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14 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Wilco

Austin Nelson

Wilco are just one of those bands that never seem to slow down when it comes to making new music (and we certainly don’t want them to). The Chicago-based alt-country rockers, fronted by Jeff Tweedy, have eight studio albums under their belt, plus a couple of collaboration albums with Billy Bragg and plenty of side projects to boot. Their 2002 album ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot’ put them on the front lines of the indie rock scene, although their three prior albums had already been getting plenty of attention.

With two Grammys earned for their 2004 album, ‘A Ghost Is Born’ — and Tweedy recently making his way onto prime time television — Wilco always seem to be doing something. Since Wilco are one of the most influential alt-country bands of our time, we know you know a lot about the band. But, you might be surprised by these 14 Facts You Probably Didn’t Know About Wilco:


1

You already know Jeff Tweedy was a founding member of Uncle Tupelo, but did you know three other original Wilco members played with the alt-country pioneers in the early ’90s, too?

 

 

 
Legacy Recordings
Legacy Recordings

2

Wilco’s name comes from the abbreviated version of the army radio command ‘Will Comply,’ which Jeff Tweedy felt was ironic.

 

 

 

3

Wilco recorded their third album, ‘Summerteeth,’ in Willie Nelson’s studio in Spicewood, Texas.

 

 

 

4

Their most celebrated album, ‘Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,’ was dangerously close to never being released. Their label at the time, Reprise Records, refused to release it. The band left the label and streamed it for free online — later officially releasing it and selling half a million copies.

 

 

 
'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot'

5

Jeff Tweedy, drummer Glenn Kotche and collaborator Jim O’Rourke are in a Wilco-like side project called Loose Fur.

 

 

 

6

Wilco have been featured in two documentaries. 2002’s ‘I Am Trying To Break Your Heart’ by Sam Jones depicts Wilco’s creation of the album ‘Yankee Foxtrot Hotel’ and ‘Man in the Sand’ documents Wilco and Billy Bragg’s creation of the 1997 album, ‘Mermaid Avenue’

 

 

 

7

Wilco’s ‘Walken,’ from ‘Sky Blue Sky,’ was featured in a 2007 Volkswagen commercial.

 

 

 

8

Wilco have done several collaborations with Feist, including their first-ever recorded duet on ‘You and I.’ Wilco first met Feist at the 50th Grammy Awards.

 

 

 

9

Wilco host their own annual music and arts festival in the northeast called Solid Sound Festival.

 

 

 

10

Wilco drummer, Glenn Kotche, is the guy on the Delta Faucet sink commercial.

 

 

 

11

The original cartoonists for the show ‘Popeye’ came out of retirement 30 years later to hand-draw Wilco’s ‘Dawned On Me’ music video.

 

 

 

12

Oh, and Kotche is a classical composer and has released four solo albums.

 

 

 
Matthew Eisman, Getty Images
Matthew Eisman, Getty Images

13

Jeff Tweedy is also a budding television star as of late, appearing on both ‘Parks and Recreation’ and ‘Portlandia’

 

 

 
Since Wilco are one of the most influential alt-country bands of our time, we know you know a lot about the band. But, you might be surprised by some of these discreet facts about them!

14

It’s common knowledge that Jeff Tweedy’s son, Spencer, is featured on his new solo album, ‘Sukierae.’ Spencer also drummed on the Tweedy-produced ‘One True Vine’ by legendary gospel singer Mavis Staples.

 

 

 

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