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

First-Time Nominations Reveal The Changing Face Of The Emmys

Cuba Gooding Jr., Rami Malek and Constance Zimmer all have one thing in common: this year is the first time each has been nominated for an Emmy. Their nominations hint at deeper changes in television.
NPR

Friendly, Delicious Rivalry Surrounding Jollof Rice

West Africa's signature dish is jollof, a rice entree to which many countries in the region lay claim. NPR's Ofeibea Quist Arcton explains the culinary wars.
NPR

Since 2012, The Economy Has Changed — And So Has The Conversation

Since the last presidential election, a growing economy has sent the unemployment rate plunging. That improvement has changed the political conversation, but it hasn't stopped worries about wages.
NPR

A Hero For The Arts And Sciences: Upcoming Marvel Covers Promote STEAM Fields

The five covers feature the company's heroes — including Spiderman, Iron Man, and the Hulk — all engaging in activities educators have been trying to promote.

Leave a Comment

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