oh, tomatoes right off the vine,” croons Tweedy in “Guess Again”, “we used to eat them like that all the time.”

This album marries Tweedy’s mature emotional outlook (love is all, and is a dream worth dreaming) to the workaday manners of Uncle Tupelo or the Woody Guthrie project, Mermaid Avenue. There’s a home video lurking on YouTube of Tweedy sitting on his sofa, strumming his way through Talking Heads’ “Heaven”. The sound of Love Is The King is what you’d expect from the bar band in that song: briskly functional, with an enduring tension between Tweedy’s balmy vocals and the electric guitar, which arrives in these songs like a deluge.

“I always think that the electric guitar player, who’s me, is the guy who’s having the toughest time dealing with everything,” Tweedy tells says. “He’s a little bit frayed. He showed up for a different type of session, his nerves are getting the better of him.”

Occasionally, broader influences seep through. The playful “Gwendolyn” has the wayward electricity of the Faces, and a heroine who sounds the sort of paramour the young Rod Stewart might have conquered and regretted. For Tweedy it acknowledges his habit of finding himself several steps behind a woman, emotionally. The title track has a languid rhythm that is almost obliterated by the guitar, and a lyric that marries the Lear-like outlook of the narrator (“At the edge/Of as bad as it gets”), to flashes of current affairs; tanks in the streets and violence.

That mood spills into “Opaline”, a honky-tonk lament that playfully blurs images of death, paranoia and dread. The inspiration for the song is more prosaic. The lyric is addressed to a golden orb-weaver spider that lived in Tweedy’s backyard through spring and summer before abruptly disappearing, presumed dead. The song’s most troubling image, of a hearse stuck at a toll gate, actually happened. Tweedy saw the funeral car, parked in its own metaphor, when escaping Chicago via the skyway to Michigan. “I kept looking in my rear-view mirror, thinking, ‘Holy shit, that’s one of the worst things I can think of,’” he says with a laugh. “A guy driving a hearse with no change for a toll.”

On paper, it sounds tormented. In reality, it doesn’t. As a singer, Tweedy patrols the trunk road between regret and resilience. Straight-legged sincerity, when he chooses to use it, is a good look: see the thankful love song “Even I Can See”Tweedy is probably more instinctively comfortable undermining himself, as on the countrified “Natural Disaster”. That song’s image of “a lightning bolt punch a bird right out of the sky” may be a nod to the sudden death of a flamingo in Charles Portis’s book The Dog Of The South. On a further literary note, Tweedy’s pal, author George Saunders, provides a couple of lines to the sprightly “A Robin Or A Wren”, a song that manages to roll together romantic devotion, love of life, fear of death, and a playful suggestion of reincarnation. Saunders’ lines are about “the end of the end of this beautiful dream”. 

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Tweedy, with his unerring ability to find himself while getting lost, ushers in a conclusion that is happy and sad, with hope kept aflame by his faith in the power of song. No matter what he does with Wilco or solo, simply one of the best songwriters alive. His lyrics are poetry. His vocal delivery invites you in and is so vulnerable. I like this a bit better than Warm, which was also brilliant. This is just another in a string of albums from artists over the pandemic that have blown me away this year.

Released October 23rd, 2020

All songs written by Jeff Tweedy
except “A Robin Or A Wren” written by Jeff Tweedy and George Saunders
Performed by Jeff Tweedy, Spencer Tweedy, and Sammy Tweedy,

Pop music vinyl records and gramophone Royalty Free Vector

Now then, you’ll be relieved that under these abnormal circumstances it has’nt stopped a load of excellent records from being released this week, covering the usual baffling array of genres and styles. It’s here! ‘The Metrobolist’ by David Bowie, complete with Tony Visconti mix, is in on LP and CD. Will you get sent a coloured vinyl edition? David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World gets a 50th anniversary reissue under its original title, “Metrobolist”. Gold and white coloured vinyl are randomly inserted amongst the standard black vinyl, so hopefully you’re lucky enough to bag something extra special.
The Flaming Lips reissue ‘Transmissions From The Satellite Heart’ on a limited black and white mix coloured vinyl.

Very nice looking 5LP expanded set from Wilco for their ‘Summerteeth’ record Wilco’s “Summerteeth” turned 21 this year and gets a very handsome deluxe edition to celebrate. A box edition  with a five-LP set featuring the remastered studio album as well as the unreleased demos, alternates and outtake recordings pressed on 180-gram vinyl.. Lupin is the (almost) self-titled debut solo LP from Hippo Campus’ Jake Luppen. Really smart pop this, sounds huge but still handcrafted. Really good.

Neil Young issues a new double live album with Crazy Horse, ‘Return To Greendale’ was recorded on the 2003 tour. It’s  another fantastic live record from Neil Young & Crazy Horses from their tour supporting the Greendale album. “Return to Greendale” is the next instalment in Neil Young’s Performance Series and features a concert (audio and on film) from the historic and unique tour.  Some big ol’ riffs here.

