'Down With Wilco' To Surface On Yep Roc
The long-awaited collaboration between Wilco and part-time Seattle supergroup the Minus 5, originally slated for release by the now-extinct Mammoth Records, will finally see the light of day Feb. 25 vThe long-awaited collaboration between Wilco and part-time Seattle supergroup the Minus 5, originally slated for release by the now-extinct Mammoth Records, will finally see the light of day Feb. 25 via Yep Roc Records. Titled "Down With Wilco," the album features Minus 5 principals Scott McCaughey, Peter Buck, and Ken Stringfellow working with Wilco members Jeff Tweedy, John Stirratt, Glenn Kotche, and Leroy Bach as well as a host of others, including the Spinanes' Rebecca Gates and High Llamas frontman Sean O'Hagan.
The album was largely recorded in late 2001 in Chicago with McCaughey and Tweedy at the production helm. "I actually went into the studio for four or five days at a time and recorded the songs together with Wilco," McCaughey said in a statement. "The night before each session, Jeff and I would pick out, and in some cases, change around or finish, songs that seemed to fit our concept for the record." The album was thus much more of a bona fide collaboration than most Minus 5 efforts.
McCaughey handles most of the album's lead vocal duties, although Tweedy lends his pipes to a couple tunes, including "The Family Gardener." Other songs set for inclusion on "Down With Wilco" include the wistfully melodic opener "Days of Wine and Booze," the bouncy and creatively dissonant "Life Left Him There," and the up-tempo "The Town That Lost Its Groove Supply."
McCaughey, Buck, and Stringfellow spent a month this summer touring as an incarnation of Minus 5 along with Tuatara -- the instrumental group featuring Buck, McCaughey, and Screaming Trees drummer Barrett Martin -- Wayward Shaman (Martin's other band), and bluesman Cedell Davis. The three Minus 5 principals are currently working on the new R.E.M. album, tipped for a 2003 release.