Synopses & Reviews
This is a book about Wilco and the pictorial, literary, and musical world it conjures up on record and in performance. Created in collaboration with Jeff Tweedy, Wilco, and Tony Margherita, this primarily visual book explores what Wilco does, how it does it, and where it all comes together. The band narrates the book in the form of long captions accompanying a variety of images: a Korean postcard, a Stratocaster, a backstage practice session, and so on. Along the way, central topics such as instruments, touring, and recording are covered both in general (i.e., what happens, physically, when a guitar string breaks) and specific to Wilco.
Just as the band assembles its disparate talents and inspirations to make music, this book coheres in the end to reveal a 40 minute CD of original, unreleased songs. Just as Wilco experiments with music by turning convention on its head, this book is an utterly new take on the old genre of the rock 'n' roll book. The Wilco Book will look and read like a Wilco record sounds; it's a translation of the band's sensibility from sound into print.
Track listing of the 40-minute CD of original, unreleased songs: Pure Bug Beauty / This Is New / Diamond Claw / This Is New (The Explanation) / What Good Am I / Here Comes Everybody / Hummingbird (Soma version) / The High Heat / Doubt / Barnyard Pimp / Rottnest / Hamami
"In case fans of alt-country turned art-rock band Wilco didn't get enough pertinent reading material this year including front man Jeff Tweedy's poetry collection, Adult Head, and rock critic Greg Kot's affectionate band bio, Wilco: Learning How to Die there's this lavishly designed and gorgeously printed collaboration between band members and the New York design company PictureBox. Meant to capture the soulful, rockin', poetically inscrutable essence of Wilco's art, it collects essays, drawings and random comments by Wilco members, organized by their collective interests, including 'The Loft' where they rehearse, 'The Instruments' they use and the process of 'Making a Record.' Accompanied by a CD of unreleased material and generously illustrated with beautiful color photographs by Michael Schmelling, it also features Henry Miller's classic essay on creativity, 'The Angel Is My Watermark'; an often tortured look at five Wilco songs by Rick Moody; and a section on how the band's soundman prepares for a live concert that gives a fascinating look at the workday of professional musicians. While the book's beauty can't mask its lack of context biographical or musical for anyone with a casual interest in the band, there are plenty of hardcore fans out there who'll find it required reading." Publishers Weekly (Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information, Inc.)
To mirror their experimental style of music, indie band Wilco has created a completely new kind of rock 'n roll book that looks and reads the way their records sound. Accompanying Jeff Tweedy and Tony Margherita's writings is an essay by Rick Moody, artwork by Fred Tomaselli, and photographs by Michael Schmelling. Includes a CD with original, unreleased songs. 0-9713670-3-5$29.95 / DAP / Distributed Arts Publishing