Pete Yorn and his healthy head of hair will be gracing The Blue Note stage this Wednesday night with Alberta Cross. I won't be at the show: I have a take-it-or-leave-it feeling when it comes to Mr. Yawn, excuse me, Mr. Yorn, and his music for the morning after. I realize I was also less than enthused about the Decemberists, and look how that show turned out. Still, there's something ridiculously Simon and Leslie about Yorn:
And hey, look who's sponsoring the show: our very own BXR. To all BXR fans, I mean no offense: I choose not to listen to Eric Hutchinson every five minutes, but if you want to rock, you rock, and if you want to roll...well, you roll.
Yorn is currently promoting his latest release, Back and Fourth (June 23), and just recorded an album, Break Up (released September 15), with buxom friend Scarlett Johansson, modeled after the breathy, orgasmic recordings of 1960s icons Serge Gainsbourg and Brigitte Bardot. Do I smell baked brie? I can't get over the cheese factor behind this whole side project. Is it the overplumped lips? The overplumped hair? The overplumped egos? My own unwillingness to let poor Scarlett be anything but a sex-pot starlet in the average man's personal mental porno? There's something missing here, and it may be more than Woody Allen's financial support. In the video for "Relator," a strangely anesthetized Johansson murmurs her lyrics while looking like a dark-haired Bardot rip-off:
Johansson will not be with Yorn on Wednesday night. You will get Yorn alone... which may not be much. A friend of mine describes Yorn's last performance at The Blue Note as: "Yorn came out. He played his songs. He left." Apparently, you'd be wise not to expect a lot of personality in the set. Then again, Yorn wasn't making music with Scarlett Johansson back then, so maybe he is much peppier now.
If you like your rock worn and slightly puked-on like an old frat-house couch, you could do a lot worse than tap Yorn's music keg. Yorn is safe, he is solid, and his music sounds much like my friend's description of his show: he plays his music, and it isn't terrible, and it isn't great. It just is.
(Don't hate me because I'm prettier than you.)
(Correction: Don't hate us because we're prettier than you.)
Alberta Cross are new to me, so I can't unleash a bias blitz. Their debut album, Broken Side of Time (released September 21), features very basic blues-rock, but frontman Petter Ericson Stakee (he's half Swedish and English) made me listen a little bit longer to their myspace track postings. He has a great voice, not unlike a gravelly version of Band of Horses' Ben Bridwell. Their sound is a little southern-fried rock for my taste, but a clear, cutting voice always stops me in my tracks.
Come see Pete Yorn and Alberta Cross at The Blue Note, Wednesday, October 21. Doors open at 7:00.