Roger, Wilco and sold out

Have that landmark album be refused as patently noncommercial by your major record label, allowing a smaller company to instead release it, and again, they will come.

Outrun the music style you helped create such that a key band member quits on you, and still, they will come.

Finally, book a show at The Orange Peel for Thursday, May 1, and it’ll be sold slam out almost a month prior — because so many damn people tried to come.

A capacity crowd at the Biltmore Avenue club is just shy of 950, notes The Peel’s Lesley Groetsch; and while all Wilco tickets were gone by April 3, the requests keep coming.

Those apparently few among us who are not up to speed on Wilco’s charms should nab a copy of last year’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (Nonesuch), a gem of pure-pop squall. The widely celebrated Foxtrot severs the final shackles of that “alt-country” label bandleader Jeff Tweedy helped inspire with his original group, Uncle Tupelo.

Incidentally, all four Tupelo albums have just been re-released on CD; give any one a spin to see why Tweedy and then-songwriting-partner Jay Farrar (now of Son Volt) are so richly revered for melding garage-punk ethos with country-weeper emotion.

And maybe Tweedy’s earlier music will tide you over until Wilco’s next Asheville visit, which won’t likely be soon (rumors of Wilco’s opening Sonic Youth’s June 12 Orange Peel show are unfounded).

“The band is smart,” Groetsch declares. “They don’t overtour. They don’t overplay markets. They do it right.”

Which is probably just what you don’t want to hear.

Tickets no more: Wilco.

— Frank Rabey

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