Track of the Day: 'Random Name Generator'

Editor’s Note: This article previously appeared in a different format as part of The Atlantic’s Notes section, retired in 2021.

The packaging for Wilco’s new album already felt like a parody of what the Internet is interested in. Star Wars + cats = the ultimate clickbait, no? Now, the rock band has taken entered the next phase of digital commentary, creating a Buzzfeed quiz to allow fans to figure out which member of the band they are, featuring lil Bitmoji pictures of musicians usually associated with depression opuses and guitar squall.

It’s not technically sponsored content—Wilco is a “community user,” contributing to the section of Buzzfeed that anyone can write for—but it is, essentially, an ad, meant to promote the single “Random Name Generator.” When I reviewed Star Wars after its surprise release in July, that track was my favorite, and now, it’s nice to see a marketing strategy that matches the song and album’s spirit—playful, small, unexpected. “I change my name every once in a while,” Jeff Tweedy sings. “A miracle every once in a while.”