JEFF TWEEDY, 39, is the lyricist, lead singer and guitarist of the Chicago rock band Wilco. In the last decade, as it has shifted from alt-country to rock, Wilco has built a devoted fan base. This spring its sixth studio album, “Sky Blue Sky” (Nonesuch), had a strong debut, ranking No. 4 on the Billboard charts the week of its release. Mr. Tweedy recently took a brief break from touring Europe, the West Coast and the Midwest to talk to Winter Miller. “I’m probably the only person that wanted to be a rock critic and failed at it and started a band,” he said. As he coasted along Montrose Avenue in Chicago, Mr. Tweedy shared what he’s been listening to and why.
“Almost everything about Dr. Dog [pictured below performing Sunday at the WXPN XPoNential Music Fest] at and the way they sound draws on my favorite stuff on earth. They’ve got elements of the Band, the Beatles, the Beach Boys — all the bands that begin with B. This record sounds really mature and accomplished. I was astonished when I heard ‘We All Belong’ (Park the Van). They’re very irreverent, but they’ve really studied their stuff. They’re a working band. They sing out, they sing with gusto, which isn’t something that I hear a lot these days, especially in younger bands. They sound like real singers, people that really love to sing, as opposed to people that you kind of wonder why they’re singing. Maybe I fall into that category sometimes. There’s a certain drunkenness to their music that I usually find unappealing in other bands, but it’s contagious the way they do it.”
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[Photo by AMY Z. QUINN]