New West Records look back at the influential early albums of Pylon, reissuing “Chomp” and “Gyrate”, as well as the lovely Pylon Box Set.

PUP release their new EP, “This Place Sucks Ass” on coloured vinyl

Noise rockers Hey Colossus return very much at full throttle with the excellent Dances / Curses on Wrong Speed Records. Full of drive, but also really quite hypnotising in its long drones. Nice double clear vinyl pressing too.

David Bowie 'Metrobolist (The Man Who Sold The World) LP

David Bowie – “Metrobolist”

November 2020 sees the 50th Anniversary of the release of David Bowie’s The Man Who Sold The World in North America. The album marks the beginning of a collaboration with guitarist Mick Ronson that would last through classic works including Hunky Dory, Ziggy Stardust and Aladdin Sane—as well as the first in a 10-year series of indispensable albums stretching through 1980’s Scary Monsters

Originally titled Metrobolist, the album’s name was changed at the last minute to The Man Who Sold The World. The 2020 re-release of the album under its Metrobolist moniker has been remixed by original producer Tony Visconti, with the exception of the track ‘After All’ which Tony considered perfect as is, and is featured in its 2015 remaster incarnation.

The Metrobolist 50th anniversary artwork has been created by Mike Weller who was behind the historically controversial “dress” cover which Mercury Records refused to release. As with the Space Oddity 50th anniversary vinyl, as well as a 180g black vinyl edition, it will come in 2020 limited edition handwritten numbered copies on gold vinyl (# 1971 – 2020) and on white vinyl (# 1 – 1970) all randomly distributed.

Neil Young and Crazy Horse 'Return To Greendale' 2xLP

Neil Young and Crazy Horse – “Return to Greendale”

Return to Greendale is the next installment in Neil Young’s Performance Series and features a concert from the historic and unique 2003 tour supporting the release of the Neil Young with Crazy Horse album Greendale. On the 2003 tour, Neil Young and Crazy Horse were joined on stage by a large cast of singers and actors to perform the story Neil Young wrote about the small town of Greendale and how a dramatic event affects the people living there. The ten songs from the powerful original album are performed in sequence, with the cast speaking the sung words – adding to the intensity of the performance. The film of the ambitious live show captures the vibrancy of Neil Young and Crazy Horse on stage in a unique multi-media experience. It seamlessly blends together the live performance, the actors portraying each song, with the story occasionally enhanced by scenes from the Greendale – The Movie. Both the live concert film and the Inside Greendale documentary are directed by Bernard Shakey and produced by L. A. Johnson.

The Flaming Lips 'Transmissions From The Satellite Heart' LP

The Flaming Lips – Transmissions from the Satellite Heart

Transmissions from the Satellite Heart is the Flaming Lips’ sixth album, released in 1993. The Norman, Oklahoma, quartet makes modern rock that doesn’t sound like anyone else; head music, they’d have called it in psychedelia’s heyday, weird soundscapes that conjure the bizarre alternate universe on the other side of the funhouse mirror. Transmissions, their second major-label release after a long indie apprenticeship has a mellower feel than early fans might expect, with lots of acoustic guitar and dreamy interludes to shame more-era Pink Floyd, but it’s no less weird than their last two efforts. strange sounds float in and out of the mix, and Wayne Coyne’s twisted hick vocals are convincingly demented. Coyne’s lyrics tend toward a dadaist stream of consciousness with occasional forays into junk culture; this is familiar modern rock territory, but songs such as She Don’t Use Jelly, Chewin the Apple of your Eye, and Be my Head are more effective and less annoying than the would-be gonzo efforts of Frank Black and Sonic Youth because they’re catchier and less pretentious. The Flaming Lips may be transmitting to the satellites, but when all is said and done, they live in Oklahoma.

Wilco 'Summerteeth' 5xLP

Wilco – “Summerteeth” Deluxe Edition

Wilco’s third album, Summerteeth, arrived in March 1999 to glowing reviews for its daring arrangements, lush harmonies and revealing lyrics. More than 20 years later, the Chicago-based band expand one of its best with multiple collections packed with hours of unreleased studio and live recordings.

Summerteeth introduced many fan-favourite classic tracks that the band continues to play live today, including I’m Always In Love, A Shot In The Arm and Via Chicago. The 24 previously unreleased recordings that debut on the deluxe edition explore the making of the critically acclaimed album with demos No Hurry and I’ll Sing It, outtakes I’m Always In Love (Early Run Through)and Viking Dan, and alternate versions Summer Teeth (Slow Rhodes Version)and Pieholden Suite (Alternate).

Limited to 6,000 copies, the five-LP set features the remastered studio album as well as the unreleased demos, alternates and outtake recordings pressed on 180-gram vinyl. However, instead of the Colorado concert included in the CD package, the LP version contains a special, exclusive performance from early 1999 titled, An Unmitigated Disaster, a previously unreleased live in-store performance at Tower Records on March 11, 1999, just two days after the album was released. The 10-song set, which was broadcast on Chicago radio station WXRT-FM, highlights several tracks from Summerteeth (We’re Just Friends, How To Fight Loneliness and Can’t Stand It). This show is only available in the LP collection.

