Jeff Tweedy (Uncle Tupelo, Wilco)
Glenn Kotche (Wilco)
Jim 'o Rourke (Sonic Youth. Producer credits include Wilco, Sonic Youth, Superchunk and others)
When it was announced that Jeff Tweedy and Jim 'o Rourke- two of Indie Rock's golden children- were collaborating, few expected the actual product. In reality, perhaps we should have. The tracks bear every earmark of the twosome's musical meanderings. Tracks like "Chinese Apple" and "Laminated Cats" could well be long-winded Wilco b-sides what with "Laminated Cats" actually a reworking of a YHF demo ("Not For the Season"). Indeed, the namesake of the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot b-sides EP "More Like The Moon" may as well be included here, for all its lazy long-form glory. "Elegant Transaction" is vintage 'o Rourke. Unassuming, Young-ian strumming meets literate verse. Even a more obtuse song like "So Long" would have little trouble blending in with the outstandingly bizzare Yankee Hotel Foxtrot demos.
So why the lukewarm reviews? Aside from so-called "supergroups" generally coming up short of expectations, what we have here is a jam session. Unlike the Chicago post-punks who also specialized in long-form compositions, there are no Jazz inspired mobious-melodies or mixtape classics. What you get is either Tweedy or 'o Rourke taking the reins and asking the other to back him up. Hardly a terrible result, but its the musical equivalent of Picasso's notebook doodles. This said, it becomes hard not to suggest giving Loose Fur a run. Its glory moments are bold (The quiet march towardcacaphony in "Chinese Apple", the foot-tapping fuzzrock of "Laminted Cats) and the lows are few and far between (Though, "Carnival Knowledge"'s Joan of Arc-esque amble takes far too long to get to a modest and overwrought conclusion. Put down the banjo, please!). Ultimately, the brunt of the dissapointment comes from the expectations we impose. If you've got an hour and a cold beer, give Loose Fur a run.
Loose Fur Year: 2003
- 1: Laminated Cats
- 2: Elegant Transaction
- 3: So Long
- 4: You Were Wrong
- 5: Liquidation Totale
- 6: Chinese Apple