Friday, September 9, 2011

Friday Night Frolic — Hacking Through The Jungle

Oh, I could only dream of the dreams we’d have, 
how our hearts would be entwined, 
if you would let me be the one 
to open up your mind.
                                                           -Jeff Tweedy, lyrics from Open Your Mind


And speaking of September 27th releases...

The unraveling of  the alternative country band Uncle Tupelo, in 1994, left an ensemble of talented musicians to grapple with what next. But singer/songwriter Jeff Tweedy swiftly gathered the same musicians, minus Jay Farrar, and knotted together the band known as Wilco (an acronym for two-way radio voice procedure). Tweedy, Wilco's mercurial frontman, tours occasionally on his own and is especially brilliant when he does so. As in this performance:

[Joy of joysthe lyrics to Open Your Mind, along with the chords, can be found here! And they're all pretty simple chords except for that dang A minor, but yes! I am warming up the banjo.]

It's  impossible not to hear the influence of early country and folk genres, as well as punk and alternative rock, and artists like Neil Young (for whom Wilco has opened), Johnny Cash and Tommy Stinson in Tweedy's songs, nor see the pilferage of classic literature in his pure, honest lyrics. With the Chicago based Wilco, Tweedy's music assumes a thick, bittersweet consistencythe likes of which he deftly jarssuch as this emotive, demon-filled, uh... um... ballad:

Here, Tweedy spills out his weighty contents once again:

More about Wilco, from Wikipedia, here. Wilco's The Whole Love, to be released September 27, 2011, can also be found in that overgrown, thicketed jungle  if you hack your way here. Seriously, bring your machete.


  1. Jayne, have I ever told you how much I love your Friday Night Frolics? Well, of course I have. But I also love that I'm off on Fridays, so I can be one of the first to comment! I love the music selection this week. And I smiled at the title. Sometimes, that's just how I feel.

  2. Love the Frolics and love also love Wilco...

  3. A jar with a heavy lid--gracious! There's a particular genre of too-complicated-to-be-love songs sung in falling minors that always confuse me as a woman. I'd be afraid to cuddle up to anyone this ambivalent, but I have to admire the sophistication. A cultivated taste, but clearly one with big long as my guy doesn't write one.

  4. Nessa- Isn't it such a thrill to be the first? I know when I'm not the first I get so caught up in other comments that I completely forget what I meant to write. But the first, ah. ;)

  5. Loree- Glad you're enjoying the Frolics. I think Wilco deserves a little attention, don't you? :)

  6. Nance- You know Tweedy suffers from chronic migraines? He has since he was just a boy.

    I can't remember exactly when my migraines began, but I was an adult who ordinarily managed pain pretty well. But the migraines, as you know, are horrible. I can't imagine suffering since childhood with these beasts! What it does to the mind! And soul! Makes it awful hard to keep depression in check.

    No, Tweedy's no teddy bear, but he makes some decent pain and angst filled music. ;)

  7. once again i found an artist like at the friday night frolics and coincidentally i met a sci fi character this week named stanley tweedle on lexx that i'm quite enjoying.

  8. Billy (yes, that's you BP)- Stanley is petulant, cowardly, short-sighted, quick-tempered, weak-willed, perverted and a perpetual under-achiever... (that's from Wiki). Sounds just like a guy a used to work with. But, unlike my former co-worker, Stanley "occasionally shows some backbone."

    There is something intriguing about irritating personalities, isn't there? Especially in an intergalactic dramedy. I may just have to turn the old box on for Lexx.

  9. woo-hoo, finally a FNF where i know the band! of course i'm from chicago, so i don't know if it counts. :)

  10. Good voice,touching music, and beautiful lyrics!
    ' I could base my double existence upon the cherry strands of your gold hair" - how romantic!

  11. Lovely. I remember my great Uncle Tupelo as well.

  12. Id- Oh, being from Chicago counts--very much so! ;)

  13. Jayne, a real shame about reading your blog is that it can't be collected in the pages of a book. At least until books become writing-and-musical media devices. Thank you so much for the Frolics series.

    Now that I've parsed and picked through Nance's comment, I see what she means about Tweedy's music (although -- maybe became of the innate guy-ness -- I'd not have come to the same understanding on my own). I've heard and liked Wilco's music before, but wow, that solo performance of "Open Your Mind" -- loved it!

    (Btw, I love that you've acquired a commenter who self-identifies as "id." Maybe that's just an abbreviation but I think every blog should have an id. (A little too much superego at mine, I think.))

  14. Duta- Duta- Those lyrics immediately make me think of Bob Dylan's influence on Tweedy's writing. And well, Dylan, he's been on my top 10 list since... since the very beginnings of my top 10 list, which was probably right around the junior high school years when listening to the radio became one of my favorite pastimes.
    I think I was the first in the family to buy a Dylan record. My parents had a healthy stock of jazz, big band and classical records, but not too much folk, I remember Pete Seeger, Joan Baez, Judy Collins, etc., but not Dylan as part of that catalog. Hmm, this makes me want to go back to the old colonial and dig out those ancient LPs. ;)

  15. Munk- Ha! Wish I had had an uncle Tupelo. I imagine he'd be quite a character. ;)

  16. JES- I wonder... electronic readers?? That'll be the day... well, there's always self-publishing... oh, that's right, that's what I do here. ;)

    The new song is quite beautiful, isn't it? And his performance, that guitar, the moment, I just love it, too. I've printed out the sheet music and I'd love to hear my son play it on his classical guitar.

    I wonder, also, what Freud would think about blogging. (Ha! Your comment made me laugh out loud.) Certainly there's an id, ego and superego to be found in every blog, no? Whether or not "id" is the id or the ego or the superego (I don't know, I think she may actually be the id--in a very good way!) I'm glad she's joined in on the conversation in this blog.

    Id? What say you? :)

  17. hahaha...i guess in my blogging i'm a little more id than in real life. it's more fun that way. :)

    lord of the flies was one of my favorite books as a teenager (and that book goes crazy with the id, ego, super ego allegories) and it just so happened that my initials were actually I.D., so ever since then i've kind of kept that little double meaning identity for myself. or triple meaning if you include the fact that it is an id (identification).

    (as a lord of the flies side note; when my kids aren't listening to me i like to tell them that they have to listen because i have the conch. it's a little inside joke with myself, and helps me care a little less that it takes them over 45 minutes to put their shoes on.)

    btw, i'm glad to be here as well! :)

  18. Jayne, I love coming here and being introduced to more wonderful music! It's become a part of my time;)
    Thank you!

  19. id- I loved that book, too! Those wild boys... fascinating stuff, yep, covers just about all of Freud's model of the psyche.

    I think "id" suits you well. A bit mysterious, you know?

    And your side note: Hahaha! I may have to borrow that one from you. ;)

  20. Leah- Aw, I'm so glad to know that the Frolics have become a part of your "me time." They're very much a part of mine, too! (I mean, you know, there is the research. I like the going-to-the-club-to-listen-to-the-musicians part of the research the best.) ;)

  21. Nice work J girl, on a very well played musician in my collection....loved Uncle Tupelo and Wilco took Tweedy's talents further down the road to songwriting brilliance...

  22. Thanks Dan! I had a feeling Tweedy would be included in your musical repertoire. It's been interesting watching the evolution of Tweedy's music.

    I'm looking forward to receiving Wilco's CD from the jungle. ;)