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Pylon – “Pylon Box”

Pylon was born in 1979 in Athens, Georgia. Throughout their brief history, they were able to create influential work that would help foster the post-punk and art-rock scene of the early 80s. Their 1979 single Cool b/w Dub has reached legendary status with Rolling Stone calling it one of the “100 Greatest Debut Singles of All Time,” and was followed by their albums Gyrate (1980) and Chomp (1983). The band would break up upon Chomp’s arrival, but their music would continue to influence genres, musicians and fans for years to come. New West Records is proud to present Pylon Box — A comprehensive look at the band that features their studio LPs GyrateandChomp, both of which have been remastered from their original tapes, the 11-song collection Extra which includes rarities and 5 previously unreleased studio and live recordings, as well as Razz Tape, Pylon’s first-ever recording: a 13-song unreleased session that pre-dates the band’s seminal Cool b/w Dub debut.

Pylon Box also Includes a hardbound, 200 page full color book featuring pieces written by the members of R.E.M., Gang of Four, Steve Albini, Corin Tucker and Carrie Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney, Sonic Youth, Interpol, B-52’s, Bradford Cox of Deerhunter, Mission of Burma, Calvin Johnson of Beat Happening and K Records, Anthony DeCurtis, Chris Stamey of the dB’s, Steve Wynn of the Dream Syndicate and many more. Includes an extensive essay chronicling the band’s history with interviews with the surviving members of the band as well as members of R.E.M., B-52’s, Gang of Four, Method Actors, and more. It also features never before seen images and artifacts from both the band’s personal archives as well as items now housed at the Special Collection.

Pylon 'Gyrate' LP

Pylon – “Gyrate”

Before they were a band, Pylon were art-school students at the University of Georgia: four kids invigorated by big ideas about art and creativity and society. Pylon was less a band, however, and more of an art project, which meant they had very specific goals in mind as well as an expiration date. While their time together as a band was short lived (1979-1983), Pylon had a lasting influence on the history of rock and roll. Throughout their brief history, they were able to create influential work that would help foster the post-punk and art-rock scene of the early 80s..Artists like R.E.M., Gang of Four, Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Interpol, Deerhunter and many more claim inspiration from the band.

In 1980 the band released its first record, Gyrate and began touring across the country in support of the release. The band would soon develop a following across the country and specifically in the bustling music scene in New York City. One of their earliest gigs was opening for the Gang of Four in the big apple. Following the critical acclaim of their debut release, Pylon went back into the studio. While in the studio they gleefully pulled their songs apart and put them back together in new shapes, revealing a band of self-proclaimed non-musicians who had transformed gradually but noticeably into real musicians. The resulting album, Chomp was barely off the press when Pylon were booked to open a run of dates for a hot new Irish band called U2 (after previously playing two arena shows with them in the month leading to the album release). Most bands would have jumped at the opportunity, but Pylon were skeptical. At a critical point in the life of Pylon, they opted to become a cult band rather than stretch their defining philosophy too far.

Pylon 'Chomp' LP

Pylon – “Chomp”

Before they were a band, Pylon were art-school students at the University of Georgia: four kids invigorated by big ideas about art and creativity and society. Pylon was less a band, however, and more of an art project, which meant they had very specific goals in mind as well as an expiration date. While their time together as a band was short lived (1979-1983), Pylon had a lasting influence on the history of rock and roll. Throughout their brief history, they were able to create influential work that would help foster the post-punk and art-rock scene of the early 80s..Artists like R.E.M., Gang of Four, Sonic Youth, Sleater-Kinney, Interpol, Deerhunter and many more claim inspiration from the band.

In 1980 the band released its first record, Gyrate and began touring across the country in support of the release. The band would soon develop a following across the country and specifically in the bustling music scene in New York City. One of their earliest gigs was opening for the Gang of Four in the big apple. Following the critical acclaim of their debut release, Pylon went back into the studio. While in the studio they gleefully pulled their songs apart and put them back together in new shapes, revealing a band of self-proclaimed non-musicians who had transformed gradually but noticeably into real musicians. The resulting album, Chomp was barely off the press when Pylon were booked to open a run of dates for a hot new Irish band called U2 (after previously playing two arena shows with them in the month leading to the album release). Most bands would have jumped at the opportunity, but Pylon were skeptical. At a critical point in the life of Pylon, they opted to become a cult band rather than stretch their defining philosophy too far.

