Tweedy Tackling Loose Fur, Golden Smog CDs

In between touring and making a new record with Wilco, frontman Jeff Tweedy is returning to two prior side projects.

In between touring and making a new record with Wilco, frontman Jeff Tweedy is returning to two prior side projects. First up is Loose Fur, his trio with producer/artist Jim O'Rourke and Wilco drummer Glenn Kotche, which will issue the follow-up to its 2003 self-titled debut next spring via Drag City.

"We're finishing it this week," Tweedy tells Billboard.com. "It's all recorded and is basically down to doing the vocal overdubs and mixing."

Asked to compare the new album's sound to the eclectic folk/rock mix heard on the debut, Tweedy offers, "It's maybe a little bit heavier. There's definitely a lot of harmonized guitar parts. I think it's a similar mix of folk-ish elements, but the rock elements are a little less stridently abrasive, and maybe a little bit more prog-rock or something."

The new set will be the first concentrated batch of original O'Rourke material since his acclaimed 2002 solo album, "Insignificance." Says Tweedy, "He has been really busy with other people's music. I love getting to work with Jim and he has some really, really great songs on this, so I can't wait to hear it finished."

Meanwhile, Tweedy is planning to regroup at some point in the near future with the Jayhawks' Gary Louris and Soul Asylum's Dan Murphy for a new album under the moniker Golden Smog. The group's last effort was 1998's "Weird Tales."

As previously reported, Wilco's first live album, "Kicking Television," is due Nov. 15 via Nonesuch.