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Wilco: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot


Show Notes and Transcript



Music Rewind welcomes Podcast Ryan Pak to discuss Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Wilco


Album: Yankee Hotel Foxtrot

Artist: Wilco

Year: 2001/2002


Our Guest, Ryan Pak, is the host of the Soundtrack Your Life Podcast. A podcast about soundtracks and why they're important to us. https://soundtrack-your-life.captivate.fm IG: @soundtrackcast Twitter: @soundtrack_your

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Transcript as follows:

Participant #1:

Hello and welcome to season two of Music Rewind, a podcast where we love to tell the stories behind our favorite albums. I'm your host, Steve Epley, and in each episode, I will invite a guest on them to tell us about their favorite music album, how they discovered it, and what makes it special to them. So I wanted to take a moment and thank you all for listening and supporting the show. With the limited operation we've got here, it's all thanks to you that we were able to keep growing with more amazing guests and bonus episodes. I will ask you, though, if you are enjoying Music Rewind, please check out the links in our show notes. They will take you to either our patreon, where you can donate to support the show and get special content on the side, or to our amazing sponsors. Zounds for all your audio production needs and also Drizzly, which will deliver your favorite beer, wine or spirit straight to your door. This all helps us keep the show going. Thanks again. And now on with the show. Joining me today is musician and fellow podcaster Ryan Pak. Ryan is the host of Soundtrack Your Life Podcast, a show that talks about great movie soundtracks and how they are important to us all. Ryan show was recently featured in the podcaster Top 50 Shows to Discover in May 2022. Welcome, Ryan, and thank you for being on the show. Thanks for having me. I'm really excited to be here. Yes. Glad you're joining us. Big fan of your show. I've listened to pretty much every episode. Really enjoy it. Wow. Thank you so much. So, Ryan, let's jump into this. What album would you like to bring to the table and what makes it special to you? So I wanted to talk about Wilco's Yankee hotel box truck.


Participant #1:

I would say over the past 20 years, I have not seen a band live as often as I've seen Wilco, so they're definitely one of my favorites. And I think among Wilco fans, they would agree this is their most important album. Yeah, this was a first time listening for me. Okay. Yeah. I had heard various songs from Wilco over the years, caught them at Bonnaroo once, but never really dove into what they had. Was that Bonner 2013, by any chance? No, it was before that. Okay. I was there at 2013 and they played I can't remember which one. I went five years in a row and caught a lot of these bands on the upswing. Sure. Yeah. 2011 was my last one, I think. Okay. I only went once and it was 2013. That's a good time. But then kids came along and that changes the festival availability. Yes, I'm currently in that boat. Congratulations, by the way. Thank you. But I think this is a great album and I listen to your show pretty often, so I feel like it slots in really nicely along, like the soft Bulletin and Diary and even, like, Throwing Copper to a certain extent. These are, I feel like, really big important, like, old rock albums of the last 20 to 30 years. Oh, absolutely. So it was an amazing album. Not what I expected at all, because when I think of Wilco, I think of more the earlier stuff with the not country, but similar to country roots. Right. And this was not that. Yeah, this is kind of their first like, we're not going to even have anything that sounds like country on this album. Yeah. There were times it reminded me of kind of a pre and this is a great compliment, a pre dark Side of the Moon, Pink Floyd. At times, I can see that where they were really starting to experiment with sounds. Yeah. They've always been like, a big production band. They've always invested. They own their own studio. But, yeah, I would say this is the first time where they're really like playing with noise. So how did you discover this album? Back in high school, I had a friend who I guess got me into Wilco. So around the time of Being There, which is their second album, he bought that album. I think I bought the next one. Summer teeth. And then there was the collaboration album with Billy Bragg, Mermaid Avenue. And so I was a pretty big fan of Wilco at this point. And then when this album came out, I was in college and I had a roommate who had heard of Wilco. They were, at the time, kind of every band's favorite band. Yeah. And so when this came out, because they collaborated with Jim O'Rourke on it, and my friend was a big Sonic Youth fan, it kind of piqued his interest to really dive into this album. And it kind of became, like, one of the favorite things to spend in the apartment. What makes this album really jump to the top of your list? It's the anniversary of this album, so they've been promoting that. Okay. And for me, it was like, okay, what album? If I were to talk about one album on a podcast, this would be It Makes Sense and this would be it. Like, it's one of my favorites. They're definitely one of my favorite bands. And the mythology of this album is really fun to talk about. Like, there's a really fun story about how this became kind of this underdog success story. So are you referring to how they kind of bought it from the studio? Yeah, so they bought it from their label and then they got signed to a different part of that same label. So I think they said that we basically got paid for the same album twice. I think the way I was reading it was that the label at first was saying, we want the radio hits, and that's not the direction they wanted to go. They being Jeff Tweedy, the leading force there. And so my understanding is they bought it for like, 50 grand and then they were able to go off and do their own thing. Yeah. Well, at least my understanding was the label didn't want to release it because there was no radio single. So they got dropped. Okay. And then they re shopped it to whoever. And then I believe this is Warner Brothers. A different wing of Warner Brothers ended up picking them up. So Warner Brothers basically paid them twice for the same set of recordings. And then there's also the elephant that's around this album, which is September 11, because this album was released on streaming only September 18, 2001, and then it was released in stores April 23. But I mean, to be released anything in September of 2001 is going to get a bit overshadowed. Yeah. And they have a song called Ashes of American Flags. And that song has a lyric about tall building. No, it's not that song. So they have that for one, and then they have Jesus, et cetera, which has in the chorus tall building shake as one of the lines. Yeah. That's as creepy and odd as you can get because it was all recorded before September 11. Right, but I had those lyrics. But according to interviews, this album helped many people get through that particular event. Yeah, I think that helped me. I think that helped my myself and my friends, for sure. Like, there's definitely, like, a sadness to the album. Indeed. But it was also just so good. I'm a person that likes sad music. It was right up my alley. I believe that we were able to get our hands on it because the band leaked the album on the Internet themselves. That would must be the streaming only release. Yeah, because streaming wasn't really a thing in 2001. LimeWire was going strong in 2001. So I think when they got dropped the first time, they just leaked it. And then April of 2002, which is like the official release date, which is what they're celebrating on tour right now. Makes sense. That's when the physical copy came out, and that was on the other wing of Warner Brothers Records. Got you. You're right. This whole album is melancholy in retrospective at times. There's a few jaunty tunes in there, but largely it deals with loss, pain, love, all wrapped into one. Yeah, that's pretty fair. How do you listen to this album? Do you jump around or do you go from front to back? Typically, I go front to back with the album. Occasionally I'll skip around. But that first song, I'm Trying to Break Your Heart, is just like such a powerhouse. It's like, why am I skipping this song? Obviously, if I'm going to listen to Zambia, I'm going to start there.