“We fully intended Pylon to be an almost seasonal thing that we were gonna do for a minute and then get on with our lives,” says Curtis Crowe, drummer for the band. “But it just never went away. It still doesn’t go away. There’s a new subterranean class of kids that are coming into this kind of music, and they’re just now discovering Pylon. That blows my mind. We didn’t see that coming.”   New West Records is proud to partner with Pylon to reissue the albums “Chomp” and “Gyrate” back into the masses. Beautifully remastered from the original audio sources and pressed on vinyl for the first time in over 30 years.

PUP 'This Place Sucks Ass' LP

PupThis Place Sucks Ass

After recording their acclaimed 2019 album, Morbid Stuff, PUP was left with a handful of songs that didn’t make the final track list, largely because they were too frenetic or too unhinged. And for an album that fantasized about the world exploding, that’s saying a lot. “We usually save the really dark songs for the end of an album,” says frontman Stefan Babcock. “But we felt that Morbid Stuff was already pretty fucking dark by the time we got there.” The Toronto four-piece loved these thematic stragglers so much, though, that instead of forcing them onto the record or hiding them away forever, they decided that they deserved to stand on their own. The excluded tracks are now seeing the light via a six-song EP, This Place Sucks Ass.

For This Place Sucks Ass, however, they say it was relieving to let loose and put something into the world that values pleasure over perfection. “Our expectations are so high. Every album we make, we want it to be better than the last,” says Babcock. “But just putting out songs we like and think are fun, that’s also pretty rewarding. Taking a breather from the pressure we put on ourselves has been so positive for us.” Like all of their material,This Place Sucks Assis a document of the band PUP is – at times thoughtful and introspective and at other times wildly cathartic. And they hope that fans will take its sentiments of anger, frustration, and bitterness that run throughThis Place Sucks Ass and find collective empowerment and joy in turning them outward along with them. “Everything sucks and that’s OK, because it sucks for everybody,” says Babcock. “And we can make it a little bit better by being together in the shittiness.”

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Frank Zappa and The Mothers Of Invention – “Carnegie Hall”

Carnegie Hall is a quadruple live album on 3CD’s by Frank Zappa and The Mothers of Invention, It is a mono recording of the two shows given on October 11, 1971 at Carnegie Hall in New York.

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Anna Von Hausswolff – “Ceremony”

Anna von Hausswolff is a 26-year-old from Gothenburg (and daughter of CM von Hausswolff) but her music sounds like it’s dug from ancient Viking rituals. She’s an artist whose scope, ambition

and dynamics actually warrant a comparison to Kate Bus. On the sprawling Ceremony she goes from straight up pop to ethereal Drones to rural psychedelia. Arguably ‘Ceremony’s most significant ingredient is the church organ of Gothenburg’s vast Annedalkyrkan, whose pipes are featured on the album’s striking cover. It’s featured on nine of the thirteen songs on the albumincluding the eight minute centerpiece Deathbed. Think Nico’s Desert Shore as sung by Kate Bush.

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David Bowie – “Outside in Budapest”

Superb Bowie Performance From The Earthling Tour. David Bowie’s 20th studio album was originally released in February 1997 on Arista Records. Earthling showcased an electronica-influenced sound partly inspired by the industrial and drum and bass culture of the 1990s. It was the first album Bowie self-produced since 1974’s Diamond Dogs.
The Earthling Tour started on 7th June 1997 at Flughafen Blankensee in Lübeck, Germany, continuing through Europe and North America before reaching a conclusion in Buenos Aires, Argentina on 7th November 1997. On August 14, ‘97, Bowie performed at Hungary’s Student Island Festival in Budapest, where he put on a quite extraordinary show, accompanied as he was by Reeves Gabrels on guitar, Gail Ann Dorsey on bass, Zack Alford on drums and Mike Garson on keyboards. Playing just a few tracks from the new record plus a fine selection of back catalogue gems, the entire show was broadcast, both across Eastern Europe and indeed in the US too on selected FM stations. Previously unreleased this remarkable gig is now available

 

4 litk clear vinyl

It was inside Jeff Tweedy’s second home, The Loft in Chicago, that “Love Is The King” was recorded in April of 2020. Surrounded by an assemblage of treasured instruments and loved ones in a world that felt more and more alien by the day. “Guess Again” is the first single from Jeff Tweedy’s forthcoming album, Tweedy recorded Love Is the King in April at the Loft in Chicago, working with his sons Spencer and Sammy. The album marks his fourth solo album in as many years,

Out on dBpm Records, “Love Is The King“, a “beautifully honest ode to love and hope,” is the follow-up to 2018’s Warm and 2019’s Warmer, and comes on the heels of Tweedy’s second book, How To Write One Song, via Penguin Random House’s Dutton. “At the beginning of the lockdown I started writing country songs to console myself. Folk and country type forms being the shapes that come most easily to me in a comforting way. Guess Again is a good example of the success I was having at pushing the world away, counting my blessings — taking stock in my good fortune to have love in my life,” comments Tweedy.

“Gwendolyn” is the third single from Jeff Tweedy’s forthcoming album Love Is The King.

