The call Jeff Tweedy received from a handful of Minneapolis pals in 1994, shortly after Tweedy’s band Uncle Tupelo had splintered, was a godsend. In the midst of picking up the pieces and putting together Wilco, Tweedy had the pleasure of convening in the studio with the Jayhawks’ Gary Louris, Soul Asylum’s Dan Murphy and others to record the full-length debut of Golden Smog, a self-described “stuporgroup” that had recorded a modest EP of covers a few years earlier. The focus this time around was on originals: Louris and his Jayhawks cohort Mark Olson served up the exquisite pop gem “Won’t Be Coming Home” (which hinted at the direction Louris would steer the Jayhawks in the near future), while Tweedy contributed the whimsical sing-along “Pecan Pie.” Kraig Johnson of Run Westy Run had a primary role, writing three originals and collaborating with Louris on the leadoff track, “V,” an instantly catchy tune highlighted by vocal harmonies and piano melodies. Fittingly enough, given the band’s origins, the highlight was once again a cover: Tweedy and Louris proved to be quite charismatic duet partners on Ronnie Lane’s classic Faces ballad “Glad And Sorry.” In the end, Down By The Old Mainstream was just a minor diversion for these artists, but it remains a welcome and lovable tributary.
By Peter Blackstock on 09.26.11 in Icons
It's a tribute to leader Jeff Tweedy's enduring commitment to artistic rebirth and reinvention that one could listen to Wilco's 1995 debut A.M. and its Grammy-winning 2004 album A Ghost Is Born back to back and have no i...
By Marc Hogan on 01.13.15 in News
Time to double-check those "Most Anticipated Albums of 2015" lists. The year began on an ambitious note led by PJ Harvey, and this week brought chances to stream a couple of the most eagerly awaited albums along with new...
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Well, Nation, that's it. Stephen Colbert has moved on from The Colbert Report, after nine brilliant years. He sent it off in his own singular style, though, and — despite Kendrick Lamar's appearance earlier this week as...
By Laura Leebove on 12.17.14 in Features
On crying at shows, impossibly high expectations and making songs Mean Something