Participant #1:

Yeah, that was a great one to listen to and start off with. I try to listen to it when I can with the ear muff headphones so that I'm canceling out as much as possible. And there's a lot going on in that song, like we talked earlier with just the sounds and the noises. Yeah, absolutely. It's very disorienting if you've never heard the album before. It's like, whoa, there's drums in weird places that I didn't expect them to be. And there's, like, clanking bottles. Rhythmic noise is one of my notes.


Participant #1:

Yeah. And so there's a documentary that came out after this album called I think it is called I Am Trying To Break Your Heart. And this documentary filmmaker came to record the album or record them recording the album, and it obviously turned into much more than that. And the documentary starts with, like, a demo version of the song, and it's really just Jeff Tweedy and acoustic guitar just singing kind of straight through. So they really kind of deconstructed the song and made it a whole nother thing. That's really cool. I have to check that out. Yeah, it's great. It was great timing. I think he said in an interview, like, the first day he showed up, they had just fired their drummer. Really? Yeah. And so this album kind of represents, like, this new era of wilco because the drummer, Ken, got fired and then Jay Bennett, I think, left after the album was finished that I did read. Yeah. And then I think after the next album, Ghost Is Born, I think another Leroy left. So there's a lot of turnover in the band around this time. And then they became this kind of live touring powerhouse after this when they brought in, like, Pat and Mikael and, of course, Mel's Klein. Usually when you've got that kind of turmoil going on in the band, people leaving, people getting fired, the album will reflect that. But this is kind of different. They turned out kind of a seminal album here for their career. Yes. I think when there's a lot of turmoil, it either, like, breaks up the band or they put out, like, their best work. Yeah. So we'll walk you through the album. If you want to go, we can go track by track and you can tell me your thoughts on each. We already talked about a little bit about I am trying to break your heart. It's one of the longer songs on the album, which I'm not used to. Opener is kind of like, being short and sweet and kind of getting you pumped up for the album wall. This one, it's a really long, hand, kind of disorienting song. It kind of ends in just like a collage of noise. Yeah. Piano and clinks and static and feedback and there's all kinds of junk is a bad word. But there's just a lot going on in that second part of the song and it's a great way to start the album. It kind of tells you what to kind of expect as you go throughout the album. But then the second song, Camera, is like the most direct and most old Wilco sounding song, in my opinion. I can see that.


