Fronted by the incredibly gifted, yet hesitant and fragile-sounding Jeff Tweedy, Wilco uses languid, ghostly song structures and periodic forays into dissonance to create some of the most memorable records of our time.
Their latest, "a ghost is born," is an understated album that pushes the experimental sounds of their previous and critically acclaimed release "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" -- there's a little less twang and a bit more of their trademark perfectly executed static, plus more edgy, Sonic Youth-like elements in the newest works from a band known for continually reinventing itself.
If you haven't seen the rockumentary about these artful rockers, yet, rent Sam Jones' Wilco rockumentary, "I Am Trying to Break Your Heart" before you go see the show. This glimpse into their studio life will further enrich the already engrossing experience of catching them live.
Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 25-26, 7 p.m. Orpheum Theater, 910 Hennepin Ave. S. $32. (651) 989-5151.
Sons and Daughters with Clinic
"I always get picked to do the American interviews because people can apparently understand me when I speak," said Scott Paterson of the Glascow, Scotland-based rock group Sons and Daughters. "And no," he adds, "people in Scotland don't have any trouble with American accents because there's just so much American television here that everyone in Scotland is completely overexposed to the way Americans speak."
Don't take this as a complaint, though.
After all, this pop quartet did name themselves after a line in a Bob Dylan song, and they've also written a song about Johnny Cash. (Incidentally, the group never meant their homage to The Man in Black to be a posthumous tribute; they wrote "Johnny Cash" three years ago.) Such influences could be part of why this fun-loving band has been such a big hit among American critics, including the big-deal South by Southwest crowd.
Sons and Daughters will open for Clinic, another band from across the pond. Although very different sounding from Wilco who is also performing this week, Clinic often finds themselves likewise cast in both otherworldly and down-to-earth terms: "spooky," "haunting" and "hypnotic," yet "gritty," "scratchy" and "raw."
Clinic also tends to be seen as too serious (despite their surgical-mask-wearing shtick), so this pairing should certainly make for a well-balanced evening.
Friday, Oct. 29, 8 p.m. Fine Line Music Cafe, 318 1st Ave. N. $15. 338-8100.