From the beginning of his career, singer/songwriter/rocker Pete Yorn has been the topic of numerous critical accolades. Rolling Stone, who picked Pete as one of the magazine's "Ten to Watch in 2001," gave Pete's debut album, musicforthemorningafter, a four-star (****) rating calling the album "…atmospheric, gently lit by sunlight and regret." Pete's debut album was certified RIAA gold as of April 24, 2002.
USA Today observed "The latest last great hope for the ailing singer/songwriter genre may vaguely resemble a young Springsteen….His insinuating melodies and lean…driving graceful arrangements evoke R.E.M.'s early work. It's impossible to pigeonhole Yorn's music…inspired quirkiness makes him, if not the future of rock 'n' roll, at least a promising new disciple."
Pete Yorn was born in New Jersey, his father a dentist, his mother a former concert pianist-turned-schoolteacher. He taught himself to play his older brother's drum kit at the age of nine and was learning the guitar by the time he was 12. Around that time, while vacationing with his family in the Bahamas, a fellow vacationer -- a girl from Pensacola, Florida -- introduced Pete to the music of Morrissey and the Smiths.
Pete started singing, and writing his own material, following a particularly memorable talent show at Montville (New Jersey) High School in 1990. Though he had never sung in public before, he was recruited by his bandmates to croon the Replacements' "Talent Show" from behind his drum-kit. The performance caused such a stir that the members of a different band in the competition cajoled Pete back to the stage to join them in belting out a raucous rendition of Neil Young's "Rockin' In The Free World." Since that night, he's never looked back.
After graduating from Syracuse University, Pete migrated to Los Angeles, where he began to attract a following with his performances at Cafe Largo. Bradley Thomas (producer of the Farrelly Brothers' "Kingpin" and "There's Something About Mary") caught Yorn's act and asked him to send along some rough demos for inclusion in the Farrellys’ Jim Carrey movie, "Me, Myself and Irene." The Farrellys used "Strange Condition" and "Just Another" in the film, for which Pete also composed the score. "Just Another" was also featured on "Felicity" and the Songs From Dawson's Creek Volume 2 album.
Pete's music has been included in original soundtracks for a number of films, including "Orange County" (2001), "Spider-Man" (2002) and "Shrek 2" (2004).
Pete Yorn has toured actively since the release of musicforthemorningafter and has shared bills with the Foo Fighters, Semisonic, Coldplay, REM, and others. He was the headline artist on the inaugural MTV2 Handpicked Tour and played drums on a set of Stooges covers with Iggy Pop, Mike Watt, and the Hives' Mike Vigilante and Pelle Almqvist at the second annual Shortlist Prize for Artistic Achievement at Los Angeles' Henry Fonda Theater.
Day I Forgot, Pete's eagerly-awaited successor to musicforthemorningafter, was released in April 2003 to widespread critical acclaim and debuted at #18 on the Billboard 200 best-selling album chart.
Pete Yorn's last release, Live from New Jersey, a stunning full-length performance recorded at the Community Theater in Morristown, New Jersey, on October 29, 2003, was released in January 2004. Like Yorn's concerts themselves, his live album was a treasure trove for fans as well as an ideal introduction to the scope of Pete's music.
As I've said before Musicforthemorningafter may be one of the great album titles of all time, but aside from that Pete Yorn doesn't really do too much for me. There was definitely some catchy tunes on that album (really the only one I've head anything off of), but the ladies can't seem to get enough of this guy. Here's Pete with "Life On A Chain" from a show in Memphis last November....
Let's also go with this cover of "Friend Of The Devil" - I'm a sucker for people covering the Dead....
I haven't heard great things about Pete's live shows, check him out for yourself and let me know....
Pete Yorn - 2006-09-09 - Martyr's - Chicago, IL
Want more live stuff you can pick up his CD Live From New Jersey.
Here's Pete with "Crystal Village" off his second album Day I Forgot....
Some more for you to check out...
Come Back Home
For Nancy ('Cos It Already Is)
Life On A Chain
For more head on over to Pete's official website.
Thursday, May 17, 2007