January 15, 2011

Jeff Tweedy at the Boulder Theater last weekend

tweedy boulder

Last weekend Jeff Tweedy played the 75th anniversary party of our lovely old art-deco Boulder Theater. I was sadly not in attendance, but now I can listen to the gem-packed setlist thanks to an awesome taper, and so can you.

The varied setlist is packed with all kinds of fantastic audience participation (the “oooh, ahhhhh“s of Summer Teeth, likewise on Heavy Metal Drummer) and Jeff’s fantastic banter. I think Tweedy is one of the funniest stage banterers in existence; I would enjoy a spliced-together recording of just him talking to the audience.

In addition to the Woody Guthrie cover (Mermaid Avenue, anyone?), his version of “Fake Plastic Trees” still kills me, the way his voice cracks on the lyrics “if I could be who you wanted…” Also, the simple opening chord progression of “She’s A Jar” always completely makes me smile, even in this stripped version — just a guitar and that homesick-sweet harmonica.

I commented once on how Wilco fans are really unlike any other fans I think I’ve ever known. I get almost as much pleasure on this recording through listening to the crowd recognize the songs literally from the first half second and starting to cheer their appreciation as I do from the songs themselves. This sure is a feel-good show for a feel-good weekend like this one.

tweedy boulder 2

JANUARY 8, 2011

Sunken Treasure
Remember the Mountain Bed
(Woody Guthrie)
Wait Up
How To Fight Loneliness
I’ll Fight
Someday, Some Morning, Sometime
(Woody Guthrie)
Not for the Season
You and I
She’s A Jar
Either Way
Summer Teeth
I Must Be High
Radio King
Forget The Flowers
Passenger Side

Red Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At The End of the Century)
Heavy Metal Drummer
Fake Plastic Trees
Dreamer in my Dreams


August 14, 2010

Lollapalooza 2010 shines


Lollapalooza took over the massive lakeside green of Grant Park last weekend for its sixth year as a stationary festival in Chicago. I was unable to get myself to The Prairie State, and sent two talented writer-photographers to cover it for Fuel/Friends: Dainon and Kathleen. I ached with jealousy at their text and cell-phone pic updates all weekend long since it sounded like an incredible lineup.

Let them tell you about what rocked at this year’s Lollapalooza.


Dainon: The sunshine and subsequent sunburn was as inescapable as the flip flop abrasions, the beer tents at every turn and enough music-filled stages to satisfy the most ADHD-addled music listener, but Lollapalooza delivered on its promises. It was about as sold out as festivals come (to the tune of 80,000 happy faces, by some estimates) and every band these eyes saw actually started on time, and everyone who offered, “Hello, Lollapalooza!” into a microphone was cheered and celebrated like crazy. It may as well have been its own hometown city, true enough. That’s the kind of pride that came along with its mention.

Kathleen: Friday dawned steamy and warm, but not overbearingly hot – which was incredible, given the fact that I naturally associate summer music with blinding melanoma-inducing heat. Instead I trekked over to my very first show, which was the Washington D.C based group, These United States. I have seen this band many times before, and yet my dancing feet don’t seem to remember to get tired of them. Their thumping, surging, pedal steel laced rock and roll created an optimism for the rest of the day in the committed crowd (commitment at a festival means getting out of bed before the headliner).

These United States

I wish I’d caught their whole set, but one of the issues I have with new places is my complete lack of direction. I circumnavigated Grant Park (approximately the size of the Earth) completely before finding my entrance. I actually felt myself perk up when I got to the These United States show, and I’m pretty sure I owe my consciousness and perkiness to those gents and their predilection for expansive, raucous rock.

D: Jeff Tweedy showed up during Mavis Staples’ set on Friday (something I’d sorta banked on possibly happening, considering he’s producing her next album), playing acoustic guitar for a couple songs while she sang lines only she could get away with in that setting, ones like “Only the Lord knows and He ain’t you” and “I’m gettin’ too close to heaven to turn back now.” I think Tweedy grinned wider and more than I’ve seen him do in the three full Wilco concerts.