The album will be released ten days after Tweedy’s second book ‘How To Write One Song’, which is published on Faber Social on October 13th. It follows his 2018 memoir Let’s Go (So We Can Get Back).

“The feeling I get when I write – the sense that time is simultaneously expanding and disappearing – that I’m simultaneously more me and also free of me – is the main reason I wanted to put my thoughts on song-writing down in book form to share with everyone so inclined,” the singer said in a statement.

“A few weeks later things began to sound like Love Is The King — a little more frayed around the edges with a lot more fear creeping in. Still hopeful but definitely discovering the limits of my own ability to self soothe.” –Jeff Tweedy.

Label dBpm Records Released 15/01/21

On Tuesday, Jeff Tweedy announced the release of his fourth solo record, Love Is The King, due out on October 23rd via dPm Records. The album serves as the follow up to 2018’s WARM and 2019’s WARMER, and sees the release of two lead singles today, “Guess Again” and the title track.

The release of the album will come on the heels of Tweedy’s second book, How To Write One Song, out October 13th via Penguin Random House. Tweedy will also perform on September 18th in a drive-in concert at the McHenry Outdoor Theater in McHenry, IL. For those who cannot attend the sold-out event, the Wilco frontman will also livestream the concert. Back to the present… Jeff’s announced a new book AND a new album. You might be thinking, “Where does he get all this energy?”. The answer: he’s a self-proclaimed nap enthusiast.

The book’s called How To Write One Song and it will teach you how to do just that. But at its core it’s a how-to guide on creativity and how to stay motivated. How To Write One Song hits bookshelves on October 13th . Preorder US | UK | AUS and you can get a free digital download from Jeff.

A week later (Oct. 23), you’ll hear Jeff’s third solo album, “Love Is The King” – 11 new songs written since touring came to a halt in March. Jeff went to The Loft with his sons, Spencer and Sammy, and came out with a “beautifully honest ode to love and hope” .

Love Is The King was composed by Tweedy, alongside his sons Sammy and Spencer, during the COVID-19 lockdown. Recorded in April 2020, just after Wilco was forced to abandon its North American tour, the song writing process originally began as a challenge where Tweedy tested himself to write a song everyday until he had a whole album.

“At the beginning of the lockdown I started writing country songs to console myself. Folk and country type forms being the shapes that come most easily to me in a comforting way. ‘Guess Again’ is a good example of the success I was having at pushing the world away, counting my blessings — taking stock in my good fortune to have love in my life,” Tweedy said in a press release. “A few weeks later things began to sound like ‘Love Is The King’ — a little more frayed around the edges with a lot more fear creeping in. Still hopeful but definitely discovering the limits of my own ability to self soothe.”

The album’s title track, “Love Is The King”, finds just that mix of melancholy folk song-writing that Tweedy has perfected over several decades. With his dreamy, far-away vocals and simple fingerpicking, “Love Is The King” is relatable to anyone who went through the lockdown process what feels like a lifetime ago. As for “Guess Again”, the song finds a bit more cheerful melody with percussive accompaniment to Tweedy’s acoustic guitar. The lyrics also present a brighter reality that shows, even though things are bleak now, that hope still shines through the love of another.

“Love Is The King” and “Guess Again” from Jeff Tweedy’s forthcoming album, Love Is The King, due out on October 23rd.

Speaking of a throwback, you may have heard: We’re giving “Summerteeth” a deluxe makeover. The new package shines inside and out.

It’s got more than 40 bonus tracks including demos, alternate takes on the Summerteeth classics and live performances. These boxsets reimagine the original artwork in a metallic finish and include fresh liner notes drawn from recent conversations with Jeff and John. You’re gonna want this one in your collection, trust us.

Preorder it here and you can expect it on your doorstep November. 6th. Meanwhile; Wilco’s illustrious career hit a milestone in 2016, with the release of their 10th studio album “Schmilco.” They packed smaller venues during a fall tour to celebrate, including a run at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. We captured a private performance — stage set and all — at the Theatre, and it showcases a band at the peak of their powers. Rewatch this career-spanning set.

In the midst of three sold out shows in LA, Wilco set aside an afternoon to record a special live session for KCRW at The Theatre at Ace Hotel.

Wilco’s illustrious career hit a milestone in 2016, with the release of their 10th studio album “Schmilco.” They packed smaller venues during a fall tour to celebrate, including a run at The Theatre at Ace Hotel. We captured a private performance — stage set and all — at the Theatre, and it showcases a band at the peak of their powers.

Re-watch this career-spanning set.

Set List: 0:00 If I Ever Was a Child 2:53 Cry All Day 7:12 The Joke Explained 9:45 Someone to Lose 12:55 Dawned On Me 16:27 Impossible Germany 23:25 We Aren’t The World (Safety Girl) 26:04 The Late Greats

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Wilco’s third album “Summerteeth” is Rhino Record’s latest offering in 2020’s holiday box set season. A 4CD and 5LP edition of the 1999 release, packed with unreleased material, will be issued November 6th.

