Due to reading Learning How to Die and also in preparation for the throw down heading Milwaukee’s way April 14 and 15, I’ve been listening steadily to Jeff Tweedy’s first band, Uncle Tupelo. It’s kind of what I do. I latch on to a band or a sound, let it strangle me for a while and then once its made its mark or left invisible scars, it goes in the back seat.
Well, Uncle Tupelo has been in the back seat for quite a while. I remember when I bought their Anthology 89/93 and being somewhat turned off by it. As a compilation of their best, it failed to sell me. I guess at the time I was more into Whiskeytown or I just didn’t like the grit and scathe that I thought I heard. In a sea of Farrar, I needed Tweedy to even the score. I needed less raw emotion and more puff. I loved Tweedy’s voice, but neither of the voices in Uncle Tupelo were as pretty as that of one David Ryan Adams. But, to be totally honest I probably just wasn’t ready for it yet. Some 10 years after its release I didn’t get it. I needed to hear it all. I guess I needed to work backwards, fully ingesting Whiskeytown’s Faithless Street before being able to grasp UT’s Still Feel Gone.
Over the years, and with all of their albums in hand, I don’t think that there is one song they recorded that I don’t like. I’ve long ago stopped skipping songs in order to get to a more Wilco-y sounding one and started growing quite fond of Jay Farrar’s growl. While there may never be another time that these guys perform together, it’s nice to have videos like this one for my favorite Farrar helmed ditty. If Springsteen induces drinking, these guys induce blackouts. Enjoy!