Participant #1:

It's very straightforward. It's camera with a K.


Participant #1:

Interesting. They ended up releasing Camera with a C later, which is a much noisier version of that song. I like this. I have my notes saying it's a good rock song. Like you said, it's straight to the point. There's not a lot of the extras. So I'm curious what a version of this song with the extras would sound like. A lot of distortion. I think they picked the right version of the song. Yeah. Interesting lyrics. As far as the way I took it was a guy is trying to see the truth in life and he sees it only through a camera. Right. Yeah. I think this is where the album starts to get really interesting. Radio Cure on. Yeah. Radio Cure is an interesting one. Very haunting sounding. Yeah. And it's probably the song that took me the longest to enjoy. I think that's fair.


Participant #1:

I mean, this album took several listings as a whole to me, to really grip on to. Yeah. This one could be difficult to listen to if you're not really into the album. Right. For people who don't like Wilka, they kind of call them, like, boring dad rock. And I feel like this kind of fits into that category. Well, as a former signal soldier for the army, there are certain parts of this album that hit home with the radio aspects of it. Right. I can appreciate what they put in there for those. Yeah. And because I have no background in that sort of radio stuff for the longest time, I used to call this album Yankee Foxtrot Hotel because it just came off the tongue a lot easier.


Participant #1:

Yeah. For those that don't know, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is the phonetic spelling of when you use the alphabet over the air, you don't say ABCD. You would say alphabra, charlie, delta, et cetera. And so YHF is Yankee Hotel Foxtrot when you're speaking on the radio. Right. But I was just like, doesn't Yankee Foxtrot Hotel just sound better? When I first typed in, the first couple of times, I was typing Whiskey Hotel Foxtrot just from memory, something from my particular past that was a call sign of one of our sites for years, those three letters. And I had to go back and correct all my notes. Put Yankee in there. Yes. I think a brewery called a beer like Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, so it'd be WTF. Yeah. You hear that one a lot. That's a very common one in the army. So I feel like War On War is one of the popular songs on this album, which doesn't really lean into pop. This is one of those that I referenced earlier with saying it's a jaunty tune, it's more upbeat, but then it reversely, has very dark lyrics. Yes. That's a big thing with Jeff Tweedy. He likes it.


Participant #1:

I like as long as I do that, that's one of my really, the things that I like on a lot of albums. The who we talked about a couple of weeks ago with Quadrificia has that on several where the song doesn't necessarily match the lyrics. And that's a plus for me. Yeah. I like when they juxtapose kind of the tone of the song and the tone of the lyrics. Yeah. This one being, obviously about the futility of war. Right. Or any conflict, but obviously War in the title. War on War.


Participant #1:

Yeah. It's one of the more upbeat songs. I like the kind of like you can't tell if it's a synthesizer or if it's like, a guitar through a lot of effects. I guess it's the chorus. There's, like, the chorus and then there's just the guitar freak out part, which I'm not sure if that counts as the chorus.


Participant #1:

I like that feedback guitar. I'm not going to try and imitate guitar, but you get what I'm saying. I like that transition between the verses. Yes. I think it's what makes the song kind of pop. Like, if they didn't have that part, it wouldn't be interesting enough. Like, it needs that kind of dynamic shift. I can agree with that. Like, I think it's the one thing that camera lacks. Yeah, cameras got a little bit of it, if I'm remembering right, but camera is more of, like we said earlier, a straightforward rock song. It doesn't have a lot of the experimentation on it. Yeah. For me, it just lacks, like a little bit of a dynamic sort of thing, though. I think they kind of amp it up a little bit more when they play it live. But like I said, there's no skips on this album. How many times have you seen them live? I think ten. Oh, wow. Yeah, I've seen them a lot. And I've seen Jeff Tweedy solo as well. And I'm not counting that in the tent. When you go solo, is it more of an acoustic set or is he go full rock band? Yes. When I saw him, it was literally just him and a guitar. That'd be cool to see, though. That would be neat. So now we're on Jesus, et cetera. Yeah, Jesus, et cetera. The eternal quest for what does it all mean? And it's kind of a big hit from this album. Not like a radio hit, but it's definitely one of the songs that they play live.


