Monday, February 10, 2020

Jeff Knurek: Jumble® cartoonist/Wilco fan


Last fall, it came to my attention that Wilco, in cartoon form, was featured in the nationally syndicated Jumble® puzzle. Turns out that the artist behind the comic, Jeff Knurek, is a big fan of Jeff Tweedy and company and has drawn the group a bunch of times since they first appeared in a Jumble See & Search book printed in 2003 (I drew them poorly twice in that book, he told me).

Being greatly amused by Knureks Wilco-related Jumble work, I reached out to him to find out more about his fandom.

Wilcopedia: How long have you been a fan of Wilco?

Jeff Knurek: I first saw them at the Taste of Chicago in 1996. But it was in 1999 at the Riviera that I really became a fan. The started the show with Via Chicagoand I was blown away from that point on. I love listening to their music, but seeing them live is the part of being a fan that I love the most.


W: What inspired you to include them in your Jumble art? 

JK: When I have to draw a band or musicians, I might as well make it someone I like. I love when Wilco fans talk about or post the cartoons of the Jumble online. Plus I was hoping it would allow me to meet the guys. Oh well, that hasn't happened yet.

W: How many times have Wilco or Tweedy appeared in the puzzles? Im not sure I have an exact number of the times Ive drawn them. Its probably close to a dozen. Now the times I've drawn a character, usually me, wearing a WILCO shirt, is too many to count.


Daniel Cook Johnson’s Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band is available for order here.

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Monday, January 27, 2020

Wilco setlist: Teatro Metropólitan, Mexico City, Mexico 1/25/20



Wilco’s last show for over a month was a special one as it was the final concert for their stage manager/Jeff Tweedy’s guitar tech, Matthew McNamara. McNamara has worked for the band for over a dozen years, and was well known to fans so it was fitting that Tweedy and company give him a proper send off. During the first song of the encore, “Kingpin,” Tweedy informed the audience of McNamara’s leaving, encouraged them to sing “Goodbye,” and changed one of the lines to “How can I say goodbye to you/when I don't know what to do?”

As for the rest of the show, the band returned to the type of setlists they were doing over the first leg of the Ode to Joy tour, but, perhaps inspired by the reception to the three nights at the Sky Blue Sky festival when they played 76 songs with no repeats, they packed the show with a lot of choice crowd pleasers.

It went like this: 

Teatro Metropólitan, Mexico City, Mexico 1/25/20

“Before Us”
“I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”
“War on War”
“Handshake Drugs”
“At Least That’s What You Said”
“One and a Half Stars”
“Can’t Stand it”
“Hummingbird”
“Via Chicago”
“Bull Black Nova”
“Random Name Generator”
“Reservations”
“Impossible Germany”
“Jesus, Etc.”
“Love is Everywhere (Beware)”
“Box Full of Letters”
“Everyone Hides”
“Heavy Metal Drummer”
“I’m the Man Who Loves You”
“Hold Me Anyway”
“Misunderstood”
“Spiders (Kidsmoke)”
“The Late Greats”

Encore:

“Kingpin”
“California Stars”
“Red Eyed and Blue”
“I Got You (At the End of the Century)
“Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
“A Shot in the Arm”

Wilco’s next show will be at The Sylvee in Madison, Wisconsin on March 9, 2020.

Official show poster at the top of this post created by Jose Garcia / Zoca

Daniel Cook Johnson’s Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band is available for order here.

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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Wilco closes out their Sky Blue Sky festival with another epic set



Wilcos Sky Blue Sky festival, which was held at the Hard Rock Hotel in Riviera Maya, Mexico, came to an epic end last night. Jeff Tweedy & comedy, who performed in pajamas (or something resembling pajamas), didnt repeat one song from the previous two nights. That means that over the three concerts they played in total 76 songs spanning their entire career.

Fans who werent there can feast on this (and YouTube clips from the show):

Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico 1/18/20

“When You Wake Up Feeling Old”
“Whole Love”
“Company in My Back”
“War on War”
“One Wing”
“I Might”
“Airline to Heaven”
“Via Chicago”
“Cold Slope”
“King of You”
“Laminated Cat” (aka “Not For the Season”)
“Reservations”
“Impossible Germany”
“It’s Just That Simple”
“California Stars”
“Summerteeth”
“Shouldn’t Be Ashamed”
“An Empty Corner”
“Say You Miss Me”
“Everyone Hides”
“Dawned on Me”
“A Shot in the Arm”

ENCORE:

“Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
“Candyfloss”
“I’m A Wheel”
“The Thanks I Get”

Wilco’s next show is at the Teatro Metropólitan in Mexico City, Mexico, on Saturday, January 25.

Daniel Cook Johnson’s Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band is available for order here.

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Sunday, January 19, 2020

The first 2 nights of Wilco’s Sky Blue Sky Fest returned diversity to their sets


Wilcos new Sky Blue Blue festival at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya, which began over the weekend, has so far featured the band’s most diverse setlists since 2017. During the first leg of the Ode to Joy tour, fans complained about how samey each shows song choices were. The first two nights of Wilcos new festival appeared to be devised for those fans with rosters that were made up of over 50 different tunes with no repeats.

