(photo credit: ZeroStudio Photography)
The music of Wilco is truly life saving and for the past 21 years they have remained peerless, carving out a unique legacy that has been guided and directed by the genius songwriting of Jeff Tweedy. Forming in 1994 after the demise of Alt-Country pioneers Uncle Tupelo, Wilco have released nine studio albums, one live album and three collaborative albums with Billy Bragg with Tweedy also releasing material under the Loose Fur banner with Jim O’Rourke and Glenn Kotche as well as his own solo material with his son Spencer under the name “Tweedy.”
My first contact with Wilco was courtesy of my older brother Ben who in 2004 advised me that it would be good for my health if I purchased the bands then new album “A Ghost Is Born” – he was not wrong. Upon hearing that amazing piece of art I quickly ran out and brought all of the bands albums as well as the Uncle Tupelo and Loose Fur records. I was mildly obsessed and in 2005 when I had a stint of self-imposed alcohol fueled exile in a one bedroom apartment that I was living in at the time over in a suburb in the North Side of Brisbane called Alderley, the music of Wilco – “Yankee Hotel Foxtrot” and “A Ghost Is Born” in particular – was one of the many bands soundtracking my descent into bad mental health. There was one month there where I didn’t really leave the house beyond getting vodka and food and new records from the record store. I had reached that kind of plain of existence where I was numb and just didn’t really feel like existing anymore. I credit a lot of things to my survival but in particular it was the music of Wilco that helped pull me through the mess to the other side.
The bands 9th album “Star Wars” is being physically released tomorrow and I thought that in order to celebrate just how important this band is to me and the greater music community that I’d curate and kickstart Heavy and Weird’s mixtape series.
I’ve picked a song from each album and sequenced it in chronological order so you can hear how the band has grown and evolved. It’s not a very glamerous way to do a mixtape but to be fair, if I published my original list of songs it would be almost 3 hours long.
So please enjoy the mixtape – I look forward to sharing more of them with you soon.