Out of the basement and under the tree!

Box Sets


Alpha Mike Foxtrot (Nonesuch)

In 1994, with grunge in full dirge and Uncle Tupelo broken up, Wilco led alt.country into the mainstream. Today, the Chicago outfit observes its 20th anniversary with a rarities collection sourced from its audio archive. The 4-CD set features outtakes and live tracks, complete with throwback photos and Jeff Tweedy's track-by-track liner notes that keep his dry stage humor intact. A rousing release for fans, early standouts revisit 1995 debut A.M., while band casualty Jay Bennett's creative contribution heavily impacts the demos from Being There (1996), Summerteeth (1999), and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot (2002) – the group's masterpiece trifecta. Some cuts feature Tweedy and Bennett in duo form, including highlights "Blasting Fonda" and Big Star cover "Thirteen." Acoustic folker "Promising" and the haunting "Cars Can't Escape," A.M. and YHF outtakes respectively, captivate as easily as a cover of Daniel Johnston's "True Love Will Find You in the End." What Alpha Mike Foxtrot lacks is equally significant: meandering guitar solos from recent recordings and zero footholds for "dad-rock" puns. Rather, AMF communicates Wilco's career innovation, maintained while increasing popularity – the rarest of feats.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Wilco
Phases & Stages
Wilco (the album) (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, July 3, 2009

ACL Music Fest Live Shots
Sunday, Sept. 16, Zilker park

Doug Freeman, Sept. 21, 2007

More Music Reviews
Texas Platters
... And You Will Know Us by the Trail of Dead
X: The Godless Void and Other Stories (Record Review)

Alejandra Ramirez, Feb. 21, 2020

Texas Platters
Daniel Johnston
Chicago 2017 (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 21, 2020

More by Neph Basedow
Top 10 National Albums of 2016
Top 10 National Albums of 2016
Our favorite picks from across the country

Dec. 30, 2016

Critics Poll
Critics Poll

Dec. 30, 2016



One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

New recipes and food news delivered Mondays

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle