Just when I thought Wilco's Yankee Foxtrot Hotel could not be appreciated anymore than I was appreciating it:
On YHF, Wilco use short-wave radio as a metaphor for communication in a relationship.
That girl really likes that record (as evidenced by her 10-page entry). All the information she provides on the album's interpretations and the band (name from radio jargon "will comply") makes me appreciate the album about five times more than I did. And I've had it the thing on repeat on my MP3 player for the past week or so.
And I never researched the title of the album.
YHF is a high-traffic station on the network of short-wave radio stations operated by Mossad, Israel's intelligence agency. These stations have played an essential role in allowing Mossad to communicate with agents by broadcasting one-way transmissions usually identified with a tactical call-sign consisting of three phonetic letters, such as "Charlie India Oscar" or "Echo Zulu India". Although the broadcast voice is always female, it's not an actual person but a speech synthesizer -- automatic machines do the actual announcing, sending out a seemingly endless stream of rota-styled messages.
"[W]e're not the biggest band in the world, but we are part of the fabric of certain people's lives. . . . And there is no doubt in my mind that for some people out there, we are one of the threads they are hanging on to. And I think what we have to do as a band is to make those people aware of how we need them as much as they need us. To me, music is love, and I need it in my life just as much as they need it in theirs". --Tweedy
There is just something so magical, pseudo-depresso, honest, true-to-life about Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I don't know what it is, and I don't know why about 6 or 7 years ago I probably would have thought it was too boring, but now I'm just immersed in it. It's lyrically simple, simple images, simple chords and basic arrangements, though a lot of bells and whistles and a bit of fuzzy edges. Nothing too over-complicated in the rhythm section, although I usually enjoy drum and bass complications. But the guitar work. Man. And those strings on "Jesus, etc." -- they get me every time. Look at me, I'm writing like Holden Caulfield here (I've been reading that lately). ... Those strings are on the edge of corny, but they just kill me. Get me every time.