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YHF demos.......

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Hey now!


I found this on another site out there on the internets, thought it may be of some interest to folks here. Pardon if this is old news......I hadnt heard of this til now.







Yankee Hotel Foxtrot Demos



01 - I Am Trying to Break Your Heart

02 - Ashes of American Flags

03 - I'm The Man Who Loves You

04 - Magazine Called Sunset

05 - Reservations

06 - Kamera

07 - Not For the Season

08 - Alone

09 - Nothing Up My Sleeve

10 - Venus Stop the Train

11 - Rhythm

12 - Poor Places

13 - Won't You Let Down

14 - Heavy Metal Drummer

15 - Instrumental 1

16 - Instrumental 2

17 - Instrumental 2 (alternate)

18 - Kamera (alternate)

19 - Magazine Called Sunset (alternate)

20 - Alone (alternate)

21 - Not For the Season (alternate)



Story from...




Wilco's "Basement Tapes"



The "YHF Demos" are the great lost Wilco album -- now if only someone

would release them.



The ink that says "Wilco YHF Demos" is slightly smeared on the home-

printed white cover of the CD that arrived the other day. The 21 songs

on this "Basement Tapes" CD, sent from a friend, were downloaded as

MP3 files from some Web location.



I don't use the phrase "Basement Tapes" lightly. It's an intentional

reference to the recordings Bob Dylan and The Band made up in

Woodstock in the late '60s. At an hour and 15 minutes, this is Yankee

Hotel Foxtrot as a two-record set. But it's also much more expansive,

and not just because of length. It is an amazing album, and I

certainly hope that Wilco will choose to release it. I find it

captivating in a way that the official album isn't -- probably due to

the inclusion of "Venus Stop the Train" and some others that didn't

make it onto the completed album. But also because, from start to

finish, it works as an album, as a body of work that I want to hear

all the way from track one -- a version of "I Am Trying to Break Your

Heart" -- through an alternate take of "Not for the Season."



With Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Jeff Tweedy drew a line in the sand. No, he

was not that alt-country guy you wanted him to be. If you thought

Summerteeth was just a diversion, think again, he seemed to be saying.

Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is, perhaps, his way of declaring himself a major

artist, as daring as those who clearly have inspired him, including

The Beatles and Brian Wilson. An artist not content to work within the

established structures and sounds that define musical genres.



So he started fucking with the material, adding odd sounds,

deconstructing songs, creating a kind of art piece. And he was

successful. The album is good, and the world now sees him as a very

different kind of artist than they did before.



Only, for me, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot turned out to be one of those

albums that you appreciate intellectually, that you know is "good" and

that you should like, only you never seem to play it. Or you play a

couple of songs, but don't listen through from start to finish. Well,

don't know about you, maybe you played your copy to death, but I've

hardly played mine since my initial attempts to dig into it.



I must add that, because of all the drama surrounding the official

album -- record company politics that found one AOL Time Warner label

dropping the band while another signed them up -- my initial experience

of the album was a letdown.



The YHF demos are something else. With no real expectations, I put the

CD in my car stereo on my way home from the post office the other day,

and I've been playing it incessantly ever since. It's hard to

generalize, but a lot of this album seems to be lamenting a romance

that didn't work out; beyond that, Tweedy seems to be catching the

disillusionment that many feel now -- both disillusionment and

nostalgia for a past that we likely recall via romanticized memories

("Heavy Metal Drummer"). "I miss the innocence I've known/ Playing

Kiss covers, beautiful and stoned," he sings in "Heavy Metal Drummer,"

a different version of the song that appeared on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.



It's not that these demos are stripped down. They're not (or at least

some of them aren't), and thus they feel more organic. It's just that,

for the most part, the arrangements are more... traditional. "Alone,"

for example, a song that didn't make it onto the official album, rocks

along to an old-time melody and some honky-tonk. It has the feel of

Dylan and The Band doing "Don't Ya Tell Henry."



"Nothing Up My Sleeve," also not on Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, is a folk-

rocker with double-tracked vocals, just a single acoustic guitar for

accompaniment and a Beatles-esque melody. Won't Let You Down is like

the Rolling Stones doing country-rock. The lyric is simple, almost a


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