The 46-year-old (he turns 47 on Monday) could be mistaken for just another Midwestern music lifer, forever doing the Thursday-to-Saturday club grind, resigned to living out his rock-and-roll fantasies in obscurity. This is not an original observation; as far as Tweedy’s secondary career as a character actor is concerned, “Midwestern music lifer” is his type, as evidenced by a recent guest appearances on Parks and Recreation as Scott Tanner, lead singer of Pawnee rock royalty Land Ho!

“The writers said that when they pictured a washed-up rock star who used to have a band, they couldn’t stop picturing me,” Tweedy explained after leading me into Wilco’s northwest Chicago headquarters, past a long row of guitars and to a small cafeteria outfitted with a refrigerator and several cases of Mexican mineral water. “‘Why don’t we just go ahead and call him?’ [is] what they said. I was like, ‘I still have a band.’”