Wilco get accused of being a lot of things: dad rock, an American Radiohead, washed-up, “better when they were called Steely Dan,” etc. The list goes on. But no one ever targets Jeff Tweedy and the gang for what they really are: shameless and megalomaniacal self-promoters of their own brand.
This is a band that named their last album Wilco (The Album) (which, let’s not forget, contained a single called “Wilco: the Song”), a band that released a book in 2004 called nothing more than The Wilco Book. When Sam Jones was putting the finishing touches on his documentary, 2002’s excellent I Am Trying to Break Your Heart, who do you think demanded he add the subtitle A Film About Wilco? Need more proof? What’s Wilco’s website called, you ask? Wilco World. I’m not saying that this name is meant to imply that Wilco believes they exist on some separate plane of reality or that they are intending a merciless overthrow of global government through their pleasant rock. But I’m not not saying that.
The Solid Sound Festival is the latest in this long string of self-promotion. On August 13-15, Wilco will curate their own festival outside at MoCA (the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art). At first glance, this looks like a good thing: Wilco has no East Coast dates planned for this summer, and the country needs more independently produced festivals. But one look at the festival’s lineup and you see it for what it really is. So far, it’s been announced that Wilco will be headlining, supported by drummer Glenn Kotche’s sideproject On Fillmore. Lead guitarist Nels Cline’s Nels Cline Singers and keyboardist Mikael Jorgensen’s Pronto are also on the bill. Add The Autumn Defense, which also contains Wilco members, and you’ll realize that this festival exclusively consists of Wilco sideprojects. Why didn’t they just name it “Wilco: The Festival”?
Entry for the festival is $86.50, and tickets for Solid Sound go on sale Friday, April 9 at the festival’s official website. The band promises it to be a “three-day event of music, art, comedy, interactivity, and more.” But knowing Wilco, this may just mean Jeff Tweedy is going to do a stand-up set, and Glenn Kotche will be making overpriced caricatures out in the parking lot.
Meanwhile, Wilco is on tour. Dates below.
04.09.10 - Hartford, CT - Bushnell Center
04.10.10 - Philadelphia, PA - The Electric Factory
04.11.10 - Pittsburgh, PA - Carnegie Music Hall
04.22.10 - Osaka, Japan - Big Cat
04.23.10 - Tokyo, Japan - Zepp Tokyo
04.27.10 - Auckland, New Zealand - Civic Theatre
04.28.10 - Wellington, New Zealand - Wellington Town Hall
04.30.10 - Brisbane, Australia - The Tivoli
05.01.10 - Sydney, Australia - State Theatre
05.02.10 - Marrickville, Australia - Factory Theatre
05.05.10 - Melbourne, Australia - Forum
05.06.10 - Melbourne, Australia - Forum
05.20.10 - Helsinki, Finland - Kulttuuritalo
05.21.10 - Tampere, Finland - Pakkahuone
05.23.10 - Stockholm, Sweden - Cirkus
05.25.10 - Aarhus, Denmark - Musikhuset
05.28.10 - Barcelona, Spain - Primavera Sound Festival
05.30.10 - Rome, Italy - Auditorium Parco Della Musica
08.13.10 - Boston, MA – Solid Sound Festival
09.03.10 - Snowmass, CO - Jazz Aspen
09.12.10 - Dorset, England - End of the Road Festival
09.14.10 - London, England - Royal Festival Hall
09.15.10 - Newcastle, England- Academy
09.16.10 - Glasgow, Scotland - Barrowland
09.20.10 - Dusseldorf, Germany - Tonhalle
09.21.10 - Offenbach, Germany - Capitol
09.23.10 - Vienna, Austria - Gasometer
09.24.10 - Munich, Germany - Circus Krone
09.26.10 - Hamburg, Germany - Musikhalle
09.27.10 - Berlin, Germany - Admiralspalast
[Photo: Autumn de Wilde]