Wilco loves their home city, sweet home Chicago. Kicking Television: Live in Chicago is a must-hear portrait of the Nels Cline-incarnation of the band. “Via Chicago” is a standout of their classic Summerteeth LP. And in 2008, Wilco played every song from all their studio albums over the course of a five-night run at Chicago’s Riviera Theatre.
Chicago loves Wilco – so it was a no-brainer for the band to end the 2012 dates of their Whole Love world tour in the Windy City. Nicknamed “The Incredibly Shrinking Tour of Chicago,” Wilco played five different local venues between December 12th and December 18th, 2011 – including The Riviera Theatre (the Chicago venue they’ve played the most), The Vic Theater (where Kicking Television was recorded) and classic indie-rock club The Metro (which somehow they’ve never played before). The last night was an intimate gig at 500 person-capacity Lincoln Hall, another venue Wilco hadn’t previously played. Additionally, on December 15th, they promoted the “Shrinking” shows on Chicago’s WGN Morning News (watch that here…. they played two songs, were interviewed…
…and Jeff Tweedy did the weather forecast… )
Wilco kicked off the five-night Chicago run on December 12th with their first ever concert at The Civic Opera House. As of late December, that show is streaming in full at wilcoworld.net/roadcase. Additionally, Chicago’s rock radio station 93XRT uploaded on YouTube beautiful filmed highlights from three of these shows. Watch “One Sunday Morning” from the Civic Opera House above. “Hell Is Chrome”(at Vic Theatre 12/15) and “Sunken Treasure” (at The Metro 12/16) are below.
The mini hometown tour came on the tail of Wilco’s Speak Into The Rose, released exclusively at independent music retailers on November 25th. The EP includes two of the tracks issued on September’s The Whole Love’s deluxe edition bonus disc (“Message from Mid-Bar” and “Speak into the Rose”) plus two previously unreleased cuts (“Art Of Almost” and “I Might (Demo)”). Hear the entire EP below, plus “I Love My Label” – the B-side of the first 7″ on their dBpm record label, and the opening track of the Whole Love deluxe bonus disc.
Back in September Wilco and their just-released LP The Whole Love got a whole lotta love from NPR, CBS, various magazines and the many fans that heard the new record as a “return to form” (check out links below to two full concerts the band played leading up to the album release, plus interviews and more). The Whole Love was unveiled on September 3rd (the Saturday of Labor day weekend) – streaming on wilcoworld.net for exactly 24 hours, Chicago time (they streamed it again on their site in mid-October). On September 6th the band debuted its lead music video, “Born Alone” – though it was overshadowed by Time Out Chicago’s YouTube clip of Jeff Tweedy humorously covering the Black Eye Peas, uploaded the same day. A limited edition cassette of The Whole Love was announced soon after, with a photo contest to choose a fan’s work as the cassette cover art in early October.
On Sunday, September 25th NPR streamed Wilco’s full show from Columbia, Maryland’s Merriweather Post Pavilion. The live stream was in two days advance of the band’s eighth album release – The Whole Love, which also streamed on NPR’s First Listen. Check the setlist for the Pavilion show below and stream the full concert, here.
On September 24th, Wilco played a full concert at Ed Sullivan Theater for the David Letterman audience – including Wilco fans that won a Haiku contest the band hosted, and others that simply signed up for their mailing list. Webcast at 8pm that night, that concert is now archived at cbs.com. Earlier that evening the band performed “Born Alone” on The Late Show with David Letterman – aired on TV that night (watch it here).
On Monday, September 16th, NPR hosted “a special online listening party” for The Whole Love. Fans could ask questions in the chat window below, answered afterwards by Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt and Pat Sansone (that discussion is also streaming at npr). That same day, Jeff Tweedy explained the new album on Boston’s WBURG 90.9 – hear the 10 minute interview here.
The Whole Love was released on Wilco’s new, self-run label – dBpm Records. In June Wilco sold advance copies of lead single “I Might” – b/w a cover of Nick Lowe’s “I Love My Label” – at their self-run music festival, Sonic Sound. That 7″ was dBpm Records’ first release – officially on sale the following month.
Wilco’s release fall tour featured an interactive video project at vimeo/groups/wilcofanvideoproject. Using fan submitted videos the band creates stage backdrops for each date of their North American tour, September 13 through October 5th. The project – slightly reminiscent of LCD Soundsystem’s fan crowdsourced cloud clips at their Madison Square Garden farewell – aims to give every show a unique, local feel by incorporating “footage of settings and places that really say something about the area, its people and/or history, geography, whatever.”
Pitchfork: “In case Wilco‘s bicycle, beer, beverage cozies, snack bags, and dog collars weren’t enough: On November 1 the band’s recent album The Whole Love will be available as a CD-and-popcorn-tin package from Garrett Popcorn, as the AV Club points out.
The band has teamed up with the Chicago gourmet popcorn company, who will sell a sweet-and-salty mix of cheese and caramel popcorn in a custom Wilco tin, accompanied by the disc, at a selection of Chicago stores and online. A portion of the profits will be donated to the Jane Addams Hull House Association.”
Info on buying The Whole Love and related goodies is available here.
Wilco – September 25, 2011 Merriweather Post Pavilion (streaming here)
Art Of Almost
I Am Trying To Break Your Heart
Bull Black Nova
One Sunday Morning
Dawned On Me
Box Full Of Letters
War On War
Shot In The Arm
36 Inches (with Nick Lowe)
Heavy Metal Drummer
I’m The Man Who Loves You
Outtasite (Outta mind)