The Walkmen

K: The Walkmen seemed like such a throwback to me. Wearing nice slacks and ties, I almost thought they’d launch into some 1950s era doo-wop. Instead, I was met with a howl so full of conviction, I turned to the people next to me to see if anyone else was surprised. Instead, most people seemed to be expecting it, craving it. The Walkmen made a show out of rambling and reverb, out of bare-bones music that the band members seem to get lost in. I felt a mystery in their show, a depth like if they kept playing for five more hours it would end up in a place totally foreign to where it started.

The Strokes
strokes 2


K: Closing the night Friday with their first show on American soil in four years, The Strokes seemed to be a last vestige of true, epic rock and roll. Julian Casablancas entered, five minutes late, wearing sunglasses and a studded leather jacket. He put his foot possessively on a front speaker and launched into the fiery guitar licks with a coolness that make the Strokes what they are. Their show was incendiary. I actually felt a fire in my belly that held in a tight little ball, expanding to a blaze whenever the poised melodies would break out into all hell, filling the night with revolutionary, explosive sound. The cheering blended right in to each song, people chanting along to Casablancas’ droning voice (myself included). It was anthemic, a show that somehow reflected and validated all the passionate air guitar that I’ve been perfecting since childhood, just for moments like this.

strokes 3

D: When The Strokes took the stage, Lady Gaga was doing her thing way over on the other end of beautiful Grant Park. While a quick two or three glances in her direction revealed that people were determined to take in her set, even if they were a mile away and stepping on tiptoes to see the big screens, The Strokes forced us to look back fondly at the early 2000s, when their promise was far greater than their outcome. It didn’t rock us as hard as it felt absolutely comfortable to hear song after familiar song. Hearing the line “I want to be forgotten, and I don’t want to be reminded” sounded boozy and smirky and blurry, as it should have. It seems they’ve gotten over the whole buzz-band notion and allowed themselves to settle into their black leather and sunglasses and skin some more. This is a good— and maybe even great—thing.



K: Skybox is a boatload of local Chicago fun. It’s like they captured the essence of what makes me dance in front of people and put it in Tim Ellis’ voice. From the very get-go of their early Saturday set, I was smiling and jumping and making a general fool of myself to their complex, rich pop songs. It definitely helped that all four of them were dancing too, bouncing around stage and beaming in the same key as their relentlessly catchy tunes.


D: Once upon a time, I only knew one song by Austin’s Harlem. That song was “Friendly Ghost” and, every time it poked its head out of my shuffling jukebox of a laptop, it pounded itself on the chest like Tarzan and stomped on a bass drum pedal, and forced dancing feet. Their 35-minute set was one of the only ones I lasted all the way through for, partly because I thought I’d see a fistfight break out before it ended (sadly, it didn’t). It was all filled up with raw, short blasts of that unfiltered, unpolished, sweaty energy stuff. I’d venture they put more power into that single show than most bands do in a career. And you can take that nugget of truth to the bank and scrawl it on an album sticker. It’s deserved high praise, too. They may not be able to keep that going and they may burn out quick as they came, but at least they burned bright on that Saturday morning.

K: Harlem does not come from Harlem, I found out. It actually surprised me, what with the gritty, dirty rock they pump out, and their lack of conventional on stage niceties. These guys didn’t bother tuning in the beginning, argued with each other at the end of every final guitar lick, and yet…they were electric. It was a strange, sort of surreal experience to hear this teetering, crazed garage rock, the kind where the drumming sounds manic and the bass thumps unapologetically underneath spontaneous-sounding riffs that take over even a wide open festival ground. They absolutely commanded my attention, and drew me in as I thrummed from song to song with them, painfully aware of how straight-edge I am in the face of real rock and roll attitude. If they had been selling leather jackets anywhere near there, I would have bought one immediately.


