Aug 252011

They Say It’s Your Birthday celebrates an artist’s special day with other people singing his or her songs. Let others do the work for a while. Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy – born 44 years ago today in Belleville, Illinois. Through his work with Uncle Tupelo and Wilco, Tweedy has laid claim to being this generation’s Woody Guthrie or Neil Young. Wait a minute… Jeff Tweedy is perhaps this generation’s Alex Chilton or John Lennon or even Hank Williams, Sr. You can see the problem in trying to describe a chameleon like Tweedy. It’s why Wilco Nation anxiously awaits each new release; never knowing where Tweedy and the band will take them, but always thoroughly enjoying the journey. That journey continues in a month when Wilco releases The Whole Love, their eighth studio album. Continue reading »

Aug 302010

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

If you know Wilco’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, this next one might take some getting used to. “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” of course opened the album, signaling the strange new experimental direction that got the band kicked off the label. The seven-minute alt-country-meets-ambient song served as the title for a famous documentary about a band coming apart at the seams. To many Wilco fans the song holds a special place in the cannon.

Try to forget all that. It will only impair your ability to enjoy this cover. Few songs seem less appropriate to for a Stax soul conversion, but that’s just what J.C. Brooks and the Uptown Sound have done. With a bassline reminiscent of Stevie Wonder’s “Uptight (Everything’s Alright),” the songs blasts forward with horns ablaze and Brooks busting out his best James Brown impression. Is it forced? Sure. But it’s also a heck of a lot of fun. Continue reading »