After all, with albums like Summerteeth, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
and A Ghost Is Born under your belt, where is there left to go?
The Marina City towers have been on screens -- Steve McQueen chased a fugitive around the west tower's corkscrew parking ramp in "The Hunter" -- and graced the album cover of Wilco's 2002 "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
However, inevitably, it was the run of multi-layered classics from albums like A Ghost Is Born and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
that drew the biggest cheers.
The height of their "difficult" period, the troubled Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
album, saw them dropped by their record label for not having written any hits.
Yet it's not fair to call "Sky Blue Sky," due out Tuesday, a return to form, since that would imply something was out of whack with the brilliant "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
" or "A Ghost is Born." And it is very likely that Wilco leader Jeff Tweedy and his crew could not have so nicely balanced the lush and the rustic on "Sky Blue Sky" had they not explored so many sonic textures over the band's previous two records.
MJ: How do you look back on the fight over Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
? In retrospect, it seems like such a harbinger of the crises we've seen in the music business the past few years.
I don't know why I never bothered picking up a vinyl copy of Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
. I guess I just never got around to it.
Last month's top five: Thomas Ades, "Asyla" (Simon Rattle and the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra); Wilco, "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
"; "Charlie Parker: The Best of the Dial Years"; "Radu Lupu: Brahms Klavierstucke"; Justin Timberlake's "Justified" and Britney Spears' "In the Zone" (`Admittedly, I only like a couple of songs on each of these records, but man, when they're good, they're great.
This album, like the predecessor -2002's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
-is full of interesting soundscapes and oblique lyrics.
BOB MOULD SAID OF ZEN ARCADE before its recording that "...it's going to be big--bigger than punk rock." And although fellow Midwestern band Wilco's 2002 Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
wasn't a hardcore album to be recorded in a one-take session followed by a 40-hour mix marathon, both records share some commonalities: Skeletons of folk-like ballads and pop sing-a-longs treated with sonic dissonance--Husker Du with beautiful fuzz and bath bands with other arts of noise.