Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jeff Tweedy Brings Two Bands to St. Louis

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Jeff Tweedy Brings Two Bands to St. Louis

Article excerpt

Jeff Tweedy spent nearly three hours of his day Monday performing for his St. Louis fans. Not in one fell swoop, mind you. The Belleville native and longtime Chicagoan played two shows, fronting two different bands.

The first was an afternoon in-store appearance at Vintage Vinyl with Tweedy, the band he formed with his son Spencer, who plays drums. The more substantial concert was a nearly 2-hour, sold-out show at the Pageant by Wilco, which is on tour celebrating its 20th anniversary.

The Vintage Vinyl gig, attended by approximately 250, came about because the store won a contest sponsored by Anti-, which distributes and markets Wilco/Tweedy's label, dBpm Records. Tweedy worked at Vintage Vinyl's Granite City store in the 1990s, as he was ending his run with the alt-country pioneering group Uncle Tupelo.

"I know a lot of people think that the fix was in for this particular store to win the contest," Tweedy said. "I can assure you that is not the case."

He fessed up that he was a "terrible employee" and often didn't show up for work. "My car didn't run when it was hot, and I really couldn't make it in when it was cold," he said, adding, "We're back and all is forgiven, apparently."

Musically, the half-hour set drew from Tweedy's debut album, "Sukierae." Spencer Tweedy's galloping rhythms drove the snarling guitars and intermittent chaos of "Diamond Light Pt. 1" and "World Away."

The band offered more tuneful fare in "Summer Noon" and "Low Key" before wrapping up with a cover of Neil Young's "Losing End" and the rocking "Only the Lord Knows," a song the elder Tweedy wrote for Mavis Staples, whose last two albums he produced.

In a certain sense, Wilco's Pageant show ran in reverse. It began with songs that showcased the fearsome instrumental fury the band can generate "At Least That's What You Said," "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" and "Art of Almost" and ended with an acoustic set as loose and comfortable as a back-porch jam. …

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