Laura Stevenson – “Jesus, etc.” (Wilco Cover)

For the past three years, the Chicago-based podcast Better Yet has been posting longform interviews with punk and DIY musicians. And now they’ve recruited a bunch of those musicians to pay tribute to one of the greatest albums to ever emerge from their city.

The album, Wilco’s god-level opus Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, has become the source material for the tribute compilation all of god’s money. Out 7/10, all proceeds from the project will benefit the AIDS Foundation of Chicago. In addition to interpretations of all 11 tracks from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, all of god’s money includes covers of two other songs from the era: “Laminated Cat,” which eventually found a home with Jeff Tweedy’s side project Loose Fur, and the treasured Wilco B-side “A Magazine Called Sunset.”

Contributors to the comp include Adult Mom, Ratboys, Bethlehem Steel, See Through Dresses, Mikey Erg, and Meat Wave among several others. Chicago natives Slow Mass already released their take on closing track “Reservations” on a recent 7″. And today we get to hear Laura Stevenson’s tender rendering of “Jesus, etc.”

Here’s Better Yet’s Tim Crisp with more on the project:

I’ve met some unbelievable people over the course of doing interviews on Better Yet. Not only some of my favorite musicians on the planet, but warm, gracious humans with stories to share. I wanted to find a way to collect some of these folks again in a different way, and the idea of a compilation quickly became a tribute to Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, a record ingrained in the city of Chicago. I think it may get lost as the story of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is told, retold, and further mythologized that this was a band with its back against the wall, choosing to make a record that was challenging, but full of rewards if approached with patience. At its core, it’s a collection of songs that were created, destroyed, and rebuilt; it was a great thrill to see these songs further reinterpreted by some of the best. Ultimately, this was all an excuse to help out the AIDS Foundation of Chicago, an organization devoted to servicing those in our city living with HIV/AIDS.

Stevenson shared this context on her track:

I’ve always loved Wilco. I remember my dad seeing them open for Neil Young a long time ago and he was like “this is going to be your favorite band- this band is going to be huge” and I was like “okay whatever dad” And then I listened to them and I was like, “okay you’re right” haha.

This song is so beautiful- the way it resolves to the major in the verse “you can rely on me honey” it’s so good. I love it. I obviously can’t do it justice but it was fun to get to play it like a hundred times while I was recording this.

Listen below, and revisit our interview with Stevenson about her very good new album The Big Freeze.

01 Bethlehem Steel – “I Am Trying To Break Your Heart”
02 Mikey Erg – “Kamera”
03 Mother Evergreen – “Radio Cure”
04 Meat Wave – “War On War”
05 Laura Stevenson – “Jesus, etc.”
06 Walter, Etc. – “Ashes Of American Flags”
07 Lifted Bells – “Heavy Metal Drummer”
08 See Through Dresses – “I’m The Man Who Loves You”
09 Ratboys – “Pot Kettle Black”
10 Adult Mom – “Poor Places”
11 Slow Mass – “Reservations”
12 Chloe & Bear – “Laminated Cat”
13 Cee Dertz – “A Magazine Called Sunset”

all of god’s money is out 7/10. Pre-order it here.