☆ Wilco: Learning How to Die · Download by ☆ Greg Kot
☆ Wilco: Learning How to Die · Download by ☆ Greg Kot Wilco is one of the most important yet understated bands of our time This book is a great overview of frontman Jeff Tweedy s career, starting way back in his junior high days, coming up through Uncle Tupelo, Loose Fur, Wilco, etc etc You learn so much about Tweedy, from his favorite music to his lifetime struggles with migraines and depression to his personal philosophy about the creation of music Author Greg Kot s many hats as a journalist, Wilco fan, Chicagoan, and music critic all blend together to create a great narrative that is part history of the band, part making of the albums, and part rock critic description of the music Being extremely familiar with Wilco, this worked perfectly for me I m not sure how people who are looking for a typical band biography would handle this, as it references the music and even a documentary about the band I Am Trying To For the 3 4 days it took me to get through this, I found myself compelled to read Tracing the steps from the good ol Uncle Tupelo days to the baby steps of 2004 s A Ghost is Born, Kot gives a nice overview of the story up until that point That being said, so much has happened in the saga since its hard to leave off just when Tweedy went into rehab at the beginning of 2004 Hindsight being what it is, it s funny to see whether the band s lineup could ever match the Jay Bennett helmed Summerteeth crew Well today s Wilco with Nels Cline and Glenn Kotche are infinitely competent and putting out music just as good Its funny to see how many people continue to grown as Wilco release albums but eventually catch up 2 3 years down the line With the recent release of Sky Blue Sky, the majority of the press has been praising the merits of A Ghost i
I have heard stories that some of Kot s methods for getting interviews from people like Jay Farrar weren t exactly on the up and up he reportedly told Farrar he was writing a book on the early alt country scene instead of one about his ex bandmate s highly successful band Interesting also that Brian Henneman and even Jeff Tweedy himself were pretty down on Kot and the final product Still a very good book, though feels a tad bit padded towards the end The Warner Bros Yankee Hotel Foxtrot incident always comes off as interesting to Kot and other journalists than fans or even Tweedy If you ve seen the Sam Jones doc, there s not a lot new here in regards to that story, but Kot spends a good chunk of time on it anyway However, the stuff on Uncle Tupelo and the rough transition to Wilco is all gold, with lots of telling quotes about Tweedy s personality from Jay Farrar, Jay Okay, I m still sticking to my Jay Farrar is better guns, but this has helped me develop a respect for Wilco that was dubious at best before I got my hands on this bookthe history of Uncle Tupelo, and the story of the Mermaid Avenue sessions and Tweedy s subsequent falling out with Billy Bragg, leading to a split tour are just damn fascinating That said, the book has still done NOTHING to explain to me how one can assassin down the avenue It was great reading this for all of the history, but Greg Kot should stay away from writing books It might work for music reviews in the Chicago Tribune where he s the music writer , but his style gets seriously tired and trite sounding the you read. I still liked it. Also, my great uncle lives in the same little town Jeff Tweedy was born in Weird. People that know me will look at my 5 star rating of this book and say something close to, Of course he gave it 5 stars, he is a Wilco freak While yes that is true, I do LOVE WILCO, this book deserves the 5 stars for much than just that reason While Sam Jones film, I am Trying to Break Your Heart, shows Wilco during that now infamous time period of turmoil, Learning How to Die tells the musical story of Jeff Tweedy beginning just previous to his time in Uncle Tupelo, and ending with working on A Ghost is Born and his self addmission into a Chicago rehab facility 2003 04 For any person that LOVES Wilco, this book in my opinion is a MUST read It is the closest a fan can get to their story without having actually being a part of it. I am a Wilco fan so it was a 5 for me If you are not a Wilco or Uncle Tupelo fan, then a 3. Kot is a very good rock critic He knows his stuff I have heard him on his Sound Opinions podcast many times. This book is mostly a mini biography on Tweedy up to 2004 Kot covers Farrar and the Uncle Tupelo years in good detail He covers Tweedy s transition to Wilco Kot does a great job describing the recording of AM, Being There, Mermaid Ave. , Summerteeth and YHF but only briefly mentions A Ghost Is Born. Kot does a great job in describing the growth Tweedy s music goes through The evolution is impressive My experience was greatly enhanced by listening to the Uncle Tupelo and Wilco albums on Spotify while Kot described then. Lots of ink on band members including Bennett. I will say it is a must read for Tweedy fans Kot knows his music He just has to republish the book Extremely well written biography of the rock band Wilco up through the release of Sky Blue Sky It s a tale of a rising star who breaks away from his original band, Uncle Tupelo, to forge his own path The story includes the many band relationships that get sacrificed along the road to success, all in the name of art Many extremely talented musicians get forced out of the band as the bandleader and songwriter, Jeff Tweedy, pursues new musical horizons It s as if he s outgrown their usefulness, so he leaves them by the roadside as the caravan travels on In that respect it s a very interesting story about loyalty to one s bandmates v growth as an artist An underlying theme is the story of how the record industry changes as it moves into the internet age and deals with de regulation The Intimate Story Of One Of The Great American Bands Of Our Time, Creators Of The Controversial Masterpiece Yankee Hotel FoxtrotWhen Alt Country Heroes Turned Rock Iconoclasts Wilco Handed In Their Fourth Album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, To The Band S Label, Reprise, A Division Of Warner Brothers, Fans Looked Forward To The Release Of Another Challenging, Genre Bending Departure From Their Previous Work The Band Aimed To Build On Previous Sales And Critical Acclaim With Its Boldest And Most Ambitious Album Yet, But Was Instead Urged By Skittish Reprise Execs To Make The Record Radio Friendly When Wilco Wouldn T Give, They Found Themselves Without A Label Instead, They Used The Internet To Introduce The Album To Their Fans, And Eventually Sold The Record To Nonesuch, Another Division Of Warner Wilco Was Vindicated When The Album Debuted At No On The Billboard Charts And Posted The Band S Strongest Sales To Date Wilco Learning How To Die Traces The Band S Story To Its Deepest Origins In Southern Illinois, Where Jeff Tweedy Began Growing Into One Of The Best Songwriters Of His Generation As We Witness How His Music Grew From Its Punk And Alt Country Origins, Some Of The Key Issues And Questions In Our Culture Are Addressed How Is Music Of Substance Created While The Gulf Between Art And Commerce Widens In The Corporate Consolidation Era How Does The Music Industry Make Or Break A Hit How Do Working Musicians Reconcile The Rewards Of Artistic Risk With The Toll It Exacts On Their Personal Life This Book Was Written With The Cooperation Of Wilco Band Members Past And Present It Is Also Fully Up To Date, Covering The Latest Changes In Personnel And The Imminent Release Of The Band S Fifth Album, A Ghost Is Born, Sure To Be One Of The Most Talked About Albums Of This is an interesting overview of Jeff Tweedy s two major bands, Uncle Tupelo and Wilco I particularly liked the overview of Uncle Tupelo s early days, which I didn t know much about Tweedy comes across as a bit of a dreamer, who is constantly following his personal muse, no matter what happens to those around him. There s not much in terms of tell all journalism here, but Kot certainly did his homework, and seems to have interviewed just about everyone involved in Tweedy s musical career While it s nowhere near as well rounded as, say, PLEASE KILL ME, that really wasn t the point of the book It focuses strictly on Tweedy, warts and all.