Another Wilco Book On The Way — But This One Comes With An Album

'The Wilco Book' includes 12-song CD of unreleased material.

Wilco seem to be starting up their own literacy encouragement program.

The group already has two books on the shelves — singer Jeff Tweedy's poetry book, "Adult Head," and Greg Kot's history of the band, "Wilco: Learning How to Die" — and in October, the group will release "The Wilco Book." A collection of photos, essays, paintings and other visual detritus, the 160-page tome will also include an exclusive 40-minute CD of previously unreleased material. A detailed annotation of the songs' musical and ideological origins, written by Wilco keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen, will be provided in the back of the book.

Culled from the sessions for the band's latest album, A Ghost Is Born, (see "Wilco: Ghost Stories"), the untitled 12-song disc highlights the more adventurous and avant-garde side of the group. In fact, much of the material came from in-studio exercises the band used to stretch its creative muscles.

"The main thing we did in the studio that shaped [A Ghost Is Born] was disciplining [ourselves] to not care at all," Tweedy said. "We'd play through whole wheels of improvisation; we'd call them 'fundamentals.' We'd record an entire 30-minute reel in one sitting and make a record in the time it would take to listen to it."

Two of the tracks, "Hummingbird" and "Pure Bug Beauty," are alternate versions of Ghost songs — though the latter is only faintly recognizable as the inchoate version of "Company In My Back" — while the other 10 songs range from austere, demo-like tracks ("What Good Am I", "This Is New (The Explanation)" to abstract, free-form instrumental compositions that feature sputtering electronic textures and ambient sounds similar to the last 12-minutes of Ghost's hypnotic "Less Than You Think." The most characteristically Wilco songs are "The High Heat" and the stark "What Good Am I."

Though technically not a proper album release, "The Wilco Book" enables the group to release the recordings free from the marketplace pressures that normally accompany a Wilco album.

"There are definitely things on our records [where] we've said, 'I bet there are a lot of people who might buy this record who would not normally listen to something like that,' " Tweedy said. "But [the experimental aspect of the band] is [like the music] we listen to. If we can enjoy it and feel something, it's just logical there might be another person out there that feels the same."

And lest you think Wilco are getting too artsy — or, worse, taking themselves too seriously — the group has recorded the song "Just a Kid" for the upcoming "Spongebob Squarepants Movie." Due November 19, the animated film features the voices of Scarlett Johansson and Alec Baldwin.

Meanwhile, the ever-expanding Wilco road-trek now includes 36 dates across North America.

    Track list for the CD accompanying "The Wilco Book," according to the band's publicist:

  • "Pure Bug Beauty"

  • "This Is New"

  • "Diamond Claw"

  • "This Is New (The Explanation)"

  • "What Good Am I"

  • "Here Comes Everybody"

  • "Hummingbird"

  • "The High Heat"

  • "Doubt"

  • "Barnyard Pimp"

  • "Rottnest"

  • "Hamami"

    Wilco tour dates, according to the band's publicist:

  • 9/14 - Columbia, MO @ Blue Note

  • 9/15 - St. Louis, MO @ Fox Theatre

  • 9/17 - Dallas, TX @ Granada Theater

  • 9/18 - Austin, TX @ Stubbs Barbeque

  • 9/19 - Austin, TX @ Zilker Park (Austin City Limits Music Festival)

  • 9/22 - Nashville, TN @ Uptown Mix

  • 9/23 - Atlanta, GA @ Fox Theatre

  • 9/24 - Asheville, NC @ Thomas Wolfe Auditorium

  • 9/25 - Raleigh, NC @ Memorial Auditorium

  • 9/27 - Norfolk, VA @ The NorVa

  • 9/28 - Baltimore, MD @ Meyerhoff Symphony Hall

  • 9/30 - Burlington, VT @ Memorial Auditorium

  • 10/01 - Boston, MA @ Wang Center

  • 10/02 - Waltham, MA @ Brandeis University

  • 10/03 - Northampton, MA @ Calvin Theater

  • 10/05 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall

  • 10/06 - New York, NY @ Radio City Music Hall

  • 10/08 - Saratoga Springs, NY @ Skidmore College

  • 10/09 - Toronto, ON @ Massey Hall

  • 10/10 - Ann Arbor, MI @ Hill Auditorium

  • 10/25 - Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theatre

  • 10/26 - Minneapolis, MN @ Orpheum Theatre

  • 10/27 - Madison, WI @ Orpheum Theatre

  • 10/29 - Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre

  • 10/30 - Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre

  • 10/31 - Chicago, IL @ Auditorium Theatre

  • 11/06 - Denver, CO @ Fillmore Auditorium

  • 11/09 - Vancouver, British Columbia @ TBD

  • 11/10 - Seattle, WA @ Paramount Theatre

  • 11/11 - Portland, OR @ Roseland Theater

  • 11/13 - San Jose, CA @ Center for the Performing Arts

  • 11/14 - Oakland, CA @ Paramount Theatre

  • 11/18 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre

  • 11/19 - Los Angeles, CA @ Wiltern Theatre

  • 11/22 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Kingsbury Hall