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The 15 Best (Non-Wilco) Jeff Tweedy Songs

on March 22, 2013, 12:18pm
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cos wilco riv 20

It’s been over a year since we’ve heard anything new from Wilco, but frontman Jeff Tweedy has a knack for finding other ways to keep his name in the news. The Chicago-bred singer-songwriter is currently preparing for the third Solid Sound Festival, set to touch down at the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art this June, with performances by Neko Case, Yo La Tengo, Reggie Watts, and more. He’s also kept busy by handling production on Low’s tenth studio LP, The Invisible Way, which hit stores earlier this week. Quality aside, it serves as the latest reminder that Tweedy’s never intended for his legacy to begin and end with Wilco. For further evidence, we’ve compiled a list of Tweedy’s proudest career works not to come from his main gig.

Photography by Heather Kaplan.

15. “Hey Chicken” – Loose Fur

Born Again in the U.S.A., 2006

Jeff Tweedy’s Loose Fur project came together shortly after the release of Wilco’s 1999 LP Summerteeth, when he got a one-off opportunity to collaborate with Jim O’Rourke, who would introduce him to his friend Glenn Kotche. They eventually became the two other key players of Wilco’s avant-garde years during the front half of the aughts, after they discovered the range of sonic ground they covered as a trio. “Hey Chicken”, the leadoff track on their second of two albums, is a prime example of the teeth that Loose Fur could bring when they weren’t indulging in nine-minute structured tweakouts or muffled epics.

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FaceThe King
March 22, 2013 at 1:49 am

Jeff Tweedy has always been one of the many inspirations for Face The King’s sound. Glad to see he’s staying relevant!

scott chambers
March 22, 2013 at 7:50 am

“If that’s alright” did it for me

Matt
March 22, 2013 at 3:30 pm

Screen Door?

Christopher Peter Van Dyke
March 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

No “The Ruling Class”?

Steven Arroyo
March 23, 2013 at 6:51 pm

That one was probably the toughest to exclude, just ran out of room. Snuck
in a reference and link to it under “Wanted” though. Just for you.

markfive
June 30, 2013 at 11:24 am

“You Were Wrong” is incredible. The lyrics are one of my favorite pieces of writing from him.

Jason Rapert
March 25, 2013 at 3:15 pm

Posting these YouTube user videos not approved by the artist is taking money out of the artist’s pocket and putting it into YouTube’s pocket. As a music blog I would hope that posting artist approved sources would be of a higher priority.

markfive
June 30, 2013 at 11:26 am

Um. Jeff Tweedy would disagree with you, considering he’s on record as being 100% for downloads and Wilco’s songs being on Youtube, independent of the label.

Ben
March 25, 2013 at 8:13 pm

Very good list – brought back some memories and will likely shape my listening habits for the next week or so as I revisit Loose Fur, Golden Smog and Uncle Tupelo records. The only omission I can spot is “Promising” from the Chelsea Walls soundtrack. That is certainly in my top 5 non-Wilco Tweedy tracks.

Steven Arroyo
March 26, 2013 at 7:47 pm

That’s a great one, definitely deserving – but it was originally on Wilco’s ’97 EP All Over the Place. DQ’d on the technicality!

markfive
June 30, 2013 at 11:22 am

Where is “The Ruling Class” and “You Were Wrong”? Nice article, but those two are brilliant.