K: I had been waiting see Warpaint since my braggart friends returned with tales of psychedelic girl rock from SXSW this spring. I was not disappointed. Looking like kids playing dress up in Mardi Gras masks and tie dye shirts, these four women launched themselves into their set with a level of commitment that made me feel as though I was sucked into a vortex of melting, earthy music. Emily Kokal and Theresa Wayman have these liberated vocals that just wrangle audiences. What shocked me was their floating, ethereal sound was still full of sharp edges, spikes, and dips. It was anything but just a pretty face. They also skipped right over their single from their debut album Exquisite Corpse, “Billie Holiday.” You know it’s a great show when they blow by the song everyone knows and no one seems to miss it.

The National

K: I hadn’t seen The National before Lollapalooza. I hadn’t seen them, but the number of times I’ve listened to, cried to, felt to The National far outstrips almost all other bands for me. So I practically launched myself across Grant Park to be one of the first people in front of the Playstation stage. Matt Berninger already had a green bottle of white wine chilling in a big plastic bowl on the stage, and the setlist taped where my zoom lens could find it. And just like it told me, when the guys strolled out, they launched into “Runaway.” Berninger has a baritone that socks me in the windpipe with its haunted depths every time. Live it was even better. I was rooted to my spot, blown away by the shifting, glowing soundscapes they were able to use to fill the enormous Grant Park.

national wine

Berninger carried himself with the grace of someone from faraway and long ago, like he should have a maroon leather wingback chair and a roaring fire at all times. They completely flattened me with their devastating performance, both tight and yet not the same as listening to the record. It was real and tangible, and offered a jagged edge that made the dangerous, sometimes downright mean, themes of their songs come to living, breathing life. I have to say, as I pulled myself away from the emptied stage, I felt sad and satisfied at the same time – as though I could not have handled more soul stretching, but that I hungered for more, like a musical masochism. Extreme? Possibly. Don’t psychoanalyze me, I didn’t write the music.

national 2

[Dainon’s take on The National is here. It was so good he needed an entire post. And this happened to a friend of mine and his kiddo – pretty rad.]


The Antlers

K: It was raining on Sunday morning, but that didn’t stop my determination to see The Antlers perform in muddy Grant Park. So I slapped a plastic bag over my camera and secretly wished the park was connected by a network of Slip ‘N Slides. Though that wish wasn’t granted, I did get to witness the painfully beautiful Antlers set. Antlers deliver the same shiver and ache on stage that they do on their records. Their sparse presence on the massive stage lent itself well to their songs, which talk about death and loneliness and layers in life. Granted, not the usual festival fare, but it was so fitting to be standing in the silver drizzle listening to songs about real things sung with such passion. It was grounding, and a fantastic breath before diving into what would end up being a hot, humid day.

The Ike Reilly Assassination
ike reilly

K: The Ike Reilly Assassination is a band I first heard about through this same blog, and I was so excited to go see the Chicago group tear my socks off and incite me to jump up and down. And sonically, they did just that. Unafraid to be loud, and delighting in having the whole audience sing along to “Valentine’s Day in Juarez,” I felt like the stage was filled with my crazy uncles at Thanksgiving dinner. Not the annoying crazy ones that pinch you, but the fun ones that you know might be a little drug addled from younger days with unforgettable stories that they just might tell you if you keep the brandy coming. The Ike Reilly Assassination put so much energy into their rollicking show, I would be surprised if they could walk afterward. It was the kind of performance where drum sticks crack and guitar strings snap, crackle, pop, and everyone’s smiling about all the fun coming out of it.

