Wilco (The Album) Wilco

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  • 1Wilco [the song]02:59
  • 2Deeper Down03:00
  • 3One Wing03:42
  • 4Bull Black Nova05:39
  • 5You And I03:27
  • 6You Never Know04:22
  • 7Country Disappeared04:02
  • 8Solitaire03:05
  • 9I'll Fight04:24
  • 10Sonny Feeling04:14
  • 11Everlasting Everything03:58
  • Total Runtime42:52

Info for Wilco (The Album)

The new songs find Tweedy juxtaposing heady, heavy themes like disillusionment (“Country Disappeared”), martyrdom (“I’ll Fight”) and homicide (“Bull Black Nova”) with acceptance (“You Never Know”), love (“You and I”), humor (“Wilco (the song)”) and more. Sonically the album draws on many of the best elements of Wilco's wide-ranging previous work, while incorporating Tweedy's objective to 'use the studio as another instrument.” The result is a unique, complex endeavor.

When the band began recording the follow up to 2007’s Sky Blue Sky in October 2008, it was mainly business as usual. The six members—Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, Nels Cline, Pat Sansone, and Mike Jorgensen—convened in Wilco’s longtime recording home, the Loft, on Chicago’s north side. They worked for a month, framing songs and recording basic tracks. When they left the studio for a few weeks of touring with Neil Young in late November/early December they assumed they’d return to the Loft in the new year to pick up where they left off.

In late December Tweedy, Stirratt, Kotche and Sansone detoured to New Zealand on the invitation of Crowded House’s Neil Finn to participate in 7 Worlds Collide—a collaborative benefit album and mini-tour featuring, in addition to the aforementioned Wilco members, Johnny Marr, Radiohead’s Phil Selway and Ed O’Brien, Finn’s son Liam, Lisa Germano, and others. At the recording helm was studio veteran Jim Scott, who worked previously as a mixer on several of Wilco’s earlier albums.

The reunion with Scott proved significant. After wrapping up work on 7 Worlds Collide, Tweedy and company decided to forestall the inevitable Chicago winter, opting for the sunny climes of New Zealand and Finn’s Roundhead Studios. There, with Jim Scott as co-producer and engineer, they resumed work on the latest recording.

After several weeks of writing and recording in Auckland, one by one, band members returned to Chicago. Joined by Scott and loaded with inspiration and vision, the full band reconvened at the Loft. From there the process was swift. Together with Scott, the six members worked, collaborating further on what they had started in October and expanding on what was recorded in New Zealand. Feist made a guest appearance at the Loft in February to record a duet that Tweedy had sent her months earlier, and the new record was done.

“Wilco (the album) features the best aspects of a live performance album mixed with a layered, overdubbed studio album,” said Scott. “It also contains some of the best songs Jeff has ever written. I think they should have named it Wilco (their best album ever).”

Jeff Tweedy, vocals, rhythm, acoustic, bass, harmonica
Nels Cline, guitar
Glenn Kotche, drums, percussion
John Stirratt, bass, backing vocals
Mikael Jorgensen, keyboards, synthesizers, effects, piano, organ
Pat Sansone, keyboards, guitars, backing vocals

Recorded at Roundhead Studios, Auckland, New Zealand, and The Loft, Chicago
Mixed by Jim Scott with Kevin Dean at PLYRZ Studios, Santa Clarita, CA
Mastered by Bob Ludwig at Gateway Mastering, Portland, ME
Recorded by Jim Scott
Produced by Wilco and Jim Scott

Digitally remastered

The Chicago rock band founded in the mid-’90s by singer, guitarist and songwriter Jeff Tweedy last year launched and headlined the inaugural Solid Sound Festival, while Tweedy produced and wrote two songs for the Grammy- winning release by soul legend Mavis Staples, You Are Not Alone, which won Best Americana Album at the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards in February.

Staples joined Wilco, Avi Buffalo, Vetiver, the Baseball Project and more to perform at the first Solid Sound Festival, held Aug. 13-15, 2010, on the grounds of MASS MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art), a converted textile mill in North Adams, tucked away in the scenic Berkshire Mountains of western Massachusetts.

Wilco has already announced the second incarnation of Solid Sound June 24-26. Along with a pair of headline performances by Wilco, this year’s version features the Levon Helm Band, Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore, New Zealand rocker Liam Finn, alt-country duo The Handsome Family and folk couple Sarah Lee Guthrie & Johnny Irion. Also performing are soul singer Syl Johnson, jazz trumpeter Dave Douglas and Chicago retro-soul band JC Brooks & The Uptown Sound, plus indie-rockers Here We Go Magic, Sic Alps, Purling Hiss and a rare live set by Pillow Wand, a collaboration between Moore and Wilco guitarist Nels Cline. Comedian John Hodgman hosts this year’s Comedy Cabaret, featuring Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac and comics Eugene Mirman and Morgan Murphy. Tickets are available via solidsoundfestival.com.

Also, Wilco this winter founded dBpm Records, headquartered in Easthampton, MA, to release future Wilco albums. Speaking of which, the band is currently recording the follow-up to its Grammy-nominated 2009 release Wilco (The Album) at the band’s studio in Chicago, The Loft.

It’s the latest chapter for Wilco, which Tweedy founded in 1994 after the dissolution of his previous group, Uncle Tupelo. From its raucous roots-rock origins, Wilco over the years has expanded its sound to encompass classic pop and genre-spanning experimentalism on acclaimed albums including 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (the subject of Sam Jones’ 2002 film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart) and 2005’s Grammy-winning effort A Ghost is Born. Wilco also teamed with English singer Billy Bragg in the late ’90s at the invitation of Woody Guthrie’s daughter, who invited them to collaborate on setting to music some of the folk icon’s previously unrecorded lyrics, resulting in a pair of highly regarded Mermaid Avenue albums.

The current Wilco lineup solidified in 2004 with the addition of guitarist Nels Cline and guitarist/keyboardist Pat Sansone, who rounded out a roster featuring Tweedy, founding bassist John Stirratt, drummer Glenn Kotche and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen. Kotche joined the band during the making of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and Jorgensen helped with live sound manipulations on that tour before switching to piano and becoming a full-time member of Wilco.

In life beyond Wilco Stirratt and Sansone play together in the folk-pop group Autumn Defense, Jorgensen fronts the pop-rock band Pronto and Cline performs in multiple side projects, most notably with the free-jazz instrumental group The Nels Cline Singers. Kotche performs with bassist Darin Gray in On Fillmore and as a composer and a solo percussionist. He has also collaborated with Tweedy on the Loose Fur side project.

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