Jeff Tweedy must've had the Wilco song "Nothing'severgonnastand
inmyway (Again)" in his head when he decided that, with or without a label, fans deserved to hear his group's new material.
The entire 11-track follow-up to 1999's Summer Teeth, titled Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, was posted last week on Wilco's Web site and can be heard via streaming audio, though the album likely won't hit stores until early next year, according to Wilco's publicist.
The reason for the delay? Earlier this year the group was dropped by Reprise Records, the label that released its three previous albums. The band is shopping around for a new deal.
Yankee Hotel Foxtrot has a more solemn vibe than its predecessor, which transcended the group's alt-country associations with neat, guitar-guided pop songs. The new material is introspective and somber without being depressing.
"War on War," which Wilco will perform Friday on "Late Night With Conan O'Brien," begins with acoustic guitar but opens up to unnerving electronic impulses by song's end, while "I'm the Man Who Loves You" bops along a country road until staccato flourishes of guitar and horns provide a welcome detour.
Wilco's lineup has shifted some since their last effort. Drummer Ken Coomer was replaced in January by Glenn Kotche, and multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett quit the band in July, allowing Leroy Bach to fill his shoes. John Stirratt, however, remains as bassist.
The group is in the midst of a three-week string of dates, which began Friday. So far, Tweedy and company have been incorporating many new songs into their sets.
Wilco tour dates, according to their publicist:
- 9/26 - Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
- 9/27 - New York, NY @ Town Hall
- 9/28 - New York, NY @ Town Hall
- 9/29 - Philadelphia, PA @ Electric Factory
- 9/30 - Winooski, VT @ Higher Ground
- 10/2 - Boston, MA @ Avalon Ballroom
- 10/4 - Toronto, ON @ Phoenix Concert Theatre
- 10/5 - Detroit, MI @ Majestic Theatre
- 10/6 - St. Louis, MO @ The Pageant