Can’t stop smiling pt. 2
If you were lucky enough to be at this weekend’s Wilco-curated Solid Sound Festival you had the opportunity to get first dibs on the band’s new single “I Might” with their cover of Nick Lowe’s “I Love My Label” as the B-side. The single won’t officially be available for purchase until July 19 and their new album, The Whole Love, is due in September.
Personally, I’m loving this new song with its prominent fuzzy bass and crunchy guitar solo. If this is what ‘Dad Rock’ sounds like then sign me up. More, please!
Super personal so skip it if you’re like me and can’t deal with feelings.
Last week was a total asskicker. It was one of those weeks that completely drains and exhausts and I couldn’t reach for a white flag to wave in defeat fast enough. It was a week where I was ready to just quit. The bright spot was seeing the following entry in my calendar for Friday: “Jeff Tweedy @ Vic – 7.30pm – The Naughty Librarian”. This kept me going through one of the most trying weeks I’ve ever had and through the exhaustion and the “leave-me-the-fuck-alone” of it all.
My love affair with all things Jeff Tweedy began post-high school in the early to mid-aughts when I was just another stupid kid trying to move out of my parents’ house, dating a guy I had absolutely no business dating and just sorting my way through the world and finding my place in it. I felt a strong attraction to Wilco’s music but especially to the introspective lyrics of a man who, like me, suffered from debilitating migraines, depression and anxiety. Here was a man living with an awful pain that often went misunderstood and many people didn’t believe he even had. He was my kind.
So when I tell you that what happened Friday night was nothing short of magical I hope you believe I’m not just giving in to my predilection for hyperbole.
Tweedy was playing two nights at The Vic with proceeds of ticket sales benefiting The Chicago Lighthouse, a charity he told the audience had done great things for his father-in-law who is blind (these concerts were organized by his wife Susie.) Had The Naughty Librarian and I known that the first 30 people waiting outside in line would be asked for requests we would have dropped everything and camped out all day in the rain because we are at that level of hardcore bitch when it comes to boys with guitars who make us swoon.
It was a gorgeous show with Tweedy center stage flanked by about half a dozen guitars. Simple and perfect. And! And it was damn fun and funny. He playfully poked fun at some of the requests and we were close enough to catch all sorts of facial expressions we wouldn’t have caught sitting further back or upstairs. Such a charmer…that one – had you been at The Vic you would have seen my heart explode out of my chest with love and gratitude.
I meant to write a proper review of the show and talk about the set list and mention my disappointment that no one requested Muzzle of Bees because I would have asked for it because I remember the first time I heard it and the chills I felt but that’s not really the kind of mood I’m in. I just wanted to write and say that Friday night with Jeff Tweedy was exactly what I needed. How do you thank someone you’ve never met for helping you through many a teary-eyed night alone? How do you thank someone you’ve never met (and will probably never read this) for being so open about struggles with anxiety and depression because just knowing that someone else out there experiences similar waves in mood has made your own experience a little less lonely and isolating? And trust, I’m not the type to put celebrities on a pedestal or claim them to be role models of any kind. Friday night was exactly what I needed because it reminded me of why after a long and full week at work I still muster up the energy to leave my comfortable couch and daughter and husband and spend money and time with an artist or band. Because of the way it makes me feel. Because it makes me feel. Because for a couple hours you can leave all the bullshit of your crappy week behind and lose yourself in music and it’s ok. Everything is going to be ok. Friday night was exactly what I needed and it took Jeff Tweedy on a stage flanked by half a dozen or so guitars to make it ok.
It has been reported (everywhere) that Wilco are hunkered down in their Lakeview loft recording a new album but that hasn’t stopped Jeff Tweedy from taking time out for a mini solo acoustic tour of sorts where he has been unveiling a bunch of new songs like the gorgeous and romantic “Open Your Mind” which he recently debuted in Canada. I’ll be curious to see if these new songs end up on the Wilco album. I’m writing this because I realized that Tweedy stops by The Vic this weekend for two benefit shows. You can expect to see yours truly and The Naughty Librarian® swooning out of control. (I’ll be the fool that can’t put her camera away – so don’t bump me or get in my way!)