Wilco is a Chicago-based rock band, formed in 1994, that performs in the genres of alternative, folk and experimental rock. When alternative country band called Uncle Tupelo was left incomplete after vocalist Jay Farrar left, its remaining members founded a new band named Wilco. The group’s lineup has undergone frequent change, so that the only original standing members include John Stirratt as the bassist, and Jeff Tweedy as the vocalist. Since 2004, the lineup comprises of Nels Cline as the guitarist, Pat Sansone as a multi-instrumentalist, Glenn Kotche as the drummer and Mikael Jorgensen as another multi-instrumentalist. The band’s previous lineup includes the likes of Leroy Bach, Ken Coomer, Bob Egan, Jay Bennett and Max Johnson. The band has published a live album, eight studio offerings and some collaborative works including one with American rock band The Minus 5, and two with alternative rock performer Billy Bragg. Wilco tickets are popular particularly among younger crowds who enjoy its experimental rock techniques.
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Farrar and Tweedy, who were already playing for Uncle Tupelo, sought to quickly reestablish themselves by forming a new band soon after their previous one dissolved. The new group considered to continue making music under the name of Uncle Tupelo, but eventually decided to being called Wilco. Their debut album was thought to be form the pure country rock style, and climbed up to the twenty-seventh spot on Billboard charts, Heatseekers. The album was not considered to be a success since it did not receive any significant response commercially or critically. Soon the band was joined by Jay Bennett whose multi-instrumental skills provided another guitar player and a keyboardist, which added greatly to the next albums.
Foxtrot is Wilco’s most successful studio album so far, and has sold more than six hundred and seventy thousand copies all over the globe, and hit the thirteenth spot on Billboard 200. It has garnered much critical acclaim topping a critics’ poll of Pazz & Jop in 2002, and being named by Q Magazine in its list of hundred best albums. The band’s fifth studio offering released in 2004, titled A Ghost Is Born, which contained tracks that were recorded with the Pro Tools prior to their live performances. The song titled Less Than You Think consisted of fifteen minutes of pure instrumentals with synthesizers and electronic noises in the background. This album took the thirteenth place in Pazz & Jop’s poll of 2004, and won the group two Grammy Awards in the category of Best Recording Package and Best Alternative Music Album. In 2011, the group released its sixth album called The Whole Love, featuring tracks such as I Might as its first single, and presenting the same song as a Nick Lowe cover of his hit I Love MY Label. The song was presented in the Solid Sound Festival held in MassMoca.
Wilco has credited several musical acts and artists such as Bill Fay for influencing their style, while they have served as an inspiration to many modern rock groups. Initially, the group continued creating the kind of sound in Uncle Tupelo’s first ever album titled A.M. released in 1995. Since then the group has assimilated rock characteristics that lean more towards the experimental style, with classic pop and alternative rock elements. Wilco gained more prominence since the release of their fourth album in 2002 titled Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, and the issues cropped about it. The album was initially made with Reprise Records that rejected it after the recording sessions had already been completed, and altogether dismissed the band from the label. However, as per the deal, Reprise handed the band the album’s rights for free. Wilco streamed the album on its website following which, in 2002 it was sold to Nonesuch Records.
Wilco has received several Grammy nominations through 1999 to 2012, mostly in the categories of best rock album. In 2003, the group won a Wired Rave Award, following which it was nominated for Shortlist Music Prize twice, in 2004 and 2007. Get those Wilco tickets and enjoy a live performance by the legendary rock sound innovators.
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