The Wilco Book.
Text and music by Wilco. Photographs by Michael Schmelling. Edited by Peter Buchanan-Smith and Daniel Nadel.
Picture Box, Inc., New York, 2004. 160 pp., 200 color illustrations, 1 audio CD, 8x10".
Includes essays by Henry Miller and Rick Moody, poetry by Bern Porter, and artwork by Fred Tomaselli.
This is a book about Wilco and the pictorial, literary, and musical world it conjures up on record and in performance. Created in collaboration with Jeff Tweedy, Wilco, and Tony Margherita, this primarily visual book explores what Wilco does, how it does it, and where it all comes together. The band narrates the book in the form of long captions accompanying a variety of images: a Korean postcard, a Stratocaster, a backstage practice session, and so on. Along the way, central topics such as instruments, touring, and recording are covered both in general (i.e., what happens, physically, when a guitar string breaks) and specific to Wilco. Just as the band assembles its disparate talents and inspirations to make music, this book coheres in the end to reveal a 40 minute CD of original, unreleased songs. Just as Wilco experiments with music by turning convention on its head, this book is an utterly new take on the old genre of the rock 'n' roll book. The Wilco Book will look and read like a Wilco record sounds; it's a translation of the band’s sensibility from sound into print.
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