Saturday, July 08, 2006

Pete Yorn @ Fingerprints

What else is nostalgia good for, than to remind us of the places we’ve been, and the place that we seem to effortlessly reside in at the present? As a result of my most recent nostalgic trip, a low octane snooze fest into my senior year of high school and back again, I have realized that a lot has changed for me in the last 5 years. My hair is a little longer (unsurprising to many), I can now speak in a foreign tongue (thanks to my two-year stint in frozen tundra), I have moved out (moved back in and moved out again - for good), and despite all the Peter Pan skills I claim to have used to fight the contrary, I can finally call myself one of those pesky, weathered adults.

This seemingly endless list of introspection was all made possible by one short drive with a dear friend to catch one of my favorite artists of the early double-oughts, Pete Yorn. As an attempt to reconnect with the magic that won him initial praise as an acoustic songwriter, Pete Yorn has been making stops around the country at independent record stores and small venues- all in early preparation for the August release of his third full-length, Nightcrawler.

His recent performance at Fingerprints in Long Beach, did much more than allow Pete the opportunity to delve into his past solo magic; but instead granted access to many a fan’s memories of yesteryear. For the girl front row center (as well as for myself), the Fingerprints show was a reunion of sorts, a recollection, for fan and artist, of the early days before late show appearances and the headlining at larger venues. Given that Fingerprints was Yorn’s second ever in-store (his first being at the Virgin Megastore on Sunset), there were many who had come to relive the intimate moment that had been shared amidst Fingerprints’ record art walls and coffee shop stage. Playing a short set that included the much loved, “For Nancy” and “Closet,” Yorn also showcased some new tunes available off his new EP, Westerns, a collection of Nightcrawler outtakes that all share the western and rockabilly influence that Yorn proclaimed to have fallen under in the past few months.

In all honesty, the rockabilly influence that I was preparing for was hardly as drastic a departure as my imagination had allowed me to think up. The songs off Westerns are as much the usual “Yorner” as were the songs off Day I Forgot and musicforthemorningafter. With that said, it is a little disheartening that one of the most promising artists of 2000 is on the same road that he started on. Fortunately, Yorn walks this road strong and proud, and it is fair to say that he does it well. Asking this storyteller to exit the sound that he has seemingly mastered and that so many love, might be like asking Bob Dylan to do a reggae album. In other words, asking Yorn to release anything than solid, Americana pop rock sing-alongs, might be too much to ask for. Or is it?

Yorn ended his set with the Dylan classic “Blowin’ in the Wind,” a reminder of the distance that still remains between the two. One, a title of legendary status weathered and fortified by the timelessness of his art; the other, a promising, still young songwriter that has miles to go before he sleeps. Hopefully, with the release of Nightcrawler in August, we might be able to see a new side of Yorn, a display of the way that he has grown and changed over the last five years.

[mp3] Pete YornThe Good Advice
[mp3] Pete YornDon’t Mean Nothing (Live on WOXY)

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry to tell you... you havent been to tundra... yet
btw, i guess nostalgia is good for nothing
Chiao

8:22 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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7:13 AM  

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