twice the age that the Beatles were then
Tuesday, June 8 2004
This evening our neighbors from the Meat Locker up the road came over to watch a DVD movie with us. The movie was I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, a documentary of the production of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by the indie music heroes in the quirky band Wilco. I've heard enthusiastic things said about this particular album, mostly by friends, but I've never been too ecstatic about it myself. Mind you, I have the whole thing in MP3 form and it was even part of the soundtrack for the long days of house construction back the final months of 2002.
As for this documentary, well, the music is probably the best thing about it. It was filmed entirely in black and white in dreary keeping with its inherently grainy subject matter. We learned almost nothing about the band in any of the interviews, where they sputtered meaningless word assemblages familiar from other rockumentaries (and mockurockumentaries).
It turns out that there's not a whole lot of interest to be said about Wilco. The best we were offered for dramatic tension was the ousting of an annoying gutarist from the band (the scene from his attempt at a solo act provides a delightfully pathetic vision of an organ struggling for survival outside a body). Later in the film there was also the issue of what would be done once the big stupid major label decided not to release their seemingly unmarketable album. But the resolution of that issue proved far less radical and satisfying than we could have hoped. (I didn't know how that story turned out, because, like most discerning music lovers, I got my copy from KaZaA.) There are plenty of unforgiveable moments strewn throughout the movie, but the worst was a scene shot along an urban waterfront featuring our heroes, the members of Wilco, strolling along and occasionally clowning around like the Beatles circa 1965. The big difference, of course, is that the members of Wilco are probably twice the age that the Beatles were then.
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