Wilco have announced that their third LP, 1999’s Summerteeth, will be receiving the Deluxe Edition treatment, set for a November. 6th release. The updated and expanded edition will come in a four-CD or five-LP set.

The four-CD version included a remastered version of the original album and “an entire disc of unreleased studio outtakes, alternate versions and demos that chart the making of the album from song writing demos to alternate studio arrangements to finished masters.” (Quote via press release.) The remaining two discs will be dedicated to a never-before-released live show: “The concert took place late in the Summerteeth tour, on November 1st, 1999 in Colorado at The Boulder Theatre, when the new songs had been road-tested and the band was in top form. Sourced from an uncirculated soundboard recording, it features band members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Ken Coomer and Jay Bennett.” (Press release.)

The 5-LP vinyl version will not include the Colorado show; instead, it will feature “a special, exclusive performance from early 1999 titled ‘An Unmitigated Disaster,’ a previously unreleased live in-store performance at Tower Records on March 11th, 1999, just two days after the album was released.” (Quote via press release.) The show will only be available in the LP set.

Both physical and digital formats feature a brand-new remaster of the original album by Bob Ludwig, plus two dozen previously unreleased demos, outtakes and alternate versions. Each set features an unreleased live show as well: the CD featuring an extended, soundboard-sourced set at Colorado’s Boulder Theatre recorded on November 1st, 1999 (well into the band’s tour to promote the album), while the LP includes a Tower Records gig in Chicago the week of Summerteeth‘s release, broadcast on radio station WXRT-FM and labeled here as An Unmitigated Disaster. A “Slow Rhodes Version” of the title track, included on the outtakes set,

Recorded through 1997 and 1998 in Willie Nelson’s Texas recording studio and Chicago’s Kingsize Soundlabs – during which, separately, Wilco recorded and released Mermaid Avenue with Billy Bragg, consisting of unused Woody Guthrie lyrics – the follow-up to 1996’s Being There was markedly different from anything Wilco had ever released. Most of the tunes were written by Jeff Tweedy and company in the studio, and for the first time, the band achieved their desired sound with overdubs. While Summerteeth didn’t outsell Being There, it was critically lauded, making No. 8 on the Village Voice‘s annual Pazz & Jop poll that year.

The deluxe Summerteeth features revisited cover artwork with metallic foil packaging by the band’s Grammy-winning art director Lawrence Azerrad. The band’s official store will also sell a limited colour-vinyl edition of the LP box, topping out at 2000 copies. (The general vinyl box will also be limited to 6500 copies.)

Summerteeth Reissue

Introducing our cover of Jeff Tweedy and Wilco’s “I Know What It’s Like.” We always love throwing a cover or two in the set, and were gearing up to learn this one as a band so we could play it on our Collector release tour, but we all know what happened to that. We hope that somebody might find some comfort in our version of this song like we’ve found comfort in Mister Tweedy’s original. I’ve been a big Wilco fan for the past few years and picked up Jeff Tweedy’s album Warm after Brendan had played it in the car a few times the track- “I Know What It’s Like” really stood out to me as a great pop/rock song that I could put my own spin on- the minimal structure of the original gave room for creative license. I sped up the original recording a decent amount so I’d have something to play along to and off I went. We decided it’d be fun to present the finished product as an interim release; post-Collector and pre-whatever’s next.

We always love throwing a fun cover or two in the set, and were gearing up to learn this one as a band so we could play it on our Collector release tour, but we all know what happened to that. My hope is that somebody who is a fan of Disq or Wilco (or both, or neither) could find some comfort in our version of this song.
Isaac deBroux-Slone
June 2020

Released on 30th June 2020 Saddle Creek Composer: Jeff Tweedy

Over the last few decades, it’s becoming increasingly harder to talk about the life and legacy of Uncle Tupelo without the conversation falling down one of the many rabbit holes of the band’s ever-expanding mythos.

By now, most everyone knows the more substantial high points of the band’s dynamic yet short-lived arc. Founding members Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy, and Mike Heidorn started playing together in high school in a mid-’80s Belleville, Illinois, band called The Primitives that eventually became Uncle Tupelo after their lead singer (Farrar’s brother, Wade) quit the band and headed to college. The trio played heavily around Illinois and Missouri (especially at St. Louis staples Cicero’s and Mississippi Nights), eventually got an indie label record deal, released three celebrated albums, expanded to a five-piece, got picked up by a major label, released their fourth album, and subsequently imploded due to the mounting creative differences and personal tensions between co-frontmen Farrar and Tweedy. In the aftermath of Uncle Tupelo’s breakup, both artists went on to form the highly influential (and still going strong) bands Son Volt and Wilco, while their original work with Uncle Tupelo has garnered the legacy of being —depending on whom you ask — either just one of a number of genre pioneers that carried forward older music to younger generations or the standalone patient zero for the entire alt-country/Americana/modern roots music movement.

