NPR : World Cafe

Filed Under:

World Cafe Looks Back: Uncle Tupelo's Family Tree

Throughout the month of October, we celebrated the 20th anniversary of World Cafe and revisited some of the best and most memorable interviews of the past 20 years.

The influential alt-country group Uncle Tupelo spawned Wilco and Son Volt shortly after it broke up in the mid-'90s. In this episode, we'll hear archival performances from all three bands, and assess the state of their genre as it's continued to develop.

Uncle Tupelo was born when three friends — Jay Farrar, Jeff Tweedy and Mike Heidorn — decided to re-form their high-school band after its lead singer left for college. Based in Belleville, Ill., the members of Uncle Tupelo quickly realized that their punk idols The Ramones and The Sex Pistols were not the toast of their music scene. They began to explore country music, and resulting blend on the group's 1990 album No Depression became synonymous with the alt-country sound. During its short but remarkable run, Uncle Tupelo recorded a live session with World Cafe before its split in 1994.

With the breakup of Uncle Tupelo, Farrar formed Son Volt, which has put out critically successful Americana albums from 1995 through its most recent record, American Central Dust, in 2009. The band has visited World Cafe on several occasions over the years, and we'll play three songs from different points in the late '90s.

Led by Jeff Tweedy, Wilco has released music that's run the gamut from folk-rock to experimental pop. Wilco has graced World Cafe many times over the years, and we'll hear a selection of songs from visits between 1995 and 2009. The band's most recent album, The Whole Love, came out this year.

This segment originally aired on October 25, 2011.

Copyright 2012 WXPN-FM. To see more, visit http://www.xpn.org/.

NPR

Is It All Greek To You? Thank Medieval Monks, And The Bard, For The Phrase

Ben Zimmer, language columnist at The Wall Street Journal, explains the origin of the phrase "it's all Greek to me" — and shares a few variants from other languages.
NPR

Do Try This At Home: 3 Korean Banchan (Side Dishes) In One Pot

If you've ever eaten at a Korean restaurant, you're used to the endless side dishes that come out with the meal. They're called banchan, and they're remarkably simple to make for yourself.
WAMU 88.5

Cutting Local Taxes in The District

The D.C. Council has taken steps to accelerate tax cuts for all income earners. They're part of a broader overhaul of the city's tax levels, but some council members argued there wasn't enough time for a rigorous debate about the new schedule. We explore the debate over cutting taxes for D.C. residents and how it affects the city's ability to pay for critical local services.

NPR

Reddit CEO Says Miscommunication Led To Blackout Protest

A user revolt briefly shut down the social site last week after a key employee was dismissed. Interim CEO Ellen Pao says the company has "apologized for not communicating better" with site moderators.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.