Check em out:

Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico 1/18/20

“Bright Leaves” / “Either Way” / “Handshake Drugs” / “Side with the Seeds” / “One and a Half Stars” / “I Must Be High” / “The Joke Explained” / “I’ll Fight” / “Too Far Apart” / “Someone to Lose” / “Secret of the Sea” / “Hotel Arizona” / “Ashes of American Flags” / “Hummingbird” / “Passenger Side” / “Nothing'severgonnastandinmyway(again)” / “Someday Soon” / “I’m Always in Love” / “Hold Me Anyway” / “Red Eyed and Blue” / “I Got You (At the End of the Century)” / “Hate it Here” / “Heavy Metal Drummer” / “I’m the Man Who Loves You”

Encore: “Spiders (Kidsmoke)”


Hard Rock Hotel, Riviera Maya, Mexico 1/19/20

“Wilco (The Song)” / “Wishful Thinking” / “Can’t Stand it” / “Before Us” / “I Am Trying to Break Your Heart” / “Kamera” / “If I Ever Was a Child” / “That’s Not the Issue” / “Walken” / “White Wooden Cross” / “Pot Kettle Black” / “How to Fight Loneliness” / “Bull Black Nova” / “Random Name Generator” / “Sky Blue Sky” / “Kingpin” / “Box Full of Letters” / “Theologians” / “Jesus Etc.”/ “We Were Lucky” / “Love is Everywhere (Beware)” / “The Late Greats” / “Misunderstood”

Encore: “Monday” / “Hoodoo Voodoo”

Wilco’s next show is on Tuesday night, the 21st. It sure will be interesting to see what they break out then.

Daniel Cook Johnson’s Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band is available for order here.

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Thursday, January 2, 2020

Happy New Year from Wilcopedia!

I really can’t say that 2019 was a great year, what with deaths of some friends and family, problems with jobs and automobile repairs, and some legal whatnot, but I was happy to get my first book, Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band (order it here!), published - with much thanks to Jawbone Press! Thanks to all the folks that bought it and came to my readings (and who are following this blog!).

Happy 2020 everybody!

My cat Bob with a mock-up of the cover of Wilcopedia 

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Friday, December 20, 2019

Wilco setlist: Winterlude Night 4, Chicago Theatre 12/19/19


Thursday night, Wilco concluded Winterlude, their four night residency at the Chicago Theatre, which was also their last concert of 2019. While the main set wont surprise any fan that's been following the Ode to Joy tour, the encore should've satisfied both the casual and hardcore. 

After the obvious crowd-pleaser that is “California Stars,” Jeff Tweedy and company broke out Spiders (Kidsmoke),” in its electric arrangement, for the first time in two years. Then they launched into the Plastic Ono BandHappy Xmas (War is Over),” aided by a bunch of musician friends that you can see listed below.

Wilcos farewell to 2019 set went a little something like this:


“Bright Leaves”
“Before Us”      
“I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”
“War on War”
“Handshake Drugs”
“At Least That’s What You Said”
“One and a Half Stars”
“I Might”
“Hummingbird”
“Via Chicago”
“Bull Black Nova”
“Random Name Generator”
“Reservations”
“Impossible Germany”
“Jesus, Etc.”
“We Were Lucky”
“Love is Everywhere (Beware)”
“Box Full of Letters”
“Everyone Hides”
“Dawned on Me”
“Monday”
“Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
“I’m the Man Who Loves You”
“Hold Me Anyway”
“Misunderstood”

Encore:

“California Stars” (w/James Elkington on electric guitar)
Spiders (Kidsmoke)
Happy Xmas (War is Over) * (w/Sharon Van Etten, Sylvan Esso'sAmelia Meath and Nick Sanborn, Ohmme's Sima Cunningham and Macie Stewart, and Casey Gomez Walker, Spencer Tweedy and Liam Kazar)

* John Lennon/Yoko Ono

Official show poster at the top of this post created by Zoca/Jose Garcia


Daniel Cook Johnson’s Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band is available for order here.

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Thursday, December 19, 2019

Wilco setlist: Winterlude Night 3, Chicago Theatre 12/18/19

The third night of Wilco’s Winterlude had a few surprises. Firstly, their opening act, Sharon Van Etten joined the band to perform “Radio Cure, which Jeff Tweedy and co. haven’t played since Solid Sound in 2017. Etten had covered the track on the Wilcovered compilation that came with September’s issue of the fine British magazine Uncut. Etten came back out for the encore and assisted on back vocals for a concluding cover of John Lennon and Yoko Ono’s “Happy Xmas (War is Over),” also aided by the band OHMME’s Sima Cunningham, and her brother Liam Kazar.

Here’s what else Jeff Tweedy and company brought to the table for Winterlude night #3:


“Bright Leaves
“Before Us
“I Am Trying to Break Your Heart”
“Kamera”
“Handshake Drugs
“Side With the Seeds”
“One and a Half Stars
“I Might”
“Hummingbird
“White Wooden Cross
“Via Chicago
“How to Fight Loneliness”
“Bull Black Nova”
“Random Name Generator
“Radio Cure” (w/Sharon Van Etten)
“Impossible Germany
“Jesus, Etc.
“We Were Lucky”
“Love Is Everywhere (Beware)
“Box Full of Letters
“Everyone Hides
“Dawned on Me”
“I’m the Man Who Loves You”
“Hold Me Anyway
“The Late Greats”

Encore:

“California Stars”
“Outtasite (Outta Mind)”
“Happy Xmas (War is Over)” (w/Sharon Van Etten, Sima Cunningham and Liam Kazar) *

* John Lennon/Yoko Ono

The last night of Wilco’s residency at the Chicago Theatre will be simulcast on WXRT (radio.com) at 8:30 pm central time. The show will be the last of this year as they don’t return until January 18, 2020, at the Hard Rock Hotel at Riveria Maya in Mexico.

Official show poster at the top of this post created by Zoca/Jose Garcia


Daniel Cook Johnson’s Wilcopedia: A Comprehensive Guide to the Music of America’s Best Band is available for order here.

More later...

Jeff Knurek: Jumble® cartoonist/Wilco fan

L ast fall, it came to my attention that Wilco, in cartoon form, was featured in the nationally syndicated Jumble ® puzzle. Turns out t...