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Mavis Staples announces Jeff Tweedy collaboration If All I Was Was Black

Mavis Staples | photo by Cameron Pollack for WXPN

XPN Fest veterans and longtime friends Mavis Staples and Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco) have collaborated together a few times before, but the just-announced If All I Was Was Black is a particularly special project. Slated for a November 17 release on Anti- Records, the 10-track album was produced and written by Tweedy, with vocalist Staples contributing to the lyrics on three tracks. In addition to being the first full-length of original material the the two have worked on together, If All I Was Was Black takes on a political tone, addressing racial tension in a way that advocates for spreading love and positivity. Continue reading →

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Jeff Tweedy reworks Wilco favorites on acoustic Together At Last, out now

Jeff tweedy
Jeff Tweedy | Photo By Noah Silvestry | silvestography.com

Earlier this week Bob Bumbera reported on Jeff Tweedy‘s solo record during the XPN Morning Show, sharing a video of the Wilco frontman performing album cut “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” on Late Night With Seth Myers. Yes, you already know that Wilco classic and yes it is appearing on Together At Last – that’s because the new effort, out today, features a number of Tweedy favorites, from main projects and side projects, done in an intimate, acoustic style.

Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch another hilarious cameo appearance from Jeff Tweedy on Portlandia

via Pitchfork

“Turns out he owns the key of G, which has made life very difficult for me as a songwriter” -Jeff Tweedy appearing on Portlandia

It’s time for your Portlandia close up, Mr. Tweedy. See the Wilco frontman’s most recent cameo appearance in a very funny promo for the season premier of Portlandia with their take on frivolous, music-copyright lawsuits. Continue reading →

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XPN MusicNotes: Watch Jeff Tweedy explain how Wilco names albums, listen to the new Pixies album Head Carrier

Wilco at Solid Sound Festival | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com
Wilco at Solid Sound Festival | Photo by Noah Silvestry | silvestography.tumblr.com

“The next time someone tells you Wilco doesn’t put a lot of work into things, just tell them…I don’t know. Something. You make it up.”
-Jeff Tweedy

With tongue firmly planted in cheek, Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy recorded a video, (prior to last night’s appearance on The late Show with Stephen Colbert) in which he responds to critics of the band’s recent album titles. Funny stuff. Continue reading →

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Listen to Still, the new Jeff Tweedy produced album by Richard Thompson

Richard Thompson | Photo by Pamela Littky
Richard Thompson | Photo by Pamela Littky

Singer-songwriter Richard Thompson is releasing his 16th solo album, Still, on June 23rd. Produced by Jeff Tweedy of Wilco, the album features a core trio of Thompson, bassist Taras Prodaniuk, and drummer Michael Jerome – with contributions from guitarist Jim Elkington of Jeff’s band Tweedy and harmony vocalists Liam Cunningham, his sister Sima Cunningham (both of Tweedy), and Siobhan Kennedy. Continue reading →

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XPN’s Gotta Hear Song of the Week: “The Ballad of the Opening Band” by Jeff Tweedy

songs-for-slimcomp_coverada On February 19th, 2012, former Replacements guitarist Slim Dunlap was hospitalized as a result of a massive right brain stroke. Insurance does not pay for Dunlap’s long term care, and his friends have been helping out by recording a series of covers of his songs and using them to help raise money for his care. On November 12th, Songs For Slim, the non-profit project set up to raise funds for Dunlap, releases a two CD, 28 song collection, Songs For Slim: Rockin’ Here Tonight – A Benefit Compilation For Slim Dunlap on New West Records. Rockin’ Here Tonight collects all the songs from tracks in the series including new previously unreleased recordings. All the proceeds will go towards assisting Slim and his family with the expenses related towards his long term care. Some of the artists contributing to this project include Craig Finn of the Hold Steady, Lucinda Williams, Steve Earle, Joe Henry, John Doe, Soul Asylum and Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, who covers one of Dunlap’s best songs, “The Ballad of the Opening Band.” Listen Tweedy’s poignant cover of it and the original below.

Tracklist for Rockin’ Here Tonight – A Benefit Compilation for Slim Dunlap

Disc 1 (The 45s)
1. Busted Up (The Replacements)
2. Radio Hook Word Hit (Chris Mars)
3. Times Like This (Steve Earle)
4. Isn’t It? (Craig Finn & Friends)
5. Partners In Crime (Lucinda Williams)
6. Nowheres Near (Tommy Keene )
7. Rockin Here Tonight (The Minus 5 feat. Curtiss A)
8. Cozy (Tim O’Reagan & Jim Boquist)
9. Ain’t No Fair (In A Rock ‘N’ Roll Love Affair) (Jakob Dylan)
10. Taken On The Chin (Joe Henry)
11. Just For The Hell Of It (John Doe)
12. From The Git Go (Deer Tick + Scott Lucas + Vanessa Carlton)
13. The King & Queen (Frank Black & The Suicide Commandos)
14. Ain’t Exactly Good (You Am I)
15. Hate This Town (Patterson Hood)
16. Loud Loud Loud Loud Guitars (The Young Fresh Fellows)
17. The Ballad Of The Opening Band (Jeff Tweedy)
18. From The Git Go (Lucero)

Disc 2 (unreleased bonus tracks)
1. Laugh It Up (it’s all a big joke anyway) (Peter Holsapple)
2. Girlfiend (John Eller)
3. Little Shiva’s Song (Soul Asylum)
4. Slim’s Place (The Young Fresh Fellows)
5. Two By Two (Bee, Louie & Brien)
6. When I Fall Down (Chris Mars)
7. Chrome Lipstick (Chan Poling)
8. Times Like This (Frankie Lee)
9. The Ballad Of The Opening Band (LP.ORG)
10. Love Lost (The West Saugerties Ale & Quail Club feat. John Sebastian)

Purchase the album from Amazon here

Purchase/pre-order the album from iTunes here

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Stream Low’s Jeff Tweedy-produced new LP The Invisible Way via NPR Music (playing Main Street Music on 3/18)

12737On their latest LP, The Invisible Way, minimal Midwestern indie trio Low (would you still know what I meant if I called them “slow-core”?) got a hand from one of their musical peers with a similar grasp of sound and space. The album was produced by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, and is streaming in its entirety this week via NPR Music’s First Listen series. NPR’s Stephen Thompson writes:

Low songs don’t often change tempo noticeably, instead achieving tension through variations in volume. But that seemingly limited framework still provides ample room for experimentation: Low can be a sweetly chiming pop band, or it can seethe and unsettle with an almost industrial buzz. It can express emotion by drawing out the barest fragment of a phrase, or it can expound thoughtfully on life, death, secrecy, war and the way humanity collides with itself.

Listen to the album in its entirety here. Low’s only Philadelphia appearance in the near future is the just-announced in-store set at Manayunk record shop Main Street Music; the free show happens next Monday, March 18th, at 7 p.m.