Coronavirus in the United States has resulted in nationwide quarantine, beginning as early as the second week in March. Luckily, starting the third week in March, a certain musical family started a nightly live stream. Welcome to The Tweedy Show.
Complete with its own brand new, 60s-style cartoon intro, The Tweedy Show consists of Wilco lead singer Jeff Tweedy, sons Sammy and Spencer, and his wife Susie, who also films the livestream every night. Jeff and Spencer also have their own duo band under the name Tweedy if you want to check out their music. On the livestream, Tweedy and sons play several covers, Wilco tunes and originals each night, with comedic banter and stories between Susie and the boys dispersed throughout.
The Tweedys’ livestream isn’t the only music live stream happening right now. Various music publications like Pitchfork, The Fader, Stereogum and many others have invited artists to play live on their Instagram accounts. In addition, musicians are holding their own live music shows for fans to watch, and sometimes include links to places for donations. Musicians have gotten super creative with live streaming during the pandemic, including making virtual music festivals and live performances on Minecraft.
Amidst all of the other live streams happening around the world at this time, I think the Tweedys’ livestream stands out. By far the most natural and home-y, the quips and crosstalk between Susie and Jeff are unmatched. Susie, who never reveals her face (except for that one time…), provides a hilarious, self-deprecating narration that contrasts the chill tone of the Tweedy men. Their house and their family creates an atmosphere that immediately feels like home to those who watch, and the music and crazy life stories are an added bonus.
Some nights are almost all laughs, while others take on a more serious tone. The Tweedys took a night to honor musician John Prine, who passed away on April 7th from COVID-19. They also honored Bill Withers when he passed away by playing “Lean on Me.”
Recurring elements on their livestream include: Jeff’s bathrobe, Susie’s “your butt…” comebacks, Spencer’s knee-drumming, a canned ham autographed by Letterman and an almost ridiculous amount of knick-knacks in the Tweedy household. Also, if you tune in, expect to be referred to not as viewers, but as “clients.”
Which brings us to how to watch the show. The Tweedy Show is live every night (except Wednesdays) on Susie’s Instagram @stuffinourhouse at 9 pm CDT. If you are not able to watch live, Susie has made sure to save each episode to the account for 24 hours, or you can find them on YouTube.
The Tweedy Show has become a comfort for many viewers, especially as you learn the jokes the family shares. In a time of chaos and unpredictability, it’s nice to sit down and watch the Tweedys. I encourage everyone to tune into the quirky show in the Jewish, vegetarian, Chicago-based family’s living room when they need some laughter and music in a dark time.