OK, so this isn't a CD, but rather a documentary film about making a CD, this year's excellent Yankee Hotel Foxtrot by Chicago's Wilco. About a third of the film is studio scenes in the band's loft where they recorded this album themselves to a two inch MCI machine. The Blue Mouse plays a prominent role as does a Shure SM-7 on Jeff Tweedy's vocals. Initial mixing at CRC with the band's Jay Bennett doesn't go so well, and the final mixes were done at SOMA E.M.S. by Jim O'Rourke. Bennett is ultimately asked to leave the band and the scenes of him arguing with Tweedy during mixing will make any engineer wince and remember something similar from their own sessions. The other two thirds or so of the film are about equally divided between live performances and the drama and stupidity surrounding Wilco and their former label Reprise/WEA who dropped the band after hearing this album for the first time. An excellent film (and album!) about making music and the cluelessness of the music industry.

Tape Op is a bi-monthly magazine devoted to the art of record making.

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