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LISTEN: Wilco - Blasting Fonda
Laurie Tuffrey , November 18th, 2014 16:34

Taster from upcoming rarities collection Alpha Mike Foxtrot

Next month, Wilco will be marking 20 years of operations with a pair of releases. The first is What's Your 20?, a score of their greatest hits, taken from their eight studio albums and the Mermaid Avenue series with Billy Bragg, while the second is Alpha Mike Foxtot, a bumper box set collecting rare studio and live recordings. It comes with a track-by-track commentary from frontman and founder Jeff Tweedy, liner notes from guitarist Nels Cline and bassist John Stirratt, an introduction from Bill Bentley, the former Warner Bros./Reprise Records publicist, and archive and unseen photography.

Both are due out on December 1 via Rhino/Nonesuch Records and now, to mark yesterday being two decades to the day that the band did their first gig, playing Cicero's Basement Bar in St. Louis as Black Shampoo, they've put up one of Alpha Mike Foxtot's tracks. 'Blasting Fonda' dates from 1996 and originally appeared on the soundtrack to Feeling Minnesota. Although it's closer to Being There time-wise, the track's reverse sound effects and baroque feel hint at some of the sounds the band would draw on for Summerteeth three years down the line, perhaps unsurprising, with Tweedy writing in his notes that it "was probably the first time it was just Jay [Bennett] and me in the studio – which ended up happening a lot – just basically kind of seeing if we could make some sort of song happen with just the two of us". Take a listen above.

Full details of the albums are at Wilco's website, alongside their upcoming dates, including their Winterlude, a six-night hometown residency at Chicago's Riviera Theatre. In the meantime, have a read of our live report from Tweedy's recent stop in London in support of his recent solo album Sukierae here.

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