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3 Burnside Music- Rock Biography

Wilco: Learning How to Die

by

Wilco: Learning How to Die Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The intimate story of one of the great American bands of our time, creators of the controversial masterpiece Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

When 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 more "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. 13 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 two-CD release, A Ghost Is Born, sure to be one of the most talked-about albums of 2004.

Review:

"Chicago Tribune writer Kot deftly explores the career, music and cult phenomenon of the '90s rootsy alt-country rock band Wilco. The Chicago-based Wilco has earned a loyal, passionate underground following through heavy touring and the honest, emotionally charged songwriting of front man Jeff Tweedy, who originally played bass in Uncle Tupelo. Despite Wilco's critical success and growing fan base, the histrionics of Tweedy's early career endured, culminating with the painful breakdown of communication between Tweedy and Wilco band mate Jay Bennett, which led to Bennett's firing and the bizarre circumstances surrounding the release of Yankee Foxtrot Hotel, in 2002. Unsatisfied with what it saw as an indulgent, hitless effort, Warner Bros.' subsidiary Reprise rejected the record upon delivery. Rather than re-record a more radio-friendly version, Wilco gave the record away on the Internet. That strategy led to a deal with another Warner Bros. subsidiary, Nonesuch, which released the record and sold over 400,000 copies, the band's biggest commercial success to date. Well researched and filled with primary interviews, Kot's book is probing and insightful. In chronicling Wilco, Kot also lays bare the stresses of the musician's life, the vagaries of the business, and the very essence of what makes for good music and a vibrant music scene. Wilco fans will love this book, but Kot's excellent work deserves an even wider audience. Agent, David Dunton. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"[B]risk and entertaining....Tweedy is worth [the attention], for his failures as much as his successes....Greg Kot is the best sort of music writer: a modest one, who actually does reporting....[He] can make the Wilco sound come alive in words." Joe Klein, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Kot is a true believer here, cleaving this American tale straight down the middle, 'cause anything less topples into pretty and petty mystique, and he doesn't play that game, nor should he...kudos to Tweedy for letting him peek." Billy Corgan, former lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins

Review:

"With vivid detail and sharp critical analysis, Greg Kot captures the inner workings — the ambition and confusion, the pressures both internal and external, and ultimately the creative triumph — of a great American band." Alan Light, Editor-in-Chief, Tracks magazine

Review:

"Biographies of living artists are not typically associated with investigative research, but this is an exhaustive masterwork. The author interviews countless sources (many no longer linked to the band, and others whose pain reveals they wish they still were) in getting tough stories and complete perspectives, and doesn't spare anyone's feelings in the process. While his admiration of Tweedy is obvious, Kot exposes the singer's contradictions and demons with unflinching honesty. Recollections of concerts and descriptive accounts of how each Wilco album was recorded and mixed (including its latest, A Ghost is Born) provide fascinating insight. The articulate and poetic descriptions of music and concise, narrative prose are the icing on a rich layered cake — a must read for Wilco fans and anyone interested in the corruption and lack of values ruling today's music industry. If you didn't care before, you will now." Bob Gendron, music editor, The Absolute Sound

Synopsis:

This story of a rock band fighting to maintain its artistic integrity is not just about a David-and-Goliath struggle against corporate labels, it is also a compelling, intimate look at making music and the difficult but wonderful collaborative process of being in a band.

Synopsis:

The intimate story of one of the great American bands of our time, creators of the controversial masterpiece Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

When alt-country heroes-turned-rock-iconoclasts Wilco handed in their fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, to the bands 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 more “radio friendly.” When Wilco wouldnt 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. 13 on the Billboard charts and posted the bands strongest sales to date.

Wilco: Learning How to Die traces the bands 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 bands fifth album, A Ghost Is Born, sure to be one of the most talked-about albums of 2004.

Synopsis:

By now the story has become music-industry lore--part cautionary tale, part barometer of the times. When alt-country-cum-experimental rock indie heroes Wilco turned in their 4th album (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) to its label, Reprise, a division of Warner, fans looked forward to the release of another challenging, genre-bending departure from their previous work. The band hoped to build on their previous, modest sales and critical acclaim but was instead asked to compromise its artistic integrity for what the Reprise record execs promised would be "radio-friendly" success — and higher record sales. When Wilco wouldn't give, they found themselves without a label. The ultimate irony? Nonesuch, another division of Warner, bought the record for three times the money and the album debuted at 13 on the Billboard charts, posting its strongest sales to date.

Already the subject of I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, a music documentary released to glowing reviews at the L.A. Film Festival, Wilco is the band that critics have called both "the greatest band you've never heard" and "the greatest band of its generation." But its reputation is growing. Since the band's humble inception in southern Illinois over ten years ago, it has built a national following of underground followers—more reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations, the indie club scene, and free internet downloads. But their story is not just one of the David-and-Goliath struggle against corporate influence on musicians, it is also a compelling, intimate look at making music and the difficult but wonderful collaborative process of being in a band.

