With 15 songs sprawled across 64 minutes, it's well worth the wait. Recorded both in Spain and Minneapolis, the disc features songs written by Soul Asylum's Dan Murphy and three Jayhawks — Gary Louris, Marc Perlman and Kraig Johnson — along with contributions from the group's Chicago correspondent, Jeff Tweedy (probably the most famous of the bunch now, thanks to Wilco's rise to worldwide acclaim).
Other guests include drummers Jody Stephens (Big Star) and Linda Pitmon (Zuzu's Petals, Steve Wynn). Paco Loco, a Spanish producer known for his work with Josh Rouse, and Polara's Ed Ackerson produced, with Loco's wife, Muni, kicking in some sweet vocals.
The group has aired some of the album's tracks in recent live shows, including "5-22-02" (sunny, yet wistful pop), "Beautiful Mind" (a noisy, sprawling epic), "You Make It Easy" (the piano-led album opener) and "Corvette," a song originally written by Perlman for a car commercial that, it should be noted, wouldn't sound out of place on an old Cars album.
No official word yet on a full Golden Smog tour, although a local gig and a handful of other shows are likely. Those with some extra frequent-flier miles may want to check out Louris' 10-date solo tour of Spain, kicking off March 23.
Tweedy fans, meanwhile, have plenty of other new stuff to keep them occupied until July. He joins the Seattle-based Minus 5 for the band's new self-titled disc (aka "The Gun Album"). This time around, leaders Scott McCaughey and Peter Buck enlisted more than a dozen other guests, including the Decemberists' Colin Meloy, the Posies' Ken Stringfellow and John Wesley Harding.
Tweedy's other side project, Loose Fur, returns with its second disc March 21. Dubbed "Born Again in the USA," it again pairs Tweedy with Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche and alt-rock producer Jim O'Rourke for a disc that's more song-oriented than the band's 2003 debut. Don't believe Tweedy's recent claim, though, that the disc is prog rock — even if the liner notes feature some of the ugliest band portraits you've ever seen.
Finally, Wilco's spring tour doesn't have a local date yet, but tickets are still available fo
Well. it didn't all copy, but that last part was just about a show in Iowa. So, Yay!!! I can't wait!!