However, on this occasion, the 30th anniversary of Uncle Tupelo’s debut album, No Depression (released June 21st, 1990, on Rockville Records), there will be no attempts at encapsulating all of the “which came first, the genre or the band” equivocations. Instead, we decided to mark the milestone with some specificity, foregoing the conventional family tree retrospective in favour of a reflection on what is arguably one of the most shadow-casting records of the 20th century. To do so, we went directly to the source, speaking with Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy to get their insights and recollections on three decades of their career-starting (if not career-defining) debut release.

“Has it only been 30 years?” laughs Tweedy, a little stunned, a little tongue-in-cheek. “Like most important events, it somehow simultaneously feels like a lifetime ago and also … boy, that went fast!” Perhaps underscoring the “opposites attract” theme that is at the most foundational level of their complexly layered relationship, Farrar’s reaction to the anniversary is delivered with a bit more middle-of-the-road measuredness: “Honestly, some time has passed but it doesn’t really feel like it’s been that long. It’s just gratifying that anyone wants to talk about what we did 30 years ago.”

While that last comment might elicit a chuckle from anyone familiar with the everlasting supply of appreciative wistfulness and heated debates that has surrounded the individual and collective impacts of Farrar and Tweedy within the roots music community, there is a point to be made about the “subject to change” legacies of landmark albums and the fickle nature of pop cultural attention spans. There will always be a certain element of musical fandom that is asking “What’s next?”, while another, competing thread is turning the conversation from present-day movements back to the music that came before them. In the case of Uncle Tupelo, and especially their No Depression album, the attempt to address both can be found in their unconventional hybrid of self-penned song writing and encyclopedically referential musical influences that were blended together in ways that allowed the band to function as both creators and conduits.

“We didn’t come up with that whole ‘Woody Guthrie meets Hüsker Dü’ thing. That was probably some publicist along the way,” Farrar says. “Although, it wasn’t that far off. We were fans of Hüsker Dü and certainly there were musical similarities. Lyrically, from Woody Guthrie and essentially Bob Dylan too, we were inspired to think about societal issues and what was going on around us. So, we just put all those things into our songs.” Prime examples of this amalgam can be found on No Depression tracks like “Graveyard Shift,” “Factory Belt,” “Outdone,” and “Train,” where the band mixes the growling guitars and aggressive start-stop rhythms of their punk and indie rock influences with the country and folk-influenced lyrical themes of working-class desperation, economic struggle, anti-war sentiments, down-and-out isolation, and alcohol-soaked small-town blues.

“There were lots of bands — X, The Knitters, Jason and the Scorchers, Green on Red, so many more — already kind of fusing these two worlds that we were straddling,” says Tweedy. “I think our approach to it might have been a little bit more isolated and unrefined. Maybe it came out more punk rock or something, but I think anybody that credits us with inventing anything is wrong.” To further make the point, Tweedy points to the genre-blurring activities of some of his favourite ’60s bands: “We thought there was something boldly punk rock about The Flying Burrito Brothers and The Rolling Stones. To us,

Shortly after inking a record deal with Rockville Records in late 1989, Uncle Tupelo kicked off 1990 by traveling to Boston in the dead of winter to record their debut album at Fort Apache recording studio with famed alternative/college rock producers Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie. At the time, the celebrated production duo had already amassed an impressive recording resume that included Pixies, Dinosaur Jr., Throwing Muses, Blake Babies, and more. (After recording No Depression, Slade and Kolderie would go on to produce Uncle Tupelo’s second record, Still Feel Gone, as well as multiplatinum albums for Radiohead, Hole, The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and others).

“Of all the records that Paul and Sean had worked on to that point, I think the Dinosaur Jr. stuff would probably have been the biggest persuader for us,” admits Tweedy. “Being a production team that had worked on records that we actually owned, I think we were really surprised that they would want to work with us. I remember running through the first take of whatever we tried to do on the first day in the studio and Paul coming out and saying ‘Oh, good. You guys can play.’ I don’t think anybody had ever said that to us before.”

“As soon as we met Sean and Paul, there was such a good working camaraderie between us,” Farrar says. “They helped us get some really good guitar sounds and helped us flesh things out in terms of the finished recording being more than just doing what we normally did live. We were blown away when they brought in Rich Gilbert to play pedal steel on ‘Whiskey Bottle’ because that was an instrument that we hadn’t had the opportunity to record with before. He’s also playing that apocalyptic noise part at the end of ‘Factory Belt’ — just doing sweeps up and down the pedal steel with his slide.”

When it came time to package their newly recorded songs into a proper album, the band once again chose to wear its influences on its sleeve. Not only did they create a minimalist album cover aesthetic that mimicked releases from Moe Asch’s midcentury Folkways Records catalogue, but they also titled the album No Depression after the traditional Depression-era folksong “No Depression in Heaven” that is often attributed to the legendary Carter Family. (While they were the first to record it, there is some speculation that A.P. Carter “found” the song more than “wrote” it himself). Uncle Tupelo had also recorded a cover of the song for the album, surprising many by foregoing the buzzier, bombastic side of their sound for a more true-to-form acoustic folk number. The folksy, back porch singalong vibe can also be found on No Depression tracks “Life Worth Livin’” and “Screen Door,” with Farrar adding mandolin to the former and Tweedy swapping out his bass for an acoustic guitar on the latter.

