Thursday, October 27, 2005

Uncle Tupelo. Seminal would be one word. Kick-ass, another
I'm sure many of you know that Uncle Tupelo was a band that brought together punk and country in the early 90's, helping to usher in a whole genre of "alternative country." Yeah, there was outlaw country in the 70's and cowpunk in the 80's, but Uncle Tupelo helped craft a lasting movement. In fact, the preeminent magazine covering "alt.country,whatever that is," No Depression, grew out of an AOL newsgroup named after the title track of Uncle Tupelo's debut album (it was also an old Carter Family spiritual - that was pretty radical right there).

After releasing several critically acclaimed independent albums, they got signed to a major and released Anodyne, a beautiful album that brought them to the verge of something big.

Then, of course, they broke up. Specifically, soulful-voiced Jay Farrar left the band over rivalry with the other singer/songwriter in the band, Jeff Tweedy. Jay formed Son Volt. The rest of the band become Wilco. The rest is (ok, recent) history.

Son Volt's first album, Trace, was inarguably a classic, while Wilco's A.M. was a pleasant but lightweight effort. Since then, however, Jay has released a string of nice but ultimatley forgettable records while Jeff has inspired record reviewers all over the world to take bootlicking to levels of Waylon Smithers-like proportions.

In some future post, I'll feature the work of another musical partnership Jeff Tweedy couldn't deal with, but for now, a track from Uncle Tupelo's 1991 raw-around-the-edges masterpiece, Still Feel Gone, in which the band really came into its own. The second featured track was a single that is happily given a home as a bonus track on the remastered edition of the album. It was actually the first Tupelo song I heard, as featured on a 1993 Dutch East India comp, Buy This Used CD sold to my impressionable teenage self for $3.99 as I recall.

So enjoy Uncle Tupelo. They didn't exactly start it all, but their contribution was incalculable nonetheless.

Unclue Tupelo - Gun (via savefile)
Uncle Tupelo - Sauget Wind (via yousendit, expires 11/1)

3 Comments:

Blogger Satisfied '75 said...

I can NEVER get enough of these guys.

5:40 AM  
Blogger AK said...

Love this group, great blog.

10:58 PM  
Blogger Em said...

Dude. Totally wonderful. Thanks so much for posting these songs!!

8:12 AM  

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