Thursday, December 13, 2012

Kind Tune of the Moment

New Madrid, Jeff Tweedy/Uncle Tupelo 

A song I've been enjoying a lot lately is New Madrid, written by Jeff Tweedy while in Uncle Tupelo, Wilco's predecessor. I've been listening to the Uncle Tupelo anthology a bit lately, and this is clearly the standout song. Then I stumbled across a recording of Jeff doing this with his partner in crime/nemesis Jay Bennett back in 1999. One of those songs you just put on repeat and listen to over and over. It's got that end of the world, aw fuck it, bittersweet morning after feel to it. I'm a sucker for that shit. You know what I mean!

My interpretation was really just based on the feel of the song, without trying to make too much sense of the lyrics. Turns out I wasn't too far off the mark, according to our friends at Wikipedia: "Tweedy was also the author of "New Madrid", a song about Iben Browning's erroneous prediction of an apocalyptic earthquake in New Madrid, Missouri."

Here's the original Uncle Tupelo version:
A Jeff Tweedy solo version:
An early Wilco version complete with banjo:

And here's a link to audio of the aforementioned Tweedy/Bennett show:

Tweedy & Bennett 7.25.99

An excellent recording, I'd also point out great versions of Auld Triangle, Another Man's Done Gone, Via Chicago, I Got You, Forget the Flowers, and the Lonely One, among other excellent tunes.