Participant #1:

I like this song musically. The lyrics get obviously, we talked about the prophetic stuff with 911 Tall Building Shakes and stuff, voices escape singing sad, sad songs and all that, but what I like about song is there's a fiddle in there, and I enjoyed that particular portion of the song. Yeah, it's a very pretty song. And when they play it live now, I believe there's a lot more organ in it. So it almost gets kind of not jazzy, but it gives it a little bit of a darker tone. I mean, they've been playing this song for 20 years, so they're always trying to figure out different ways to make it interesting to play without completely changing it. Wouldn't mind hearing a whole live set of just the soft album in its entirety. This is the one album where if they didn't play anything off of it, people would complain. Every band has got one. They're kind of like I don't want to compare them necessarily to Pearl Gym, but there are some bands that only play the hits when you see them alive. And then there's other bands where they'll play almost a completely different set every night. And Wilko falls into that category, which is why I've been able to justify going to see them so many times because it's like, well, they're going to dig deep. They're going to play something I've never heard. It's not going to just be like the same songs, just in a different order. How many studio albums they have? This was their fourth, I believe. Yeah, this was their fourth. I think they're up to like ten or eleven now. They just released a new album, like, two weeks ago. That's great. I mean, when you got that deep of a catalog, you can have a very fluid set list each night. That's cool. Yeah. So I really enjoyed that. But they will always play this song. They will always play a handful of tracks from this album. I always get the biggest reaction. Then that leads into Ashes of American Flags, which is a slower acoustic tune. Yeah, it's a slow song. It's pretty sparse on the album. But, like, I alluded to earlier with their new live band. So this song is really popular live because they just give Nell's client like, four minutes to solo at the end of the song and people eat that up. I'm personally not the biggest fan of the lyrics of this particular track. That's just me. I would like to salute the ashes of the American Flags. It gets a little bit too far for me, sure, but musically, I did like it. I like how they can go jonty and then slow down for the acoustics. And all my lies or wishes is a great line. That's a deep thought right there.


Participant #1:

I think this is a really good showcase of Jeff Tweedy. As a lyricist, I know that you're not a fan of the Ashes of American Flags line, but a lot of the imagery, I think, in the song is really some of his better work on this album. It goes well with the theme of this album. I don't want to say depression, because it's not that. It's more like a nihilistic view of things. If this was a theme. As far as the whole album, things have not gone the narrator's way and there's a lot of regret and right there all my lies are wishes. So he's saying things that he wished were true in a lot of these songs through the lyrics. Yeah. That's fair. So then next we've got Heavy Metal Drummer. This was a fun song. Yeah, this is a fun song. That was kind of earmarked as the single. Obviously, they got dropped once because they didn't feel like there was a single on this album, but the second time around, this is kind of what was picked. And it is like the most immediate earworm earworm of a song. And I believe that he'll change the lyrics to the verses when they play it live. Oh, really? Yeah, just kind of for funny.


Participant #1:

Like I said, they've been playing these songs like every show for 20 years, so always trying to find ways to make it fun. So I read about this one and I misinterpreted it. I thought they were just singing about the good old days, playing Kiss covers and stuff, but then found an interview with Tweeney and he said, I'm quoting them here. I would sit there and scoff and feel superior to all the Heavy Metal bar bands with the big hair and the spandex. So who was losing me? I was. Those guys were getting laid. They were diluting themselves into thinking they were going to be huge stars and they were living, but I was dead and I was staring into my drink. That sounds about right for Jeff, sweetie, around this time. He's much happier now. Oh, that's good. Still writes dark songs, but he's happier now.


Participant #1:

Yeah. Whenever you go through a dark album, I always hope that who's ever was writing those lyrics and in that dark place found happiness at some point. Yeah, I think he did, but yeah, I think when he switches the lyrics, he basically is poking fun of his own drummer. Oh, really? He's got a verse about playing at the battle of the bands, but then that goes into track eight, which is I'm the Man Who Loves You. And this is probably my favorite track on the out. I really like this one. Yeah, it's kind of like Heavy Metal Drummer. An earworm you don't need repeated listens to. Enjoy this one.


Participant #1:

This one was a good guitar track and then it turns into a nice chaotic jam towards the end. Yes. It's a song that kind of falls apart on purpose. That's a great way to put it. It really is.


Participant #1:

This one would have been fun to be a fly on the wall during the recording of see how it got put together. Yeah, because you could argue, like, if you were in the studio, like a producer. Do we really need that roof at the beginning? Can't we just start where it's like that's one of the best parts. No, I'm not saying I think it's bad, but I could see someone in the studio being like, do we really need that why are we starting there? This is probably what I'll take away and put in my regular playlist. I like that one a lot. Oh, and they kill a lot, as you can only imagine. I bet this one would be really cool about the search to see if there's a YouTube video there. Yeah, because, I mean, they have three guitars now. Oh, really? Yeah. Well, I mean, Pat is a multi instrumentalist, but he plays guitar, and he plays guitar very well. So then we get to track nine, which is Pop Kettle Black. Yeah. So this song, I'm kind of up and down with it. I think when I first started listening to this album, this is one of my favorites. And then it kind of became one of the more boring songs.


