Will NOT Comply: Wilco guitarist Nels Cline sticks with non-commercial fare

I’ve been fortunate to be involved with every Wilco show since their first show in Madison at Club de Wash in November 1994. The band had just formed out of the acrimonious split that occurred between Uncle Tupelo frontmen Jeff Tweedy and Jay Farrar. I had a birds-eye view of the last throes of that collaboration at an Uncle Tupelo show I presented at the Barrymore in March 1994, one of the last shows the band did before breaking up.

Jay Farrar (vocalist, guitarist), Jeff Tweedy (bassist, guitarist, vocalist), Mike Heidorn (drums)

The original members of Uncle Tupelo sitting From left to right: Jay Farrar (vocalist, guitarist), Jeff Tweedy (bassist, guitarist, vocalist), Mike Heidorn (drums)

Jeff and Jay at that point were not talking to each other. The tension was palpable, with Jay walled off and aloofly cocooned, and Jeff noticeably upbeat — perhaps relieved the end was near. I remember that the Bottle Rockets opened the show, and vaguely recall Brian Henneman joining them onstage. That the line-up, apart from Jay, essentially became the band that only months later debuted as Wilco. (I also remember staying up all night at a hotel on E. Wash — the Aloha?–with Jeff and the guys, joined by Mark Spencer of Blood Oranges — who was touring with Freedy Johnston. The Bushmills did us in as we watched the 1967 Casino Royale spoof on late-night television — starring Peter Sellers, Woody Allen and Orson Welles — it was a hoot.)

A lot has happened to Wilco since, more than can be captured in a single paragraph. The Reprise to Nonesuch saga resulting in the ground-breaking Yankee Hotel Foxtrot — expertly captured in the great documentary I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, a Grammy nod for A Ghost is Born, and several line-up changes, including the addition of avante-garde jazz guitarist Nels Cline.

Jeff Tweedy & Wilco

Jeff Tweedy & Wilco

That Nels would join Wilco in 2004 was no real surprise Wilco fans, even those who preferred the early days of A.M. and Being There Cline is highly revered in No Wave and free jazz circles, an area of interest for Tweedy and Co. spurred by their collaboration with NYC producer/musician and Chicago transplant Jim O’Rourke. (O’Rourke and Tweedy had recorded a record together with drummer Glenn Kotche under the rubric Loose Fur, which led to Kotche joining Wilco in 2001.) Cline was also a member of The Geraldine Fibbers in the 1990s, a band that played the East End around 1997. I’m not sure, but they might have opened for indie supergroup Golden Smog, another one of Tweedy’s side projects.

Drums

Nels Cline Singers: Nels Cline (guitar) Devin Hoff (Bass) Scott Amendola (Drums)

Fans of Thurston Moore, Marc Ribot, Elliot Sharp, Albert Ayler, Ornette Coleman — you are strongly encouraged to check out Monday’s show with The Nels Cline Singers at High Noon on Monday, June 2. An instrumental trio, The Nels Cline Singers offer an evening of improvisational jazz that rarely comes to Madison, at least not since 1993-94, when John Zorn visited Madison twice in the span of six months.

Doors or this mind-blowing show open at 7pm, and Painted Saints (featuring Paul Fonfara — interviewed in this week’s Onion) kicks off the evening at 8pm. This is an 18+ show. Tickets are $16 adv and $18 dos, and are available HERE. See you there!

– Tag Evers

Shows This Week & Free Downloads

Summer has rolled in as tour buses roll away but we’ve got a couple of good ones for you this week..

Monday May 26

If you’re in to The Avett Brothers or Okkervil River check out..

True Endeavors and Muzzle of Bees present: LANGHORNE SLIM AND THE WAR EAGLES with THE BUILDERS & THE BUTCHERS

“I’m not sure that there’s’ any other kind, but the songs I write are love songs. Some are literal, about specific events, people and relationships in my life; a form of therapy, self-help for the flowers and the crap along the road of life.” -Langhorne Slim

//www.splendidezine.com/features/langhorne/langhorneq3.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

4 Free Langhorne Slim Song Downloads:

Langhorne Slim- English Tea, 2006 Unreleased Daytrotter Sessions

Langhorne Slim- By the Time the Sun Comes Down, 2006 Unreleased Daytrotter Sessions

Langhorne Slim- She’s Gone, 2006 Unreleased Daytrotter Sessions

Langhorne Slim- Restless, 2006 Unreleased Daytrotter Sessions

Daytrotter

8:00 pm @ High Noon Saloon 608.268.1122 $10 adv – 18+

BUY TICKETS NOW!

___________

Thursday May 29

If you’re in to Jason Isbell, Ryan Adams, or Steve Earle you also like (trust me)..

THE EVERYBODYFIELDS with special guests MARTHA BERNER & KATIE SAWICKI

“..deeply rooted in americana, bluegrass, and classic country..Here you still find the slow, sad sounds of halfway there, but there is a new strength to the sound, a vein of rock and punk that is so well hidden, you don’t even know it’s there” -LastFM

Everythings OK- The Everybodyfields

Interview- The Everybodyfields

2 Free Everybodyfields Song Downloads:

The Everybodyfields- So Good, 2007 Live at The Grey Eagle

The Everybodyfields- Nubbins, 2007 Live at The Grey Eagle

8:30 pm (8pm doors) @ Cafe Montmartre 608.255.5900 $10 at the door / $10 adv – 21+

BUY TICKETS NOW!

———————-

We don’t have any nationally touring shows for you this weekend but there is some good stuff going on around town..

This Friday May 23 some of our local faves including PALE YOUNG GENTLEMEN, SLEEPING IN THE AVIARY, and others are hosting a Whatfor CD Release Party at the High Noon Saloon- 10:00 PM , $5 cover, 21 +

This Friday is also the monthly IQ party if you are more in the mood for a DJ. Local hostess Liz Tymus is throwing the Marquee Pre-Party from 9PM-11PM and dance party 11PM-2AM at the Majestic, 18+.

Saturday May 24 offers up a variety of Latin and African based music including El Clan Destino- the Afro Cuban project of local bassist Nick Moran. The benefit for African Youth Outreach at Cafe Montmartre costs $10 per adult, $7 for students with a current ID, 9PM, 21+

What are you up to this week? Tell us what else you recommend!