Wilco: Shut Up and Sing | Letters | Chicago Reader

Wilco: Shut Up and Sing 

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Why is Chicago's music media so obsessed with the dysfunctional family that is the band Wilco ["Wilco: Are We Out of the Woods Yet?" June 11]? I like their records--in fact I truly loved Yankee Hotel Foxtrot--but I don't lose sleep over which guitarist is getting fired this week or which international conglomerate music company screwed them over. I like the songs, and the music speaks for itself.

So I read through Bob Mehr's article about singer Jeff Tweedy's recent stint in rehab hoping to find out what is so fascinating about the inner sanctum of the band. And the conclusion I've come to is that it's not interesting at all. It's pathetic.

Why would these people do an all-out publicity campaign about their singer going through rehab? The only apparent reason I can see is to promote their new album. According to the article, Tweedy has been struggling with addiction, severe anxiety, and migraines for years and years. Now that it's time to promote their new product, everyone's more than happy to talk to the press about how hard it's been. The article seems to want me to feel sorry for Tweedy & Co. for all they've suffered, but I walked away only feeling sorry for his kids. There are millions of us out here dealing with this shit every day, but we're not hiring publicists to promote our tortured bravery. We're just dealing with it and doing the best we can. I wish Wilco would trust that their music is good and interesting enough to speak for itself.

Tweedy's hasn't quite hit the truly pathetic category that Courtney Love has made a commodity of, but if he and Wilco continue along this path they'll be there soon enough.

Ruthie Eccles

Wicker Park

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