FAR, FAR AWAY:
This is the first song within the country (or alt-country) music tradition that I ever liked entirely on its own merits. My grandfather loves Hank Williams, and I have memories of going to visit Patsy Cline's gravesite as a child--these were never options for me (though I love them both). The traditional family trip took us down to Northern Virginia over the summer to see relatives, which included many happy evenings sitting on the back porch, catching fireflies, and waiting to hear (and if I was lucky, see) the trains go by on the tracks behind their yard. It was inevitable that country music would eventually get to me.
I first heard the song my senior year of high school. My sister had taken my copy of Oasis' Be Here Now, so I was looking to even things out. I had read something or other about Wilco in one of the many music magazines I was then reading, and since she hadn't taken the cd with her to college, I imagined she wouldn't mind my borrowing it (she, in fact, never mentioned it). The packaging also helped, a double-cd gatefold-style cover (just like a record album!), and the minimalist but suggestive cover:
For a guy who listened to either punk or britpop at the time, this was clearly something different. The album as a whole was appealing, but this song in particular: wistful and serious at the same time, the desire to see someone that just comes out sometimes, and the song is more and less artful ways of saying it (country mouse that I am, it took me a very long time to realize that "kiss and ride on the CTA" did not likely mean what I first thought it did).
The video is very good for a homemade youtube production. Even the Medieval Times footage is appropriate, since I drive past it every time I go to my sister's house.
N.B. This is one of my favorite songs to play on guitar.