When asked where they got the idea to cover “No Depression,” both Farrar and Tweedy tell the same origin story and make the same point of clarification. Remembers Farrar, “I was digging through my mom’s record collection and found this old folk compilation that had ‘No Depression’ on it. I thought the song really resonated with the themes of Midwest isolation that we often explored, plus it passed the test with Jeff and Mike since it sounded like something Woody Guthrie would’ve done. Though, I should add this was the New Lost City Ramblers version.”

Tweedy gives a similar account, adding, “We really owe a debt to the first folk revival wave from the late ’50s, early ’60s. Years later, I actually got to thank John Cohen of the New Lost City Ramblers for that when we crossed paths at Newport for this Harry Smith anthology reissue benefit show that Wilco played.”

Since the release of No Depression, both Farrar and Tweedy have each built impressive catalogues of releases between their respective bands and solo albums. Both are also still extremely active in the scene they helped to shape; just last year, Son Volt released Union, Wilco released Ode to Joy, and Tweedy released his second solo album, Warmer. However, there’s a good chance that neither artist will ever fully outstep the larger shadow of what they created together on No Depression. This seems true for both their live shows — “‘Graveyard Shift’ is one that’s been requested a lot over the years,” says Farrar; while Tweedy admits “‘Screen Door’ still gets requested quite frequently when I play solo shows, and although I’m not a big fan of the song, I’m also pretty sanguine about the notion of something surviving that long” — as well as for how the album seems to be a template by which all of their other works are somehow measured in various ways.

In fact, that “long time” Tweedy references might’ve been the majority, if not entirety, of Uncle Tupelo’s run; as the band’s highest accolades and genre pioneering respects only started popping up in the wake of their breakup in May 1994. As Uncle Tupelo drummer Mike Heidorn told the Los Angeles Times in early 1996 (at the time, he was playing drums in Farrar’s new band, Son Volt), “Uncle Tupelo is bigger now than ever… I guess death is a great career move.” These days, Farrar expresses some of the same sentiments on that post-mortem timeline: “It must’ve started to some degree around late ’94 or so when we had this vague understanding of an online chat group that had been built around mutual fans of the band.

Both Farrar and Tweedy acknowledge they haven’t sat with No Depression, the album, in quite some time, with the latter even stating, “It’s hard for me to really embrace the first record because I don’t think I had found my voice yet.” However, they both seem to take a mutual sense of pride in the hand-me-down musical ambassadorship inherent in their earliest work’s legacy. Reflects Tweedy, “In hindsight, it’s a thrilling thing to feel that you got to be a part of the actual tradition of sharing this particular knowledge with people that might not have come to it as quickly or maybe would have not even been introduced to it at all.”

In the case of Uncle Tupelo’s No Depression turning 30 years old, Tweedy seems to get the most impassioned when thinking back on not what they were making at the time, but what they were learning — both about themselves and also about the world around them.

“I just remember this overwhelming feeling that Jay and I would talk about getting from listening to folk music and country music, and speaking for myself personally, it was like having the veil pulled back and realizing that the world has always been weird. The world has always been scary. So, when people choose to express themselves with music, it can also be completely untamed. It’s not always shaped by fashion or commercial viability or anything like that; people just want to express themselves with words and noise and sound. That’s what I think we were discovering in Uncle Tupelo.

Tonight Wilco released a brand new song entitled “Tell Your Friends” after frontman Jeff Tweedy performed a lovely performance of “Jesus, Etc.” for Colbert. The new track definitely captures the spirit of present times and has a smooth chill vibe to it that could’ve fit on their most recent album, Ode To Joy“Tell Your Friends” is currently available to stream on their Bandcamp, with all proceeds being donated to World Central Kitchen.

Last Wednesday night, Wilco performed their uplifting new single “Tell Your Friends” for The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and then also shared a studio version of the song, which encourages us all to connect with family while under quarantine. The purchases of the song, which is exclusively on Bandcamp, will go to World Central Kitchen, an organization who provides meals in the wake of natural disasters.

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The performance showed each band member in their respective homes. Alongside friends and family, Tweedy sings: “Don’t forget to tell your friends/When you see them again/O’ I love you/O’ I love you.”

This a song for everyone, Tweedy said in a press release. “We miss each other. So we wrote a song about it to sing with each other, to sing to each other.”

Tell Your Friends by Wilco ! Our friends in Wilco graciously chose The Late Show as the place for their debut performance of “Tell Your Friends,” which is available for download at http://www.wilcohq.bandcamp.com. All proceeds will be donated to World Central Kitchen