Sunday, June 29, 2008

Fight Week: Jay Farrar vs. Jeff Tweedy

One time my friend Dan and I spent a train ride to the city arguing over which US President would win in a Battle Royal. I chose Washington. I think he chose Teddy Roosevelt. He was probably right. He usually is.

Anyway, I was thinking about the question earlier and started thinking about what would happen if some of my favorite musicians got into a fight. So this week I am going to do a post each day with a new fight.

On the card for today: Jay Farrar vs. Jeff Tweedy!
History: Uncle Tupelo stands as the premier band of the alt-country movement with their first album No Depression standing as the genre’s defining record. While ND was heavily weighted with Farrar’s vocals, singing duties became leveled on subsequent recordings as Tweedy’s songwriting developed. After Tupelo’s break up, Jay Farrar started Son Volt and Jeff started Wilco with the remaining members of Uncle Tupelo. Son Volt has had a solid, steady career while Wilco…well they’ve done pretty well for themselves.

Why they fight: Since the disbanding of Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy has made it pretty apparent that Jay Farrar is quite the asshole. This piece stands out from Greg Kot’s Learning How To Die:

Around this time, I would say something into a microphone onstage, and afterward [Farrar would] pull me aside and say, "Don't you ever fucking talk into that microphone again." He would misconstrue me talking into the microphone as more evidence of my out-of-control, rampant ego, more evidence of me feeling like I didn't have to be so fucking afraid anymore.

Farrar claims that Jeff made moves on his fiancé. Any Tweedy interview that refers to Uncle Tupelo contains some reference to Jay Farrar's position as dickhead supreme. And I may be taking liberties here, but I’ve gotta guess that Wilco being much more successful than Son Volt eats at Jay. A little bit.

Who wins: The early edge has to be given to Farrar. The guys vocals suggest the fact that he’s not someone you want to mess with. And he’s certainly got a bone to pick with Jeff. (As I write that sentence however, I realize what a weak argument that is. Jeff is certainly embittered; listen to “Misunderstood.”) Either way these guys hate each other; and while Farrar seemingly holds the physical advantage, I think Tweedy has taught the world not to count him out. He’s been written off several times, conquered addictions, and is still taking victory laps for defeating the AOL-Time Warner empire. So as the two fight, Tweedy holds his own until Farrar hits him with a pair of brass knuckles Jay Bennett passed him when no one was looking. Jay Farrar walks away the winner. And as the Wilco corner helps Tweedy collect himself Jay Bennett yells something about how "Heavy Metal Drummer" is still a stupid song which provokes a fight between Bennett and Glenn Kotche. Needless to say Glenn kicks the shit out of him and cuts off one of his dreadlocks.

Come back tomorrow to see what happens when Hüsker Dü's Bob Mould and Grant Hart join forces for a tag team match against Paul Westerberg and Tommy Stinson of The Replacements with guest referee Craig Finn.


Joe said...

Jeff talking at a concert about a post-Tupelo encounter with Jay.

Fred said...

Dude, that's my Jay Farrar pic.

So I'm voting for Tweedy.

General Viagra said...

It would be amazing, If this happens more common. I remembered Celebrity Death Match. It was a different kind of fight but It was quite interesting to watch who and how he/she will win.

Elliott Broidy said...

Great artist