Mumford and Sons

mumford 3

mumford 2

K: I’ve wanted to see Mumford and Sons ever since their release of Sigh No More last year. I’ve yearned to see them. While I was waiting, along with the rest of the people in attendance at Lollapalooza it seemed, I was already getting a little giddy thinking of their joyful harmonies and liberated banjo rolls. A moment after Marcus Mumford (and people who are not, technically, his sons) took the stage, they swept me away immediately with the title track off the aforementioned album.

mumford 4

Their music builds, it swells, and it takes me along until it all crashes into runaway melodies that seem composed of innocent wildness. Even better was watching their faces, because they mirrored ours. They had a shining newness on stage that showed no hint of the pretension that could come along with such success. Their sound filled me up from the inside instead of sweeping around me; it held me and moved me, and yes, I did get tears in my eyes. There is such a fearlessness in Mumford and Sons. When they perform it is intimate and real and consuming. It left me breathless.

Frightened Rabbit
frightened rabbit 2

frightened rabbit

K: Frightened Rabbit is an eviscerating experience. Hailing from the gray moors of Scotland, Scott Hutchison’s lonely wail can transform into a heartwrenching, cracking scream in a single turn of phrase. Standing amidst a huge crowd of people who knew the words to all their songs, just as I did, was comforting but strange. For such cry-into-your-whiskey music, it seemed I had a lot of comrades who related. I loved when Hutchison would abandon words all together and throw in extra howls and punctuated with guttural “oh”s, like the cracks went too deep to express with simple human language. And yet, people danced. That’s the amazing thing about Frightened Rabbit for me, they revel in the muck of life. They yell and scream about the things that go the deepest, and do so in a way that makes you throw out your limbs and give yourself to the simple act of moving. Not forward, not backward, just moving so you know you’re not a bag of sand.

Arcade Fire
arcade fire

arcade fire 2

K: Closing the festival, Arcade Fire was a massive conglomeration of complete mayhem on stage – people switching instruments, lights flashing, sensory overload. And yet it all coalesces into a technicolor sort of sonic boom. I was amid the tens of thousands of people yelling along to the lines as we were all pulled into the strange video projected on the high stage. They were passion personified, their energy never flagging, their voices always threatening to bust at the seams and spill out into chaos. It felt like being part of a rock opera, especially when they moved to songs from their newest release The Suburbs. It was a whirling two hours of exhausting their musical library, satisfying people who came for old and new.

arcade fire 3

Everyone in Arcade Fire is a star, which completely surprised me. No one seemed to outshine the other, which made it a white hot spectacle that required a lot of time to let it sink in. I couldn’t help but get a buzz off everyone listening; from right up front to the street people gathered and singing, the music not losing any of its power with distance. There could not have been a better closer. Arcade Fire has never been one of my favorite recorded bands, but after experiencing them in the heavy Chicago night air, I don’t think I can forget the way I felt a part of that celebration onstage and off, a culmination of musical experience and community – with a light show.

arcade fire 4

Dainon: Maybe what I’ll most remember of Lollapalooza this year will be showing up an hour before The National started, while MGMT sang softly at my back. But that’s only the beginning.

When Matt Berninger came out and sang what amount to sad, twisted love songs, holding no emotion back, when he rushed forward to the spot I was and I reached out and touched him on the hand and microphone and looked into what amounted to being very sad, dark eyes, that was the unexpected middle.

As for the end? It came with dragonflies overhead and Arcade Fire singing “No Cars Go” as my legs very nearly buckled and I sat on an offered chair instead of a mound of cool grass. That long moment, the one that lasted for a number of hours, I like that I will never be able to unforget it. What’s more, it’s a movie that comes with a soundtrack, an impossibly, gorgeous summertime one.

Thanks, Chicago. Thanks, Perry. I’m not sure I’ve got it in me to do another one of these, but, as a first and last time, it was a success all over the place.

PS – Best overheard quote during the very crowded xx set: “Whoa! This is like the real version of Facebook! Hey, are you my friend?!”


Grizzly Bear
grizzly bear

The Black Keys
black keys

The Big Pink
big pink 2

A big, pink fan at The Big Pink

the xx
the xx

See you in 2011?

[all of Kathleen’s pictures from all three days can be seen here]

February 20, 2009

Can you haw without hemming?


