Time for my requisite YYYs story: I saw them in January 2002 at a benefit for Bust magazine, opening for The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion(!) at the Knitting Factory. This was early in my return to show-going and rocking out in general, and I was thrilled to finally be seeing the JSBX!. My friend that got the tickets told me that the YYYs were a buzzy little band that everyone was talking about that was pretty neat -- and boy, howdy, I just wasn't ready for that experience. This was before Karen O's stage schtick was mocked and trashed. It's all so well known now: She thrashed around, poured beer all over herself, and hollered -- much to the enjoyment of the band's three hardcore superfans in the crowd. Said superfans were wearing homemade t-shirts and were in a really blissful place, screaming along with every song. And I just didn't know what to make of what was happening in front of me -- I think I was kind of traumatized by it all. So much so that when the YYY's went from being a buzz band to being Spin darlings to being bona fide stars, I just kind of ignored them.
And yet I've found a place for the YYYs in my heart now. I think it's the combination of the psychic double punch of unrequited love for a City and a Man, both of which are conveniently located near each other. (Another big factor -- remember when Ted Leo dropped the chorus of "Maps" into the bridge of his cover of Kelly Clarkson's "Since U Been Gone?" Brilliant. And that Arcade Fire cover of "Maps" that was floating around for a while? Doubly brilliant. I think those covers really opened my eyes to just how good the YYY's songwriting is.)
What can I say, I'm a sap. And I think, to a certain extent, so are the YYYs. Beer soaked, thrashy saps.
"Gold Lion" is pretty fantastic, and I can't wait to hear the rest of the new album. Everyone's posting the track today; here's one more place to gank it. Also attached -- the acoustic version of "Maps" that always slays me. And of course, "Modern Romance" -- wait for the hidden part of the track at the 4:25 mark -- it's a gorgeous, gorgeous improvised country ditty. The kind you want to drop in the middle of that first hesitant mix cd offered like an olive branch. Yeah, you can be almost 30 and still want to make mix cds for someone. I think that's one of the first signs of big L-U-V love. Don't you?
Buy 'em at Insound. The Gold Lion EP will be released on February 21.
(My other good YYYs story is that a friend went to Bard with Nick Zinner and totally used to see his college band, The Boba Fett Experience, play -- probably more than she would have liked, I think!)