Participant #1:

And then after not, like, seeing it live, I started craving it live and then I got really excited when they would play it live. So I feel like it's kind of like camera, where it's a little bit on the more straightforward side. I could see that it's the start of the end of the album, the final three tracks, which are all dark. In their own way, they're all dark. And this is the most normal of the three. Yes, you're right. You're very right. So I think it's kind of like the placement in the album that makes it not interesting. You have these two really upbeat, fun songs with Heavy Metal Drummer and I'm the Man Who Loves You, and then you have these experimental dark songs and Poor Places and reservations, and then you have Pot Kettle Black, which is like it's nice. It's nice when you put it that way. It's in a tough spot in the set list where a normal album and I'll say that with my own air quotes there a normal album would have kind of a pallet cleanser there. Yeah. So I guess it's the palette cleanser. It's the valley between two very high peaks, in my opinion. Yeah, exactly. Not skippable. It's still a good tune, but yeah, it's placement between previous two and the final two. You can't put this track with either one of those groups whatsoever. No. So then into poor places. Yeah. And this is a song that is probably one of my favorites of the album. It starts off so sparse, and then it's the whole dynamic thing I was talking about earlier. It starts solo and then it starts to build up and then it gets really high. And I really love everything they did with the structure of this song.


Participant #1:

I love the piano rhythm throughout the whole song that stays steady while everything you said is going in a bit of more values up and down. And then there's like, an interesting musical bridge at about three minutes with some interesting sounds. But then it ends with the Yankee Hotel Foxtrot.


Participant #1:

The actual radio call from a live radio. Yeah. And I believe the line, I'm the man who loves you comes near the end as well. Like, overall, the noise. Okay, this is really interesting. I don't quite get what Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is supposed to me, other than just the radio, to me, would symbolize distance. Always distance. So whoever he's trying to talk to in this entire album, there's always a distance between him and his love, his whatever, whoever he's trying to talk to and can't.


Participant #1:

I don't know, maybe he just liked the way Yankee Hotel Foxtrot sounded. It's three letters. Yeah. I want to say that at one point I knew exactly why it was called the Anki Hotel Hooks Drive. But I can't remember off the top of my head. The only thing I can really find is that it was taken from Israel's intelligence agency connet Project over there. And that's where they sampled that particular lady saying it over the radio. I think it was a lady. It's not I'm sorry, but I thought it was. That's interesting. I don't think I ever heard that. Yeah. It trails for a couple of minutes. Does it? Yeah. It's very interesting, but fascinating way to end that song. Yeah. And it's almost a surprise that there's anything after that for a lot of bands like that's how you end an album that could easily have been the end. Yes. Because then Reservations, the final track, is a very somber close to this album. Yeah.


Participant #1:

It's atmospheric and lots going on at times, kind of like track one. So it does book end the album. Well, in that way. Yeah. I kind of almost see Reservations as, like, the end credits song for this album. Like, Four Places is the end of the movie and Reservations is like Fade to Black. Here's the credits, especially the second half of the song, I thought the song was over. There's a quiet break in the middle and then there's a very psychedelic style instrumental. Three minutes to close it out. I was fascinated. I listened to it several times. I kept rewinding the track and listened to that over and over again because there's a piano chord and then it creaks.


Participant #1:

That was fascinating to me, how they did that. And I kept listening to it over and over again. It was a single piano chord and then almost like the actual piano itself would creak when that chord ended. It was very weird. Yeah. And that's why I think my friend really enjoyed it because it kind of had these weird quirks that you would find with more experimental rock bands like Sonic Youth or like, the Flaming Lips. Like they would do things like this. Yeah. Having listened now to the softballs and many times I see the connection there quite a bit. Yeah. So the person who mixed the album, his name is Jim O'Rourke and he's known for producing a lot of indie bands and kind of bringing kind of an eclectic sort of flavor to. Their music. One album that I really enjoy, that he produced, is called Come Pick Me Up by Superchunk. And they're kind of more of a straightforward rock band, almost a little bit like pop punk. And when he worked with them, he was like, hey, let's bring strings and horns and put them on, like, some of these tracks. And it works. But they're not a band where you would think of doing that. And so when he linked up with Wilco, I think he was like, let's push your sound in a different direction than you've pushed it on all these other albums. They're always trying something new. It's a running theme throughout many of the albums the show has covered where that producer is always the fifth beetle in the room as far as what people expect of them. And then that producer, either by pushing them, like you said, to try something different or by better understanding what they're trying to get across than your average studio producer would. That special guy in the booth. There's always a bit of magic there. And I have a new appreciation for that particular role in all of these albums. Yeah. And since he has ties to Sonic Youth and so does Nels Klein I haven't read it anywhere, but I feel like he had something to do with Nelsonley joining Wilco. And if you talk to anyone who has seen Wilco as many times as I have or half as many times as I have, they're always talking about, like, Nels client did this solo or during this song, nell's client did this with his guitar. And he kind of helped them after this album came out. He kind of helped make them kind of alive behemoth that they are now. That's cool. I'm glad they kind of straighten their line up out. They're on a hot streak. Well, have been for 20 years now. Yeah. So they released a live album, I think, in 2005 called Kicking Television. And it has a lot of songs from this album. One, because it's the biggest album, but two because they had only released one album after this when they did the live album. Okay. But you can hear, like, how epic these songs are with, like I think they're a six person band now. Okay. Not that you need anything else to appreciate these songs, but this is why they have their own festival now. And this is why they are really high on the lineup when they play Bonaroo or outside Lands or whatever festival, they became like a live institution.