Jeff Tweedy (of Wilco), always the affable frontman, poses this question for thought. Haw without hemming? Never looked at it that way, Jeff. This is a great solo show taped by The Flat Response at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival in Lyons, Colorado in August of 2006.

Was I (In Your Dreams) – Jeff Tweedy

[get or listen to the whole set here]

And then, since I was buying a plane ticket today to Chicago (beginning of April!), I clearly had to have suitable listening. This is by far the prettiest ‘lil version of “Via Chicago” that I have ever heard, from a Jeff Tweedy/Jay Bennett show at the Old Town School of Folk Music Festival on July 25, 1999.

Via Chicago – Jeff Tweedy & Jay Bennett

[whole show here]

And finally, since you mentioned it, how rad does this film look?

…Okay kids, I have a friend in town this weekend so I am pleasantly disconnected til Sunday, off to play tourist in my own backyard? Sunshine feels good!

[top photo credit]

Tagged with , .
January 11, 2009

if i could be who you wanted all the time… (it wears me out)

The vulnerability in Tweedy’s voice does something to me in this song.

[via/more info]

January 28, 2008

Monday Music Roundup

Well for pete’s sake. GO SEE U2 3D.

That was the absolute coolest thing since, well, since Captain E.O. (sorry MJ). I had a huge silly smile plastered across my face for at least the whole first song, barely able to breathe but not realizing I was holding my breath.

From superclose Bono yelling the opening count-off of Vertigo (in that creative Spanish), you feel like you’re inches from the real live sweating tiny mofo. You can see the limber flex and vibration of Adam Clayton’s bass strings as he plucks them, you can count the freckles on the Edge’s arms while he nails a killer solo. You hover over the stage like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible, looking over Larry Mullen Jr’s shoulders while he beats out his robot-hybrid beats from an impossible vantage point. I almost felt like I would knock over the mike stand sometimes, or get hit in the face with Edge’s guitar (I wouldn’t mind). The gliding shots over the enthusiastic Latin-American crowds were also like something out of a flying dream. It was mindblowing in the childlike wonder it instilled in a whole audience at once.

You also get to wear extremely fashionable glasses that are worth at least five minutes of pre-show entertainment.

I know it must be expensive to everyone but U2 to make a movie like this, but with technology that lets Bono kneel on the side of the stage, draw in the air with his fingertip, and create a hovering light-trail image floating inches from your face, well heck . . . I wish every band I loved would do this so I could get closer than close for only $9.

Music this week!

Don’t Ever Do That Again
Golden Shoulders

There’s a snaking, crunchy opening riff that sucks you into this smart song from CA Gold-Rush-country band Golden Shoulders. Originally released in 2005, the Friendship Is Deep album is seeing the light of re-issue; when it first came out, British tastemaker Mojo magazine wrote that they were “grungy slackers catching up on ‘Rubber Soul’ pop.” The drawl in the delivery hearkens that for me, but I also hear a good echo of Fuel-favorite Cake (whose former drummer Todd Roper is featured on this album), and also that riff from that Weezer-side-project tune “American Girls.” It’s a pleasing mishmash of influences that sounds addictively fresh and ready for adventures.

The Hands

There’s something slightly off and unnerving in the melody and rhythm here from the Pacific Northwest band The Hands – just a half-second syncopated, or too fast. Either way, it feels like about seven cups of coffee in the morning (thank god I’m back on the stuff after my successful vegan detox week) — all jittery and yowling, but anchored by a more classic rockin’ feel with those Jaggeresque vocals. An exciting combination, I want to keep replaying the opening notes to figure out what’s going on there in those first thirty seconds. The self-titled album is out February 19th on Selector Sound, and wisely features, well, a hand on the front.

