Wilco's seminal studio album Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was technically released on September 18, 2001 when the band began streaming it on its website (a rarity in the days before Spotify). But the group is about to observe the 20th anniversary of the record's physical release on April 23, 2002, which only came about after Wilco was dropped from its record label and signed with Nonesuch Records.
The messy story behind Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is well-documented—the Sam Jones film I Am Trying To Break Your Heart does a good job summing up the interpersonal conflicts and music biz chicanery surrounding the album's recording and release. But the indelible impact of the music contained on the resulting record can't be overstated. Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was Wilco's most effective expression of the band's experimental inclinations to-date upon its release, earning it a hallowed place in the group's catalog—and it just happens to have Chicago's Marina City Towers on its cover.
To commemorate the album's 20th anniverary, Wilco is playing a trio of shows at the Auditorium Theatre (after a four-night run in New York City), performing Yankee Hotel Foxtrot in its entirety. The concerts will serve as a prelude to an archival re-release of the record later this year. We're not sure what to expect (A rendition of lost track "Cars Can't Escape"? A surprise appearance by producer Jim O'Rourke?) but we're sure that these concerts in the city where Yankee Hotel Foxtrot was built will be something special.