LIVE: Tweedy @ the Calvin Theatre, 9/27/14

October 2nd, 2014, 2:00 pm by Greg

Review by Ross Marvin

Sure, there’s a certain gimmick to forming a band with your kid. This was true of Shirley Patridge and Keith. It was true of Frank Zappa and Moon Unit. It is true of Jeff and Spencer Tweedy. No coincidence, maybe, that critics of Tweedy and Wilco have consistently labeled the Chicago band as the poster boys of Dad Rock — a mysteriously less cool, grayer shade of hipster rock that comes with a side of perplexing lyrical poetry, experimental bleeps, microbrews and vegan food trucks.

While anyone who has attended the quasi-annual Solid Sound Festival that Wilco hosted from 2010 to 2013 at MASS MoCA (and coming again in June, 2015) sees the truth in my depiction above, fans who scratch a little deeper know how shallow it is to think such a description adequately sums up Jeff Tweedy’s now immense and incontrovertibly impressive songwriting catalog.

Last Saturday night at Northampton’s Calvin Theatre, the band was “Tweedy” in name only. This was a Jeff Tweedy show, one that captured the broad swath of his career from alt-country founder in Uncle Tupelo, to the many stages of Wilco (which go something like Americana, lush-pop, experimental pop, indie supergroup), to his strong new material, in which his 18-year-old son plays the role of musical foil and unquestioning acolyte.

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Live: Day Three of the Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, 8/15/10

August 19th, 2010, 10:55 am by Greg

Deep Blue Organ Trio (photo by Andy Gregory)

Deep Blue Organ Trio (photo by Andy Gregory)

The third and final day of Wilco’s highly civilized and family-friendly music festival began with the soothing, Sunday-morning-coming-down sounds of Chicago’s jazzy Deep Blue Organ Trio wafting over the MASS MoCA courtyard (that is, if you skipped the opening yoga for the less healthy, but tasty Bloody Marys and Mimosas offered up by the Gramercy Bistro on museum grounds).

Most write-ups of the Wilco-curated fest are mentioning the event’s many logistical perks: onsite bar and restaurant, indoor bathrooms, free parking, punctual start times, good coffee, reasonably priced beer and varied ethnic food. That’s because they are a rarity at such things, unfortunately, and made the three-day experience of non-stop music more manageable—and enjoyable.

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Live: Day Two of Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, 8/14/10

August 18th, 2010, 10:10 am by Greg

Wilco's John Stirratt

Wilco's John Stirratt

RANDOM PATTER #1: “Thanks for letting us take over your town…” – Jeff Tweedy, taking a break from Wilco’s monstrous closing set

LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION: MASS MoCA’s no stranger to long-form musical happenings – witness the annual weirdness that is Bang on a Can Marathon. But rather than put the brilliant weirdness that was Solid Sound in one suffocating space, Wilco (officially known as the festival’s “curators”) split most of the acts between two stages in the museum’s interior courtyards with a larger third stage for the headliners in nearby “Joe’s Field.” This arrangement meant the afternoon entertainment was almost non-stop, with a splendid level of variation that stretched from the nouveau punk of all-boy-band Brenda to the Old School political theater of Vermont’s legendary Bread & Puppet Theater.

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Beatles or Stones?: Jeff Tweedy of Wilco

August 10th, 2010, 11:00 am by Greg

Jeff Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy performing at Dutchess Statium, July, 2009 (photo by Matt Mac Haffie)

“Well, I’d have to say that I’m really happy I don’t have to make that choice because they both exist, but I’ve definitely listened to a lot more Beatles in my life. I’m just much more intrigued by the crazy career arc of that brief period that they were together. I think that’s the template for an amazingly creative band of really talented people.

“I love the Stones, and I know they embody a lot about rock and roll that I admire. They also embody a lot of destructive behavior that I don’t admire. And I don’t think it’s done a lot of good for a lot of people to emulate. I would rather emulate the creative force of the Beatles than the nihilistic debauchery of the Rolling Stones.”

Jeff Tweedy will be performing solo – as well as with his band Wilco – this weekend at the three-day Solid Sound Festival at MASS MoCA in North Adams. Wilco also curated the fest, which will run from Friday-Sunday. All-weekend tickets are $99.50; no single-day tickets will be sold.

Festival Fever: The Solid Sound Festival @ MASS MoCA, 8/13-15/10

August 9th, 2010, 3:00 pm by Greg

Well, it’s almost here.

The Solid Sound Festival – as curated by Jeff Tweedy and his band Wilco – takes over the massive MASS MoCA in North Adams this weekend.

The three-day fest (that’s Friday-Sunday) will feature the only east coast performance by Wilco this summer, as well as performances by Tweedy and a whole bunch of other Wilco off-shoot ensembles. In addition, there will be performances by numerous other bands, musicians, comedians – all hand-picked by the Wilco members.

Want more? Sure… How about movies, DJs, the Bread & Puppet Theater, an exhibit of Wilco poster art and a whole mess o’ other stuff to keep you entertained and enlightened throughout the three-day marathon of music, art and more.

Single-day tix will not be sold, but tix are just $99.50 for the whole weekend of festivities, so you’ll likely get more than your money’s worth even if you just attend on the Big Day – Saturday.

Here’s the complete daily schedule for the entire fest:

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