Dancing For No One
Hello Stranger

For a song released in 2006, this has a borderline guilty-pleasure tinge of sounding like something I would have liked in the ’80s, but better. Hello Stranger is a band from Los Angeles [previous post] fronted by tall red-boot-wearing Juliette Commagere and featuring Ry Cooder’s son Joachim. They sounds a little like Blondie, a little punk, and a lot like something that you want to sing along with. Indie film fans might recognize this song from the excellent and quirky Lars and The Real Girl. Hello Stranger has toured with Kings of Leon, Rooney, and looks like they’re opening some Foo Fighters shows in the coming weeks. Their 2006 self-titled album is out on Aeronaut Records, and they are currently back in the studio working on new material.

Be Not So Fearful (Bill Fay)
Jeff Tweedy

I remember hearing this song memorably used in the Wilco I Am Trying To Break Your Heart documentary and then having to seek out a live version of it for my collection. This is a cover of a folk song by British musician Bill Fay, and feels so perfect in its simplicity. It’s almost a benediction, this telling of “Be not so fearful, be not so pale / Someone watches you, you won’t leave the rails.” It’s heartening and lovely, one of my favorite acoustic Tweedy covers, something I’ve been listening to a lot lately.

Love Ya
Paloma Faith

I read about Londoner Paloma Faith on this blog while I was looking up SF show information, they mentioned she had “a Billie Holliday voice and a Betty Page look.” Retro is so hot right now — I can always dig more of this Amy Winehouse vibe, with less of the self-destruction. While on Paloma’s MySpace page I was also excited to see that she had a cameo in that other fantastic Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip video, “The Beat That My Heart Skipped.” Since I always like watching this dude rhyme, enunciate, and gesticulate (like he will be doing at Coachella!) watch Paloma shake her thing here:

[UK download]

BONUS MONDAY TIMEWASTER: Try the addictive Traveler IQ Challenge. I am on a mission to beat my somewhat shameful Level 6 (and my friend, who clearly must have cheated and got Level 12).

December 3, 2007

Monday Music Roundup

1) Go see Lars And The Real Girl

2) Christmas trees are freakin expensive. We bought the retarded one on the lot with a broken-off top. They wired a fake top on the tree so we’d have somewhere to put the angel from grade school. It looks majestic and the house smells heavenly, but even being the lame one, it still cost 50 smackers. Ouch.

3) This blogger wrote a really funny commentary on a 1977 JC Penney catalog, and you’ve probably had it forwarded to you at least six times, as I have. He’s being ripped off all over the internet — heck the community paper I read when I was in California even reprinted it with no attribution. Go read Johnny Virgil’s original and laugh.

The picture to the right is captioned, “nothing showcases your everlasting love more than the commitment of matching bathing suits. That, and an appreciative blonde with a look on her face that says ‘I love the way your junk fights against that fabric.’” With fashion like that, it’s a miracle that anyone from our generation was ever even conceived.

Tunes for the week:

Even The Stars (live)
I Am Kloot
Who are Kloot, and why? I read about these guys over on Torr’s site, and the band name was unfamiliar but I agree with him that this new live tune is brilliant. Hailing from Manchester, I Am Kloot has an expansive melodic Britpop feel –circa 1995 in the best way– and remind me of folks like Ash or James. This feels swirling and important, earnest and memorable. Their 4th album is expected in early 2008 and will be called I Am Kloot Play Moolah Rouge. Looks like you can preview most of the tracks from it on their website.

Sweet Sophia
Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers

When I finally popped in the CD from Stephen Kellogg & The Sixers that had been staring at me for months, this opening track made me stop what I was doing and take notice to those sparkling piano cadences and burnished alt-country vocals. My curiosity had initially been piqued when I saw that the album Glassjaw Boxer was produced by Mike Daly (Whiskeytown) and mixed by Dave Bryson (Counting Crows), plus Ryan Adams’ Whiskeytown companion Caitlin Cary lends harmonies.

