Folk-popper Pete Yorn embraces change

| April 04, 2011

It’s been an eye-opening decade, creatively speaking, for New Jersey-born, Los Angeles-based folk-popper Pete Yorn.

“When I started in the music business, it was kind of the end of the old way of doing things,” he says. “Then everything changed, rather intensely, and it’s been cool to see what that all means. I mean, in the past year alone, I put out three records on three different labels. So now you just have different options, different ways of doing things.”

When he hits The City on Tuesday, the perpetually stubble-bearded guitarist probably will be culling from those recordings: the acoustic “Back and Fourth” on Columbia, the punky Frank Black-produced “Pete Yorn” on Vagrant, and “Break Up,” a Bardot/Gainsbourg record of duets with Scarlett Johansson for Atco/Rhino.

But he’ll also be promoting the reason for this career reflection, the newly remastered 10th anniversary edition of his landmark debut, “musicforthemorningafter,” reissued this week by Columbia Legacy in deluxe two-disc CD and 180-gram vinyl editions.

Disc one is the full, 15-track album and disc two features a full KCRW radio concert, plus great rarities from the era, like “The Barber” and “Knew Enough to Know Nothing at All.”

“Those were a couple of tracks that didn’t make the record that I just loved at the time,” says Yorn, who was pleased with how they beefed up his already Peter-Hook-deep bass in remastering.

“There’s a weird ‘Closet’ demo version, which I decided was too slow.” Ironic, he adds, “because listening back to it, the album itself is lot slower than the tempos we play those songs at, live. But it jogged all these memories — it was really a time when I was just following the muse, and that’s something you want to take to every project: Following your instincts, then being prepared for whatever’s going to come out of that.”

In retrospect, Yorn found the old KCRW “Morning Becomes Eclectic” acoustic show the most fascinating. “That was taken from the day my record came out, that morning, so it was just funny to hear me and [host] Nic Harcourt again,” he says. “You can tell that I was nervous as hell, because I think it was my first-ever radio performance. So it was like watching old home movies or something.

Yorn says his next work is a covers record of his personal guilty-pleasure songs. But he won’t specify which, nor the imprint he’s chosen for their release: “I prefer to make music that I love and then find equally enthusiastic partners for it. These days, that seems to work best.”

IF YOU GO

Pete Yorn

Where: Regency Ballroom, 1290 Sutter St., San Francisco
When: 8 p.m. Tuesday
Tickets: $27.50 to $30
Contact: (800) 745-3000; www.ticketmaster.com

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