Participant #1:

Yeah. I think projam is I would put them on the level of Projam just because projam is special to me from childhood. But it's a good comparison as far as the longevity. They have the following. That's the word I'm looking for. They have a very dedicated following. Right. And I don't know if you heard our Pearl Jam episode, but my friend Mike, he's seen pearl Jam over 30 times and he compared Pearl Jam to the Grateful Dead. So there's like each new generation has their own type of band of that nature and Wilco is definitely in that realm. Right. And like with Pearl Jam, they don't have to play Jeremy at every show. People don't care. Wilco doesn't have to play, I don't know, whatever their biggest radio single has been. I mean, they could probably skip Jesus, et cetera, but I think every time I've seen them, they played it. They could probably skip it and people probably wouldn't mind too much because they just have so many other songs. Is Wilco the kind of band that has a lot of B sides out there that people kind of hunt for? I think they did with this album and the album After Ghost Is Born from the last few albums. I don't think people have been hunting the BSides as much, but I think for like, the first five or six albums, I think people are really into the B sides. It seems to be a dying quest in this day and age of MP3 and streaming services. Yeah, that's a relic of the CD era. Yeah, no, that's fair. So it could be just that. And to kind of go back to your Pearl Jam Grateful Dead comparison, I believe Wilco has brought out Bob Weir during an encore to Jam on Some Dead with him. So I definitely think comparison works. That's awesome. So this album made your top spot. What albums would be on your short list that could have made your top spot? That is a good question. So two of the albums that would have made it that you've already done would be Diary by Sunny Day Real Estate and Soft Bolton by the Flaming Lips. As far as hip hop albums go, I think B is definitely up there for me. Those are all great albums. I'm glad they were brought to the table. I think if this album had already been picked or something, I probably either would have gone with the Fugazi album. They keep coming up on short lists. You're like the fourth person to mention Fugazi. Yeah, they're so good and they're just kind of fun to talk about because they are like the epitome of we're just going to start our own label and we're not going to make any advertisements, no videos, no songs for radio. We're just going to do everything ourselves and hop in a van. They're fun to talk about because they just have so many great ideals and we're actually doing an episode on a documentary that the band Room that Fugazi released in 2001 called Instrument, where it kind of shows the first ten years of Fugazi from 1997. That's cool. Like, so much of their lead singer, Ian McKay, gets distorted through the lens of like he's kind of this idealistic sort of they call him the leader of the starter of straight edge, that whole movement. And he's a guy with strong principles. And I think that kind of gets distorted to like he must be like just this miserable person to be around all the time. But I think it's just kind of one of those he believes what he believes, but he's not going to flip out on you because you believe something different. And I think that gets distorted a lot. Even through the lens of fans. I think people are just like, oh, he knew Dave GroEL when Dave Roll was like a teenager, but he must hate what the Foo Fighters have become. And then on the Foo Fighters Sonic Highways documentary, he shows up when they're in DC. And just hangs out in the studio with them, like his friend. So he's going to go see his friend when he's in town. Like, there's this weird perception that he's this gatekeeper, judgmental person. That's fascinating. I have to watch the documentary before your episode comes out. Yes. It's not like the most fun watch. It's not what you expect a rock documentary to be, if that helps. There's a new documentary out for the blind melon lead singer Shannon who. Yeah. All I can say, I think it's called have you watched that yet? No, I just heard of it when you mentioned it. Check out the trailer. Even the trailer is hard to watch. Apparently, he's kind of he was like Val Kilmer where he was videotaping every day of his life. Oh, no. And you know how he spiraled towards the end at the beginning? The trailer really gives you goosebumps. And I don't even know if I will watch it because the beginning is so happy and everybody I mean, there's skyrocket, no rain, all that. And then it shows him spiraling all the way to the end. So the instrument is kind of like the opposite of that because there is, like, no drama in the entire documentary. This is just like a day in the life of Bughazi for ten years.


