Tweedy

Jeff Tweedy will bring his side project, Tweedy, to the Top Hat in March. His son Spencer, right, plays drums.

Provided photo

Let no one say Jeff Tweedy doesn't have a sense of humor.

The first song on 1996's "Being There," was "Misunderstood," which starts as a dirge to youthful apathy and ends with the phrase, "I want to thank you all for nothing at all."

The first song of his album "Sukierae," a solo project with his 18-year-old son Spencer on drums, is called "Please Don't Let Me Be So Understood."

Musically, it references the sadistically repeated chord on the earlier song, but pairs it with lyrics about not wanting to grow up. At various points, "I'm boring," "you're boring," and he sings "I don't want to be so understood."

And indeed, he's no longer a misunderstood musician.

In the past 12 months alone, he's released the 20-song "Sukierae," a two-disc Wilco greatest hits set, "What's Your 20? Essential Tracks," a four-disc rarities compilation, "Alpha Mike Foxtrot," and premiered a documentary about the band's annual music festival, "Every Other Summer."

He's become so consistent that the news he was recording the album with his son was greeted with sympathetic interviews and reviews instead of suspicion and raised eyebrows.

Wilco's always been his band, and so it shouldn't be surprising that most any song on "Sukierae" sounds like it could fit comfortably on a Wilco album.

It covers most of Tweedy's modes of operation: ruminative acoustic tunes ("Nobody Dies Anymore"), sunnier pop ("High As Hello"), diversions into light kraut-rock and psychedelia ("Diamond Light 1") and straight-up rock ("World Away.")

At 20 tracks, it has too many down-tempo numbers stacked together – it needs some more jagged edges and mid-song left turns and surprising arrangements that Wilco does so well.

Reviews from the previous concerts indicate the songs might sound less straightforward live.

His touring band includes lead guitarist Jim Elkington of Eleventh Day Dream, a Chicago band prone to squall-y rock. Rounding out the combo are Darin Gray on bass and Liam Cunningham on keyboards and guitar.

Setlist.fm.com lists from concerts indicate they'll likely play a set of tunes from "Sukierae," followed by a solo acoustic set from Jeff Tweedy drawing on the Wilco catalog, followed by an encore.

Tweedy with opener Minus 5 will perform Wednesday, March 11, at the Top Hat Lounge, 134 W. Front St. Doors open at 7 and the show starts at 8. Tickets are sold out.

***

On Sunday at the VFW, a septet of local rock musicians will give a soft opening of a live tribute to David Bowie, titled Glass Spiders.

The group is made up of Nicholas Ryan (Shahs, Skin Flowers) on guitar and vocals; Nate Biehl (Cash for Junkers, Scrapyard Lullaby) on guitar; John Sporman (Tom Catmull's Radio Static, NextDoorPrisonHotel) on guitar, Jason McMackin (Total Combined Weight) on bass, Tom Helgerson (Shahs) on keys, Ben Weiss (Modality, Philip Glasshole) on synth and percussion, and Jamie Rogers (Magpies, Shahs, Skin Flowers) on drums.

Ryan says they'll be playing material roughly from 1972 to 1985 in arrangements faithful to the originals, although with that span of a time period there's an absurd amount of styles to figure out.

Expect a longer concert later this year with 25 to 30 songs.

The show will start at 7 p.m. Sunday at the VFW, 245 W. Main St. The opening act is Larry Wish of Minneapolis.

There is no advertised discount for concert-goers who wear mime makeup, glitter, "Labyrinth" tights or any other Bowie paraphernalia.

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