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Who loves ya, baby? Wilco does, of course

Alt-country band set to play before sold-out Schnitzer
by: COURTESY OF AUTUMN DE WILDE, 
The popular alt-country band Wilco perform Feb. 9 at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall to a sold-out crowd.

'Wilco will love you baby,' croons the band's front man, Jeff Tweedy, on the opening track of the group's 2009 release, 'Wilco (the album).'

The feeling among critics and fans is mutual.

Wilco's 2003 effort, 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,' was parked near the top of virtually every recent Best of the Decade list. And last year's self-titled album sold nearly 100,000 copies in its first week, a one-week sales record for the band. Wilco's path to success, however, has changed over the years.

Major label Warner Music Group dumped the band after it recorded 'Yankee Hotel Foxtrot,' partially because it deemed the music too experimental. 'Wilco (the album),' on the other hand, features an older, self-assured band churning out songs that can be downright radio-friendly.

Today's Wilco is happier to blend folk, rock, country and a few experimental elements, where previous incarnations of the band stuck 12 minutes of distortion in the middle of an album. Today's Wilco makes music that appeals to dads and daughters alike, albeit, to the chagrin of some fans.

The popular alt-country band will play the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Tuesday, Feb. 9, to a sold-out crowd.

Regardless of which Wilco you prefer, there should be something to keep you listening when the band visits the Schnitz. Wilco made a couple of recent shows available for download on their Web site, wilcoworld.net, for fans who donate to Haiti relief efforts.

The concerts feature songs from each of the band's seven albums. There's also an online form that lets fans request songs at different shows.

Maybe Wilco really does love you, baby.