Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Loose Fur Loose Fur 2003

Loose Fur was a side project of Wilco. Jeff Tweedy, Glen Kotche, and Jim O'Rourke went into the studio and made this little slice of experimentation in 2000. It didn't get released until 2003 as Tweedy and Wilco (with O'Rouke's assistance) were working on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

There are moments that sound like deconstructed Wilco (So Long, You Were Wrong). There are several songs that include long, spacey jams that are subtly delicious (Laminated Cat, Elegant Transition, So Long, Liquidation Totale).

So Long is a crazy discordant mess that has a melody that eventually crawls out from under the cacophony. Elegant Transition is a soft, gentle, slightly country ballad. Laminated Cat, a reworked version of a Wilco demo entitled Not For The Season, has spacey lyrics followed by a long instrumental jam section. You Were Wrong is a sad breakup song with a nice keyboard part from O'Rourke. Liquidation Totale is a mellow, slow-building instrumental that includes an interesting banjo part. Chinese Apple contains some of the lyrics that became Heavy Metal Drummer, but is a very different song, gentle and repetitive.

It is a quiet record mostly. There are clearly keys to what would become the Wilco sound on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and later records A Ghost Is Born and Sky Blue Sky. But this isn't Wilco. It's casual. It was fun for these guys to make, and there were no commercial aspirations. Both O'Rourke and Kotche have been blamed for much of the turmoil that lead Tweedy to disband and reform Wilco's personnel line-up, and Tweedy has been quoted as wanting to take Wilco in the direction of Loose Fur. For Wilco fans, this is an interesting record for it's effect on that band.

Three players that work well together, doing whatever they want to do. It is well worth hearing, and could easily become a late night, low key staple.

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