Tuesday, May 25, 2004

I Am Trying To Break Your Heart

  • I Am Trying To Break Your Heart [DVD] is a wonderful and insightful look into one of America's finest bands, Wilco. Beautifully shot in black and white, the documentary shows a band that is clearly in transition both personally and professionally. It's understandable that the decision was made to film the documentary at the time of the making of the album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" as this was the album that would finally 'make or break' the band[in terms of financial success]. What's strange about the timing of the filming of the documentary were a couple of key events that occurred. There were the record company woes with Reprise deciding to pass on releasing Wilco's finished album "Yankee Hotel Foxtrot" and eventually being dropped from the label [only to be picked up by Nonesuch Records who belong to parent company Time-Warner who happens to own Reprise]. There was the 'amicable split' of member Jay Bennett from the band, who in the documentary admits feeling that he did not have as much of a role in the band as he wanted to. In retrospect, it's hard to imagine whether this documentary would have had the same impact had these events not occurred. The documentary also touches on Jeff's experience with migraines as it shows him hovered over a toilet with an episode of nausea. With Jeff's recent emergence from rehab, the anticipation of the new Wilco record "A Ghost Is Born" being released, and Jeff's generally positive outlook on life which has come out in interviews, it's all more bittersweet, looking back at all the turmoil that the band(and specifically Jeff Tweedy) has gone through over the last several years. After seeing this DVD, I appreciate the band even more and am looking forward to seeing them at Lollapalooza this year.

    ps. The musical segments(both during the documentary and on the bonus DVD disc) make this a DVD package worth returning to!
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