I re-watched the Wilco documentary, I Am Trying To Break Your Heart last night, and I’d forgotten how good it is. If you’re a Wilco fan, of course it’s required viewing. But even if you don’t like or are unfamiliar with the band, the indie artist and producer in you will find I Am Trying To Break Your Heart packed with insight.
The movie follows the creation, production, and release of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. Wilco engineered the album themselves, so we see a bands-eye-view of the recording process. For musicians and amateur engineers, not to mention studio porn enthusiasts, the appeal of this is obvious. We’re shown their gear setup, their recording techniques (I replayed and paused the overhead pan of Glenn Kotche’s drum mic arrangement half a dozen times,) even their microphone and instrument choices. And, given YHF’s history, the movie looks closely at the business of music. If you have a record label bidding war in your future, this could be valuable information.
Here are the opening credits, with Jeff Tweedy (and Sponge Bob) driving us around Chicago: