JEFF TWEEDY

JEFF TWEEDY TALKS TO ON WILCO, HIS NEW MEM­OIR AND MU­SIC’S POWER TO CON­SOLE AND IN­SPIRE

The Gulf Today - Time Out - - CONTENTS - DAN DELUCA

Jeff tweedy is on the phone from the loft, his rock band wilco’s chicago head­quar­ters, which he calls “the mag­i­cal record­ing stu­dio/bunkhouse that I dreamed about while watch­ing the monke es .”

on nov. 30, the 51-year-old fa­ther of two and dad rock god­head put out WARM, an apt ly ti­tled, acous­tic-gui­tar cen­tered record of un­char­ac­ter­is­ti­cally au­to­bi­o­graph­i­cal songs.

it’s the first al­bum for tweedy un­der his first and last names. (sukierae, the 2014 al­bum ti­tled after wife sue miller ’s nick­name, fea­tures his son spencer on drums and was cred­ited to fam­ily band tweedy.)

let’s go’s ti­tle comes from a favourite phrase used by tweedy’s late fa­ther, bob, that be­trayed his anx­i­ety about leav­ing the house. that hered­i­tary un­easi­ness courses through the book, as tweedy de­tails a bat­tle with an opi­oid ad­dic­tion that, at his low­est, led him to steal mor­phine from his can­cer pa­tient mother-in-law.

tweedy, who grew up across the mis­sis­sippi from st. louis in belleville, illi­nois, might seem too young or just too nor­mal to be au­thor­ing a ca­reer-span­ning tell-all rock mem­oir. and there is lit­tle that’s scan­dalous in the book. but after get­ting off to a goofy start, let’s go set­tles in with af­fa­ble virtues that match tweedy’s.

it’ s en­gag­ing and self-ques­tion­ing, whether fo­cus­ing on his re­la­tion­ship with jay far­rar, his part­ner in the alt-coun­try punk band un­cle tu­pelo (whom tweedy paints as a tal­ented, hu­mour­less “grim pro­tec­tor of mu­sic’s sanc­tity”) or chron­i­cling his on­go­ing mu­si­cal ad­ven­tures with wilco, who plan to get back to record­ing and tour­ing in 2019.

I think art is a great con­so­la­tion in gen­eral. and mu­sic seems to have that abil­ity more than any other art form. there’s some­thing con­sol­ing about feel­ing you’ve been recog­nised.

when some piece of art feels like it was made just for you, or you can re­spond to it in a way that is so par­tic­u­lar to what you need in that mo­ment, there’s al­most a sense of be­ing seen.

I think that’s ex­tremely im­por­tant for peo­ple. I see it in heavy metal kids and k-pop kids. peo­ple that ind THEIR mu­sic ind THEIR peo­ple. and them­selves through that mu­sic. to me, that’s maybe the low­est bar you should shoot for, maybe mak­ing any­thing, is to hope­fully be hon­est enough that it can pro­vide some con­so­la­tion. I think the high­est as­pi­ra­tion is that you can make some­body crazy to make some­thing.

some­thing like that. (laughs) I thought that sen­tence would get edited out.

it’s true. the great­est achieve­ment of al­most any work of artist hat peo­ple con­tinue to make art. it per­pet­u­ates it­self and re­gen­er­ates. and when peo­ple have the im­pulse to cre­ate, I think they have a lot tougher time sub­scrib­ing to philoso­phies that re­quire de­struc­tion.

it was THE irst time SHE HAD HELD A pen­cil, she claimed, in years. and that sim­ple act of mak­ing some­thing that wasn’t there be­fore was pro­found.

there are parts of me that aren’t conident. I don’t FEEL like there’s any point for any­body to deny those weak­nesses. es­pe­cially as a dad or a par­ent . ... I don’t feel like it’s unique at all to be sad or deal with de­pres­sion. all of those things are just ex­tremely com­mon and typ­i­cal. and I think we’ve bulls- each other enough.

A rock mem­oir is pretty low stakes. I don’t know if I felt an enor­mous amount of pres­sure to blow the lid off the genre. that be­ing said, I re­ally like lit­er­a­ture. I like books. and I did my best to write in a clear way what I wanted to say. the only way I think I would have failed was if I wasn’t hon­est.

I didn’t have an ax to grind with any­body. to the con­trary, I felt like it was an op­por­tu­nity to tell some pos­i­tive sto­ries about how much those guys mean to me. I don’t think i’ve ever been asked once since un­cle tu­pelo, ‘tell me some­thing fun you and jay (far­rar) did.’ it’s just not the nar­ra­tive. so I en­joyed that part of it.

i’ve ac­tu­ally been do­ing a lot in THE past ive or six years that’s pri­mar­ily been me mak­ing all the mu­sic. most of the last few wilco al­bums have been done that way. so in that sense, i’ve been work­ing more in a soli­tary fash­ion than I ever have. I love work­ing with other peo­ple. I love mak­ing records with mavis. mu­sic is a so­cial en­deavor. there’s noth­ing that quite feels like that, when you share the in­ti­macy of mak­ing mu­sic with an­other per­son.

i’m al­ready kind of re­coil­ing from THE no­tion that it’s THE irst time I’ve ever been this di­rect, even though I wrote that. I’m try­ing to put my fin­ger on what feels dif­fer­ent about this ma­te­rial. It’s prob­a­bly prox­im­ity to writ­ing the book that makes it feel more open and out­ward-look­ing. There are some things of me di­rectly look­ing straight at the lis­tener, and then -ob­ject per­ma­nence -- I dis­ap­pear again.

Of course, mu­sic doesn’t re­ally ex­ist un­til you put it out in the world. But I pre­fer to stay in the head space of hav­ing a lot of ma­te­rial around that I’m still work­ing on, where it’s still mine and it still has po­ten­tial. And it’s still some­place to dis­ap­pear, re­ally. Tri­bune News Ser­vice

JEFF TWEEDY, “WARM” (DBPM RECORDS)

wilco front­man jeff tweedy isn’t known for be­ing warm and fuzzy, so it’s with some irony that HIS irst proper solo record of all new ma­te­rial is ti­tled “warm,” but it’s also so tweedy

take “let’s go rain,” for ex­am­ple. at irst blush its up­beat tempo AND catchy cho­rus makes it sound very much like a feel-good camp­fire sin­ga­long song. but that’s where tweedy fools you — the song is ac­tu­ally a wish for an­other bi­b­li­cal lood to wipe THE world CLEAN AND start over again.

ah, jeff! you jokester.

the sound on “warm” is some­where be­tween tweedy’s solo acous­tic shows AND THE in­ely tuned jet-en­gine rock of wilco. it has a sim­i­lar vibe to many of the songs on “sukierae,” a side project tweedy re­leased in 2014 out­side of wilco un­der the band name of tweedy.

ex­plor­ing life, death, love and heart­break is fa­mil­iar ter­ri­tory for tweedy in wilco, and he hits on all of those themes with “warm.” the record comes after the death of his fa­ther, his wife’s bat­tle with can­cer and co­in­cides with the re­lease of tweedy’s mem­oir, “let’s go (so we can get back).”

tweedy is at his most in­tro­spec­tive in “hav­ing been is no way to be,” RELECTING on HIS so­bri­ety AND those who wish he weren’t.

“we all think about dy­ing ,” tweedy sing son“don’ t for­get” be­fore adding in per­fectly it­ting TWEEDY fash­ion, “don’t let it kill you.”

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