All The Night Without Love (Dearland Sessions)
Elvis Perkins in Dearland
I’ve heard rumblings about Elvis Perkins and his band Dearland because of friends who caught their act on tour opening for My Morning Jacket and Okkervil River, but had not listened much to him until this re-worked tune surfaced in my iTunes this week. The original appears on his 2007 album Ash Wednesday; this cut was recorded in LA with producer Chris Shaw (Bob Dylan, Weezer) and it adds a compelling, almost old-time Western feel to the original song. The comparisons in my mind run both to The Decemberists and even daring desert escapades, Apostle of Hustle style.

Aly, Walk With Me
The Raveonettes

From their newly released album Lust Lust Lust (Vice Records), Danish duo The Raveonettes have crafted a collection of songs that feel like a blend of Garbage, Sonic Youth, Jesus & Mary Chain, and Buddy Holly all at once. This should be in a David Lynch flick, absolutely. It’s all sexy and melodic with dark undertones. Also check out the new video that just came out for “Dead Sound” off the same album. Watch it here.

All My Life (version 2)
Jeff Tweedy

Here’s a little forgotten piece of television history ripped from cassette thanks to the Good/Bad/Unknown blog. Back in 1998, Jeff Tweedy was asked to pen a theme song for the Christina Applegate sitcom, then-titled All My Life. The show title was eventually changed to be called Jesse and these tunes were left on the cutting room floor. But Tweedy wrote two versions, short and sweet, and you can get the other one on that blog. Wow, better than the Full House theme song, even.

. . . And, heh, dig my cameo appearance in this short music video recap of my 10-year high school reunion. Yeah, superb.

August 31, 2007

Jeff Tweedy swings by your living room

Okay, I’ve cast my lot and I am in for Wilco tomorrow night at the Fillmore up in Denver. I have been hearing phenomenal show reviews from folks up and down the West Coast who have caught the Wilco revue in recent weeks, some saying it’s one of the best shows they’ve ever seen, so I am really excited. I was going to pose as a security guard to get in (I’m not lying, friend works there) but thankfully that idea is past. Although I was totally already practicing my cross-arm stance, daring people to mess with me.

So in honor of my first time seeing Wilco, I’ve got a tasty little acoustic set that I’ve been sitting on for a few months, waiting for the right occasion. Most times if you heard that a rock star charged $17,500 to play in someone’s living room, you’d think either a) desperate or b) money-hungry. Right? No, not Tweedy. He’s auctioned himself off for the last three years for the Second City (in Chicago) Letters to Santa Benefit. This raises money for Christmas presents for kids, and in 2006 net over $50,000 through three dedicated groups of fans each coughing up the $17,500 to be the winning bid.
By that logic, each tune that he performed on this fan-directed setlist was worth $472.97. Given the nature of who was requesting the songs (uberfans, willing to pay up dearly), you know the setlist is going to be packed with gems. There’s precisely the intimate, acoustic, chatty, spontaneous vibe here that you would expect from some guy who shows up in your living room to play you a personal concert.

Letters to Santa Benefit, 4/8/2006
Someday Some Morning Sometime
Not For The Season
All The Same To Me
Summer Teeth
Blue Eyed Soul
A Magazine Called Sunset
I’m Beginning To See The Light
Hey Chicken
No More Poetry
You Were Wrong
If That’s Alright
Lost Love
Henry & The H Bombs
The Ruling Class
Fatal Wound
I Must Be High
Is That The Thanks I Get
Walked Where He Walked
James Alley Blues
Hotel Arizona
Please Tell My Brother
New Madrid
Walk On
Red-Eyed and Blue
I Got You (At The End Of The Century)
We’ve Been Had
The Long Cut
Radio King
Forget The Flowers
I’m Always In Love
Say You Miss Me
Outtasite (Outta Mind)
I’m The Man Who Loves You
I Can’t Keep From Talking


[photo from the 1/14/06 Living Room show]
Tagged with , .
Subscribe to this tasty feed.
I tweet things. It's amazing.

Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

View all Interviews → View all Shows I've Seen →