Nov 21 2007

Loose Fur – Born Again in The USA

Published by at 9:47 pm under MP3's,Video

If you’ve been on Indie Muse before you may know that I’m a huge fan of Wilco. For some reason, though, I never really checked out Tweedy’s side project, Loose Fur, until recently. What was I thinking? I don’t know. I had their two albums on my computer forever, but somehow didn’t realize it was Jeff Tweedy’s side project. Anyway, I’ve been listening to their 2006 release, Born Again in the USA, and really like the album. I still can’t believe I didn’t listen to this music earlier. If you are a Wilco fan and are unaware of Loose Fur or never bothered to listen to their albums, get on top of that.

Loose Fur is Jeff Tweedy, Glenn Kotche (now drummer in Wilco), and Jim O’Rourke (mixed Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and produced Ghost is Born). Tweedy was invited to perform with a collaborator of his choice for the 2000 Noise Pop Festival in Chicago, and chose O’Rourke. It’s interesting to see what a big influence this side project had on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.

Tweedy didn’t seem to be confident with Wilco’s drummer, Ken Coomer, because Coomer disliked playing consistent drum patterns (note: can someone explain in the comments what that means?), so Tweedy finally decided to replace him with Kotche for the recording of YHF. The band was skeptical of this replacement at first, but soon realized how talented Kotche was with working with Wilco’s songs and saw it was the right decision. Tweedy also had problems with Jay Bennett’s mixing while recording YHF, and had O’Rourke mix tracks. Some songs were only produced by the three members of Loose Fur. If you want to see a great Wilco documentary (and learn more about all the drama revolving at YHF), check out I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.

Loose Fur – The Ruling Class (on documentary mentioned above; always wondered where this song came from)

Loose Fur – Answers To Your Questions

Loose Fur – Apostolic

“Hey Chicken” music video. It’s amazing. And brings up an important discussion question: which Power Ranger was your favorite? I’m red all the way (Jason). Now I feel young.

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4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Loose Fur – Born Again in The USA”

  1. Jacobon 22 Nov 2007 at 12:02 am

    I’ve always been aware of loose fur and always wanted to listen to them, but I generally just use ruckus to get music and well they lack loose fur. Perhaps I’ll invest in a loose fur album, I’m always reluctant to buy any album because I’m unsure of how long I’ll appreciate it.

    On a sidenote I’ve watched I am trying to break your heart and yea its a great movie, although I do wish I had the soundtrack, or all the songs sam jones has ever filming that movie. I was reading a pitchfork interview with him ( and at one point he mentions all of the songs that he has that they didn’t put on the album and how he has around 3 versions of each song, I guess thats what happens when you follow wilco around for a year with cameras.

    Well if I keep typing I’m not sure how much I’m gonna write so I’ll stop now and say this christmas list:
    Item 1:Loose fur

  2. Kateon 25 Nov 2007 at 10:44 pm

    I seem to be coming on this discovery at the exact same time. Thanks for being there to aid me through this new land.

  3. ninaon 27 Nov 2007 at 3:25 pm

    i recently started my own music blog and would love some feedback!

  4. Ernie in Nashvilleon 03 Jan 2008 at 12:26 pm

    Exactly the same thing happened with me. I had Loose Fur on the hard drive for years and only over the holidays started to enjoy these records. At the moment, I like the “we don’t take ourselves too seriously,” vibe more than the “we are under the microscope feel,” that I can’t help but to associate with the official Wilco releases.

    Amazing how liberating unnecessary creative situations can be for artists. Listening to the eponymous release, I realized the tremendous mutual influence of O’Rourke, Tweedy, AND Kotche around the turn of the millennium.

    Per your question about Coomer, I think it was more of an issue of style. Ken has a distinct influence over the projects he works with. I have met him, read about his role in wilco, and it is clear that he played a very unifying personal role in the band. He has a very positive and inspiring personality.

    His departure was likely a purely professional matter. He comes from a grassroots rock n’ roll background. He is more of an ‘expressive” player. His drum parts tend to morph, emphasize accents and stand out. He also has a tendency to play “around” the beat, meaning that he will land the snare hit slightly before or after where a metronome would dictate to give the song tension or “feel.” He likely didn’t want to be told to just play like a drum machine.

    Kotche on the other hand comes from an academic background. He spent years studying percussion and theory at university. His playing style tends range from perfect “metronomic’ almost drum machine-like parts (Kamera, Jesus, etc) that exist almost transparently in the overall song, to vastly complex parts involving a variety of percussion instruments ( see Loose Fur).

    Enjoying the blog!

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