Participant #1:

There's no real bad guy, even though, you know, they have a stance to not sign with the major label and all this stuff. It doesn't come up. It's not like you have these suits. They're having meetings with suits and telling them to get out of their office or whatever.


Participant #1:

Yes. It's just like just following them around for ten years. And there's a funny conversation in the studio where the drummer is like, yeah, my sister's boyfriend thinks that we just live in a cabin and just eat rice, like no electricity or something.


Participant #1:

Forgot. He's definitely a band I need to seek out and listen to their stuff and learn more about. With as much as they're mentioned on this particular show and the influence they've had on the listeners here, I need to seek them out more. Yeah, they're a band that has evolved a lot from the beginning. Ian came out of Minor Threat, which everyone knows is like, this legendary hardcore band. And so Fugazi kind of starts out with those sort of roots. And then their last album, I wouldn't call it a 180, but you can tell that they've grown a ton since the first record. That's good. I mean, any band that has longevity is going to evolve and that's one of the more fascinating things to see from long standing bands like you mentioned, the Foo Fighters, Color and The Shape doesn't sound anything like their last couple of albums. They've evolved quite a bit. Right. Both musically lyrically. Sonic Highways you mentioned is one of my favorites from the Foo Fighters. I love that album. I love how they put together and I love the documentary about it. That was a really good one. Yeah, I'm sure every band is like, I wish we could record in eight different studios. Yeah. I don't think I like any artist that doesn't evolve in interesting ways. Yeah. If it's stagnant, if it's just the same thing album after album, it gets old. You got to change something. It does have to be drastic. But if you can't tell the difference between three straight albums, then you're going to lose some listeners. Right? Yeah, that's totally correct. Yeah. I mean, bands may stagnate at some point, but if there wasn't growth to get you to that point, you're probably jumping off that train. Yes. When you look at the grades, your Beatles, Pink Floyd, The Who, their beginnings and ends completely different from each other. Right. And to bring it back to Wilco, like, their first six albums, none of them sound alike at all. The one before this, I think, is one. You are. My face is a really good track that I like. I can't remember the name of the album. I think it starts with an S. Oh, that's sky blue. Sky, yeah, that's it. Me and my dad brothers, we have this thing where we'll make a CD, ten tracks, no labels, and everybody gets to guess who's the singer, who's the artist, what's the song name. And from my father to me to my youngest brother, you've got like a span of 40 years there, so you get a lot of interesting tracks on there. And my older little brother Tony, he put that Wilco track on there and I was a big fan of that track ever since he did. That was one of my favorite ones. He put on a track or put on one of those albums. But that was really all I knew of Wilco other than just catching up a bonus briefly. That's interesting because Sky Blue Sky is the first Wilkie album with that new lineup that I was talking about. Okay. And they recorded that album live like everyone in the same room live. Yeah. So you are my favorite. Okay. I got you. Everything is a single take. I need to check out that whole album, too. I'm bad about that. Sometimes I find a song I like, I listen to it, but I never circled back to find the actual full album and listen to it. I remember a lot of fans kind of backlashing with that album. Yeah. Because it's so straightforward, and if you're recording things live, that's how it's going to sound. Yeah, but it's the first one with the new line up, and it's kind of why people call them dad rock. There's a couple of songs on there, especially where it's like, this is kind of dad Rocky. I could putting my seven year old son's shoes on. I could see him listening to this as I am and staring at me like, this is your music, dad. I could totally, totally see that point of view. But people have come back around to embrace that album. The one track I I know off of it, I liked it. Yeah, it's a good record. And it's got some dust. It's not my favorite, but it definitely has some really great songs. So tell us about your podcast soundtrack. Your Life is a podcast where we talk about soundtracks, mostly movie soundtracks, but we have done a Broadway soundtrack, and we are coming out with a couple of people doing TV soundtracks. Okay. And it's an interview podcast for the most part, where we talk about why someone loves the soundtrack. A lot of times, it has nothing to do with the movie. Yeah, I can see some of the because I've listened to say pretty much most of them, airheads, Almost Famous, and no Brother, were Art Thou and Joseph Pussycats are standouts for Me. Okay. Those are really great episodes, mainly because I love those movies and those soundtracks. I gravitated towards those first. Yeah, I can see that. Those are the good old rock and roll movies, right? Oh, brother. We're