About the Author

An award-winning author and influential music critic for the Chicago Tribune, Greg Kot is credited with bringing multiple Chicago acts—including Wilco and Liz Phair—into the national spotlight. Kot also contributes to a wide array of national magazines, including Rolling Stone, Vibe, Blender, Request, and Details, while co-hosting the only rock talk show in the world, on WXRT/FM.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780767915588
Author:
Kot, Greg
Publisher:
Broadway Books
Subject:
Rock
Subject:
Genres & Styles - Rock
Subject:
Rock groups
Subject:
Illinois
Subject:
Wilco (Musical group)
Subject:
Rock groups - Illinois
Subject:
Music-Rock History
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
June 1, 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
9.21x6.20x.60 in. .61 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock
Arts and Entertainment » Music » Genres and Styles » Rock » Biographies
Biography » Composers and Musicians
Health and Self-Help » Self-Help » General
Science and Mathematics » Mathematics » General

Wilco: Learning How to Die Used Trade Paper
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$9.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Broadway Books - English 9780767915588 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Chicago Tribune writer Kot deftly explores the career, music and cult phenomenon of the '90s rootsy alt-country rock band Wilco. The Chicago-based Wilco has earned a loyal, passionate underground following through heavy touring and the honest, emotionally charged songwriting of front man Jeff Tweedy, who originally played bass in Uncle Tupelo. Despite Wilco's critical success and growing fan base, the histrionics of Tweedy's early career endured, culminating with the painful breakdown of communication between Tweedy and Wilco band mate Jay Bennett, which led to Bennett's firing and the bizarre circumstances surrounding the release of Yankee Foxtrot Hotel, in 2002. Unsatisfied with what it saw as an indulgent, hitless effort, Warner Bros.' subsidiary Reprise rejected the record upon delivery. Rather than re-record a more radio-friendly version, Wilco gave the record away on the Internet. That strategy led to a deal with another Warner Bros. subsidiary, Nonesuch, which released the record and sold over 400,000 copies, the band's biggest commercial success to date. Well researched and filled with primary interviews, Kot's book is probing and insightful. In chronicling Wilco, Kot also lays bare the stresses of the musician's life, the vagaries of the business, and the very essence of what makes for good music and a vibrant music scene. Wilco fans will love this book, but Kot's excellent work deserves an even wider audience. Agent, David Dunton. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "[B]risk and entertaining....Tweedy is worth [the attention], for his failures as much as his successes....Greg Kot is the best sort of music writer: a modest one, who actually does reporting....[He] can make the Wilco sound come alive in words."
"Review" by , "Kot is a true believer here, cleaving this American tale straight down the middle, 'cause anything less topples into pretty and petty mystique, and he doesn't play that game, nor should he...kudos to Tweedy for letting him peek."
"Review" by , "With vivid detail and sharp critical analysis, Greg Kot captures the inner workings — the ambition and confusion, the pressures both internal and external, and ultimately the creative triumph — of a great American band."
"Review" by , "Biographies of living artists are not typically associated with investigative research, but this is an exhaustive masterwork. The author interviews countless sources (many no longer linked to the band, and others whose pain reveals they wish they still were) in getting tough stories and complete perspectives, and doesn't spare anyone's feelings in the process. While his admiration of Tweedy is obvious, Kot exposes the singer's contradictions and demons with unflinching honesty. Recollections of concerts and descriptive accounts of how each Wilco album was recorded and mixed (including its latest, A Ghost is Born) provide fascinating insight. The articulate and poetic descriptions of music and concise, narrative prose are the icing on a rich layered cake — a must read for Wilco fans and anyone interested in the corruption and lack of values ruling today's music industry. If you didn't care before, you will now."
"Synopsis" by , This story of a rock band fighting to maintain its artistic integrity is not just about a David-and-Goliath struggle against corporate labels, it is also a compelling, intimate look at making music and the difficult but wonderful collaborative process of being in a band.
"Synopsis" by , The intimate story of one of the great American bands of our time, creators of the controversial masterpiece Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

When alt-country heroes-turned-rock-iconoclasts Wilco handed in their fourth album, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, to the bands 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 more “radio friendly.” When Wilco wouldnt 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. 13 on the Billboard charts and posted the bands strongest sales to date.

Wilco: Learning How to Die traces the bands 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 bands fifth album, A Ghost Is Born, sure to be one of the most talked-about albums of 2004.

"Synopsis" by , By now the story has become music-industry lore--part cautionary tale, part barometer of the times. When alt-country-cum-experimental rock indie heroes Wilco turned in their 4th album (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) to its label, Reprise, a division of Warner, fans looked forward to the release of another challenging, genre-bending departure from their previous work. The band hoped to build on their previous, modest sales and critical acclaim but was instead asked to compromise its artistic integrity for what the Reprise record execs promised would be "radio-friendly" success — and higher record sales. When Wilco wouldn't give, they found themselves without a label. The ultimate irony? Nonesuch, another division of Warner, bought the record for three times the money and the album debuted at 13 on the Billboard charts, posting its strongest sales to date.

Already the subject of I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, a music documentary released to glowing reviews at the L.A. Film Festival, Wilco is the band that critics have called both "the greatest band you've never heard" and "the greatest band of its generation." But its reputation is growing. Since the band's humble inception in southern Illinois over ten years ago, it has built a national following of underground followers—more reliant on word-of-mouth recommendations, the indie club scene, and free internet downloads. But their story is not just one of the David-and-Goliath struggle against corporate influence on musicians, it is also a compelling, intimate look at making music and the difficult but wonderful collaborative process of being in a band.

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