We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
Before its principals split, I’d always figured Farrar-Tweedy to be one of those songwriting partnerships like Lennon-McCartney or Forster-McLennan. No matter what happened in the future, it wouldn’t make up for what was lost. But it doesn’t look as if Jeff Tweedy needs his old Uncle Tupelo buddy anymore. While Wilco’s 1995 debut, A.M., winningly but unsurprisingly evidenced Tweedy’s solo pop smarts, it’s the two-CD Being There that reveals his reserves of such Farraresque qualities as ambiguity and ranginess. Not that Tweedy doesn’t have his collaborators. He openly admits playing the record-collection rock game on this outing, and while on “Red-Eyed and Blue” he complains of having “songs we can’t afford to play,” he seems to have neatly sidestepped the issue by stealing it all. Sonny and Cher bump up against the Beach Boys, the Violent Femmes, and any number of forgotten ’70s hits, while Pavement sings Bob Welch on the backing vocals. Tweedy’s no cut-up prodigy, though. It’s all been internalized, albeit in a ragged sort of way. He’s still pop, too; his two-disc indulgence would’ve fit snugly on one. And he still maintains his punk-rock ethics: The sole credit given is to tragic guitar hero Peter Laughner for a lyric lift from “Amphetamine.” Wilco runs it all back through its amps when the band plays with September 67 at 7:30 p.m. at the 9:30 Club, 816 V St. NW. $12. (202) 393-0930. (Glenn Dixon)