Tweedy’s “Low Key” Skewers the Music Biz With a Smile


Featuring Wilco frontman Jeff Tweedy (founding member of Uncle Tupelo) and his teenage son, Spencer, the roots-rock duo Tweedy may be about as star-studded as you can get in the world of Americana.

But their video for “Low Key,” on the other hand, could go viral with its cast of Hollywood A-listers.

Comedian John Hodgman plays a hilariously out-of-touch record label boss, while Michael Shannon from Boardwalk Empire portrays his hapless lieutenant. Nick Offerman, the government-salaried curmudgeon Ron Swanson on Parks and Recreation, directed the clever video.

The plot finds the Tweedy gentlemen showing up for a meeting to be informed they will have to market and distribute their debut album, Sukierae, on their own, such is the dismal state of affairs in the music business.

They head out into the neighborhoods of Tweedy’s native Chicago, knocking on the doors of celebrities like Conan O’Brien and Andy Richter, Chance the Rapper and Mavis Staples. Nobody’s taking the bait, though, even after they try using props like costumes, American flags and kittens.

Eventually, the father and son find out their “Low Key” personalities are what’s snuffing out sales and learn to put on a happy face. With money now rolling in, we find out the true objectives of the recording industry and the meaning behind Hodgman’s early, odd reference to “bananas.”

Check the even-keeled approach of Tweedy in their minimovie of a music video, “Low Key.”