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So here we are, twenty years on from this gorgeous, enthralling, transcendent album. I remember it burning in my brain for weeks, months, like candle that couldn't be put out...it was always still a live ember back there, whatever I was doing. The songs felt like breathing. They mattered, they had to be sung. They had to be sung along to. They had to be surrounding us, live. Like breathing; it felt essential. It was.

 

Tell me about how YHF affected you. Whether you heard it new, or years later. Tell me a story or a memory. 

 

I remember the discussion on this board over the songs. How some members didn't think HMD fit, because it was light compared to the deeper songs. Frivolous almost, on such a powerful album. I didn't care. I loved HMD for exactly itself. Still do.

 

I remember my daughter, now grown, in kindergarten then, and I was driving her home from kindergarten one afternoon, YHF on the car stereo. I realized as I drove that she had learned the lyrics enough that she was happily singing along to Jesus Etc. so I tuned in. I still hear the lyrics like this, with imagery to match, every time I hear the song. And you know what, it just adds a whole 'nother depth to it. From a child's mind:

 

"Tall buildings shake

Horses escape

Singing sad sad songs..."

 

I'll always have at least a moment in my head of seeing wild-eyed horses bolting out of a smoking, flaming medieval-looking tower.

Now, maybe, you will too.

 

Now tell me how YHF affected you, how it intersected with the life you had at the time. :wub

 

PS in my version, the horses were fine.:thumbup

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I didn't start listening to Wilco till 2004, but it was an mp3 from Soul Seek of War on War that got me into the band. I wish I could remember what made me seek out Wilco... I think they were just one of those bands I heard buzz about and I was already listening to Elliott Smith, Pixies, etc, bands not totally removed from Wilco. I definitely remember buying the DVD to I Am Trying To Break Your Heart before I was super familiar with the album and watching it obsessively. Both the album and the movie were pretty formative for me. They inspired me to want to work in music as a recording engineer or producer, so that's what teenage me went to school for. Not to parents on VC: don't let your kids do this. Fortunately, that worked out for me because it did lead to my career in broadcasting, so if it wasn't for Yankee Hotel Foxtrot I don't know what I'd be doing.

It wasn't the lyrics that did it for me, though as I've gotten older I definitely appreciate the lyrics on the record and hold I Am Trying To Break Your Heart (the song) as the best example of Jeff's lyrical style. But for me what made YHF so intoxicating was the music, on one hand more of the songs sounded like old folk songs, but the production was so rich and lush, modern and classic at the same time. I use the word "texture" a lot but the instrumentation and production created a sonic texture in my mind I had never experienced anywhere else.

It was then and still is today my favourite record of all time.

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Right now watching I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, out so long ago it's a DVD even! 4-23-02 was a big day: E Costello rebooted his career with When I Was Cruel, P Westerberg put out a good un and The Last Waltz came out on DVD - all added up to getting my early 40s backside in gear for a decade of ACL Fests and SXSWs ...

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So in moments overwhelmed by my emotions, I have a tendency to write bad poetry without metre or rhyme ( show of hands?)

So I give you this doggerel that sprung from me after tonight's passionate livestream. 

I love that 20 years on, I'm still as besotted as ever. Love you, Wilco. Long may you run. 💗

 

"I came in

A little late.

Technology, first world problems

Frustrated

But then the dark and the violins 

And the calm

And I started to soften. Relax.

 

Jeff snapping on the radio

Is glued to my brain,

A perfect moment in time

 

And then theband emerged 

Like a daffodil in spring

And played songs.

 

I don't remember

A lot of the rest

But it was luminous

I thought I'd get

Some paperwork done,

While I listened.

That didn't happen.

 

This is a thank you to

My favorite band,

For lifting me right out of myself. 

Into a space with 

A thousand others,

In love with being alive,

And together for now."

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12 hours ago, tugmoose said:

Right now watching I Am Trying To Break Your Heart, out so long ago it's a DVD even! 4-23-02 was a big day: E Costello rebooted his career with When I Was Cruel, P Westerberg put out a good un and The Last Waltz came out on DVD - all added up to getting my early 40s backside in gear for a decade of ACL Fests and SXSWs ...

I got to meet Robbie Robertson. It was a pretty big thrill for me.

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