Wes Anderson rocks!
You love the director and his soundtracks featuring The Who and Nico. Now hear the songs live at a free concert

By Matt McGuire

Metromix readers have spoken. And it turns out you're as obsessed with Wes Anderson as we are.

When we told you about the free concert we'd planned centered around the director's soundtracks, we weren't entirely sure how'd you respond.

What would you think of a show featuring our favorite Chicago bands dedicated to the music of "Bottle Rocket," "Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums" and the upcoming "The Life Aquatic"?

Turns out you were pretty jazzed.

"This thing that you have done--with the bands playing songs from Wes Anderson movies--is a truly great thing," one reader e-mailed us.

Other readers logged on to metromix.com and voted for their favorite soundtrack song. Nico's version of "These Days" pulled in the most votes, with The Who's "A Quick One While He's Away" coming in a close second.

We promised the bands would play your favorite tunes and they will.

The Autumn Defense, fronted by Wilco members John Stirratt and Pat Sansone, will play "These Days." And the eight-piece hip-hop band Abstract Giants have promised to completely reinvent "A Quick One While He's Away."

(For those of you keeping close score: Yes, we know that Devo's "Gut Feeling" from "The Life Aquatic" got about 10 times more votes than any of the other songs, but we're a little skeptical of the overwhelming response. Plus, we know how easy it is to cheat--real easy. Though to keep everyone happy, power-pop garage rockers The Safes have promised to play a blistering cover of the song from Devo's debut album.)

If you voted for "Christmas Time Is Here" by the Vince Guaraldi Trio (originally from the "A Charlie Brown Christmas" soundtrack), you're in luck. Drummer extraordinaire Kevin O'Donnell, along with singer-songwriters Andrew Bird and Nora O'Connor, have enthusiastically agreed to perform the holiday classic.

Of course, the bands will also play several other songs from Anderson's movies, along with a few of their original tunes.

Look for a seven-piece version of The Autumn Defense to play "Love Again Or" as well as set heavy on songs from the "Rushmore" soundtrack, including "Ooh La La" by the Faces, "The Wind" by Cat Stevens, "A Summer Song" by Chad and Jeremy and "Concrete and Clay" by Unit 4+2.

"We're going to vary our versions of a few of the songs, though 'Concrete and Clay' is such a perfect pop moment that we probably won't mess with it," Stirratt says.

We can't wait. See you there.

Matt McGuire is the metromix music producer.

Originally published Dec. 8, 2004.