The band stops by Studio 1A to play a few songs
By Jeff McCord
Few bands manage to make it to their thirtieth year in any shape at all. Yet Wilco is, as always, an exception to the rule. Notoriously antsy and artistically curious, Jeff Tweedy and his versatile band have not only survived all this time but thrived, without a single hit to their name. Wilco’s music is adored, and Tweedy has found novel ways to energize his fanbase -his live-streamed Tweedy Show, his Starship Casual sub-stack. They’ve been prolific, too. Their newest album, Cousin (released the day of Wilco’s Austin stop) is their ninth album since their six-piece lineup locked down nearly two decades ago, their thirteenth overall. (Tweedy has also managed to put out three books and four solo albums during this time.) Favoring no producers and a live-in-the-studio approach has not diminished the band’s experimentation, but it has lent a certain sameness to their sound. Yet Cousin, produced by Wilco pal Cate Le Bon (the Welsh singer/songwriter) throws their usual method of working out the window. Stripped apart, layered, and dense, the new songs brood and stew. Numb, loose, ‘evicted’, Tweedy at times seems buried, trying to come up for air. “Infinite Surprise”, “Cousin”, “Ten Dead”, bounce and roil against the multitrack walls, trying to exit an era that seems to have lost all sense of direction. It’s like the old Groucho Marx joke of not wanting to belong to any club that would have you as a member. Wilco might be a cousin to the world, but that’s about as close as they want to get.
On a long tour for Cousin, Wilco recently stopped in at KUTX to treat a lucky studio audience to a few songs. Watch their Studio 1A performance here.
Album: Cousin (dBpm Records)
Musicians: Jeff Tweedy – vocals, Pat Sansone – guitar, keys, John Stirratt – bass, Nels Cline – guitar, Mikael Jorgensen – keys, Glen Kotche – drums
Credits: Producer: Deidre Gott; Production Assistant: Confucius Jones; Audio Engineer: Jake Perlman, Rene Chavez; Audio Mix: Jake Perlman; Cameras: Michael Minasi, Renee Dominguez, Patricia Lim, Nastassja Collak, Ivy Fowler; Edit: Patricia Lim; Host: Jody Denberg