out, though. Not quite a rock and roll movie, but it's definitely a good music movie, I guess. Yeah. That's a fantastic soundtrack, the Appalachian music. And I love that soundtrack. It's great. But then, like Airheads, it wasn't necessarily a soundtrack. That's a fun movie. And it has all those little bits that if you're not I'm a music fan, obviously. I have a music podcast, and I caught a lot of the little inside stuff in Airheads. But listening to you guys, you and whoever your guest was for that particular one, I learned more about the music, like the Easter eggs almost throughout that whole movie that I never would have caught, which was pretty cool. Yeah. And it's fun to kind of really dive deeper into these things, like with Josie and the Pussycats, to find out all these big name artists for writing songs for the band. Yeah, I knew founds away. Adam just escaping. Yes. I knew he was heavily involved, but I didn't know the guy from Connie Crows was in there. Right. And several others just didn't know that stuff. Oh, so we're coming out with an episode on School of Rock. Okay. And Jim O'Rourke, who we talked about in this episode, he was hired as a musical consultant to help make sure that the kids were playing things and, like, the right rhythm. So we're doing that coming up. And I have an interview with a songwriter, soundtrack composer who scored School of Rock and wrote the song by Jack Black's old band that they played, the Battle of the Bands. No Vacancy. No Vacancy. They have a song at the end of the movie called Heal Me. I'm Heartsick. And spoiler alert, the guy who wrote the song was told to write a song in the style of Creed. Oh, God. I can fix it. Those are his words. I was told to write the song in the style of Creed. Well, in the guy that plays him plays a singer. That band in the movie is the dude from Rent, Adam. Pascal. Yeah, Pascal. That's it. Yeah, he does. Well, I could totally see him playing singing in the Creed style, and I'm picturing it. So we've got some fun episodes coming up. But, yeah, I love diving into, like, they got who to write that song. They got they put together a cover band of people from Radiohead to cover songs for this movie. Like, there's some pretty wild things like that. Or Radiohead, I guess, would be on my short list, too. But I believe you have already done In Rainbows, which is one of my favorites. Yeah, that was a fun album. That was great. And I think for School Rock, didn't Jack Black do, like, a video letter to Led Zeppelin in order to get permission to use the Immigrant Song? Wouldn't be surprised. Yeah, I think he did, because they're so stingy with their music. For me, they used to be except when Marvel shows up with a blank check. Yeah, it used to be we'll take Marvel money. I did see Jackson Immigrant Song, so, like, the Foo Fighters, a Dave Girl birthday show, like, five or six years ago. And at one point, Jack Black comes out with Slash and they played Immigrant Song. Oh, damn, that'd be cool. I would love to see that. I could do a whole episode about that whole show. Well, I hope you at least mentioned that Jack Black's character needs to be in jail for a long time in reality. We did talk about that as a parent. Now, you watch that movie, like, what the hell, man? Well, he shouldn't have even gone into the classroom. Like, they never even checked ID nothing. Yeah, that's one of those that I love the movie. It's great, and I love Jack Black, but when you think about it in a reality filter, this guy needs to be put away for a long time. Yes, we did bring that up. Okay, good. Still love the movie. Yeah. You still love the movie? Well, other than your podcast. Is there anything else you'd like to pitch or tell our listeners extras while we wrap this up? I think I'm working on some stuff, but not to the point where I can announce anything. Fair enough. But I hope to release some music at some point in the next oh, excellent. In the next ten years? I don't know. I'm in a band with some dad, so schedules are kind of hard to coordinate sometimes. But, yeah, I'll have music out at some point. From a young child perspective, I've been where you are and good luck, my man. Thank you. The sleepless nights do go away I cannot wait


Participant #1:

all right, well, Ryan, I'd like to thank you for your time today. It was a pleasure to sit and talk to you about Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Yeah, it was really fun to talk about that and to kind of dig up the history of that album again. Absolutely. Thanks for showing me another hidden gem that I didn't really know was there. Just in time for the Eleven LP Super Deluxe 20th Anniversary Edition to come out. I get some sponsors. Maybe I'll be able to buy that. You can start a patreon and have people pay for it. Go fund me just to buy a special edition. Yeah. I was like, how many records I can't afford that time to listen to that. Thank you for listening to Music rewind a podcast from the Sidereal Media Group. Future episodes are up on our patreon and you can always just buy us a coffee to help the show. As I always say, listen to the full album. Until next time.


Participant #1:

A podcast from the Sidereal media group. Back to you, anchors.







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