Column

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

The Reading Room

Writing about writing about music.

Henry writes about music and music books for ND, The Bluegrass Situation, Country Standard Time, Publishers Weekly, and more.

Jeff Tweedy Invites Us into His Life

Henry - This review is simply brilliant. The first paragraph, alone, challenges me to become a better writer or quit altogether. Your reviews are so well-structured they challenge any writer to meet their standard. - Ted

A fine review Henry...I really don't care for Wilco all that much. though I've felt they've had a couple of nice recordings, but Tweedy did a couple of solo records, and I did like one of those a lot, and that record had a lot of humor in it, and some very good songs...I like Tweedy himself a lot, based on the fact that he seems to be a regular guy with a fine sense of humor and a good sense of self...and this sounds like a great book to read based on the excerpts you've presented here...

I read a lot of musician bios and auobiographies, and this is one of the best. The tone is conversational, as if Jeff is just talking to a friend about his life and career. Humor and pain feature equally, just like real life.

For the long-time Tupelo, Wilco and Tweedy fans, it's clear that we all owe a debt of gratitude to his wife Susie. She and Jeff seem like two parts of one person, making it possible for a guy who's written three or four checks in his life to survive and thrive in the music business while keeping his creative mind alive and cooking. 

Five stars. 

 

 

It's Wilco Week for me. Finished his book, listened to his interview on WTF podcast, about to dive into his new solo album.

Overall I liked Tweedy's book. Kind of rambling at times, could have used some tighter editing in spots, but refreshingly open and conversational. It's interesting Tweedy didn't talk much about Wilco's last few albums -- I also stopped following them obsessively after Sky Blue Sky. 

Lots of great anecdotes in the book. My favorite is when he's playing guitar alone in the laundry room of his drug rehab facility -- a gritty, urban mental hospital -- and an old guy stops to listen. The guy says he has talent and encourages Tweedy to keep playing. A week later Tweedy's out of the hospital and sees his face all over newspapers and ads on buses. He wonders if the old guy might have seen it as well.

Nice book, nice review.

Great review!  I was on the fence since I'm in general not a fan of the glut you refer to but based on your column it is on my "to buy" list.

And what a great phrase: "the gelatinous glut of words that have oozed onto bookshelves!" Since your reviews are generally positive I assume you must have a gigantic gelatinous gooey pile of print lurking in your house that you never featured!