As Wilco prepare to release their new record Sky Blue Sky (Nonesuch Records May 2007) let us take a moment to reflect on what's been nothing short of a collective wild ride of a decade. Their most recent album, 2004's A ghost is born, earned the Chicago band two Grammy Awards. Two of their earlier albums, 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and 1996’s Being There as well as the DVD I Am Trying to Break Your Heart have been certified gold. And the band – Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Mikael Jorgensen, Nels Cline and Pat Sansone – have been heralded by critics everywhere: “the world’s most exciting live rock band” said London’s Sunday Telegraph, “capable of nearly anything” said Spin magazine.
Looking further back, there's much more to the story. Tweedy assembled Wilco following the breakup of Uncle Tupelo, the band he formed with Jay Farrar in Belleville, Illinois in the late 1980s. Wilco have released eight albums (including two collaborations with the estate of Woody Guthrie). There has been a well-documented departure from one large record company and a well-documented arrival at a new one. There has been the birth of the Internet, file-sharing, streaming, downloading and free culture. There have been books, documentaries not to mention the personnel changes and a few personal crises. But for all the tumult there has always been Wilco, a rock band fronted by Jeff Tweedy, creating music and playing it live for its audience, year after year.
Speaking in 2005 upon release of their live record Kicking Television, Tweedy told the Detroit Free Press "It's really the best it's ever felt. I would say at this point, I don't think I've ever been in a band that's felt this connected and unified with the collective vision.”
Live On Stage:
These last few post have been about bands that I'm most excited about catching, and this post is no exception. I haven't seen Wilco since New Year's Eve of 2004 when they played MSG - just seemed like New York City wasn't on their touring itinerary for a few years - so I'm counting down the hours till they hit the stage. The band just released their new album Sky Blue Sky which I've really been enjoying despite the mixed reviews. Here's the Dylan inspired "What Light" off of the new album....
And let's also go with "Walken" another new cut from last year's Lollapolooza....
Wilco has fell into favor with the jamband crowd, so there has been a bunch of great live shows floating around....
Wilco - 2007-05-28 - LKA Longhorn - Stuttgart, Germany
Wilco - 2007-04-18 - Palais Theatre - Melbourne, Austrailia
Wilco - 2006-04-22 - William & Mary Hall - The College of William & Mary - Williamsburg, VA
Wilco - 2005-02-24 - 9:30 Club - Washington, DC
Wilco - 2002-10-29 - The Ryman Auditorium - Nashville, TN
Also going to throw in a couple of Jeff's solo shows. Not only is it great hearing these songs stripped down, but his stage banter is equally as entertaining....
Jeff Tweedy - 2007-03-03 - Letters to Santa Benefit - Living Room Concert (#3) -The Coleman Home - Winnetka, IL
Jeff Tweedy - 2007-01-10 - Bijou Theater - Knoxville, TN
Jeff Tweedy - 2005-03-05 - Vic Theatre Chicago, IL
I gave you a couple off the new record, now let's go all the way back to A.M. - here's Wilco with "Box Full Of Letters"....
Since they didn't do much as far as real music videos, let's also go with "Outtasite (Outta Mind)" just for the unintential humor of it....
You can also check out one more....
I Must Be High
For more on Wilco head on over to their official website.
Set Time: 6/17, What Stage, 5:30 PM - 7 PM
Sunday, June 10, 2007