April 17, 2002

Our first news update. This is exciting.

First of all, we’ll address our biggest recent news event. All we can really say is we’re happy everyone was found safe and sound, and that guy’s copy of the Squirrel Bait EP is up on Ebay (all proceeds going to the New Giant Fan for the 40-Watt Foundation). God bless.

What have we been up to? We recently completed our 6th annual appearance on WFMU ‘s pledge drive. The rules: we play live on the air for 2 hours, taking requests from listeners, with no advance knowledge of what they could be, making fools of ourselves for a good cause, and occasionally getting some words right. Sitting in with the group this year were the intrepid WFMU-session guitarist Bruce Bennett, and a jet-lagged Hamish Kilgour on various percussion instruments. "Highlights" of the 25 attempts included "You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet," "Meet The Mets," "I Think We’re Alone Now," "Jailbreak," "Do Ya Think I’m Sexy," "Pleasant Valley Sunday," "Build Me Up Buttercup," and 18 more. (Note: we’re sorry if we didn’t get to your request – there were an awful lot of them – nothing personal.) Thanks to the many great people at WFMU for having us back again.

April will be a busy month for us, and not just because of the new-look Mets. First of all, we’re proud to announce the release of The Sounds Of The Sounds Of Science, a new cd of instrumental music, on our own Egon label. We’ve also been presenting some special live performances of the album – we play the music from the cd live as the following 8 short films by legendary French undersea enthusiast Jean Painleve are projected above us:

  1. Hyas and Stenorhynchus
  2. Sea Urchins
  3. How Some Jellyfish Are Born
  4. Liquid Crystals
  5. The Sea Horse
  6. The Love Life of the Octopus
  7. Shrimp Stories
  8. Acera or the Witches’ Dance

The music is all unique to this performance, not even versions of previously played or released material. The films themselves are truly sensational. To term them documentaries, while accurate, implies a dryness and a sobriety that couldn’t be more misleading. It’s somewhat similar to Microcosmos, but with a sense of humor as well. Amazing movies. It’s hard to imagine a scenario in which we’d do this show again in any city in which we’ve done it before. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever done. And, anybody who shows up high will probably not regret it.

There’s also a great book about Painleve called Science Is Fiction that is worth looking into if the films strike your fancy.

The Ray Davies/ Kinks tribute record This Is Where I Belong has finally been released, on the Rykodisc/ Praxis label. We appear towards the end, doing a version of “Fancy.” The record also features a mind-boggling rendition of “Stop Your Sobbing” by Jonathan Richman, and a creepy version of the already kinda creepy “Art Lover” by Lambchop. Really nice photography, hilarious liner notes by the man himself, and a bunch of other nice interpretations make this a lovely package — it’s not just a 3-track tribute album, wouldn’t that be depressing for Ray?

Here’s a link to a hilarious interview James did with the up-and-coming group Galaxie 500 back in 1989. While you’re there, look around and enjoy the brand new Damon and Naomi site.

TV: We watch it all the time, and you should, too.

On June 13, 1997, while loading in at our in-store at the Virgin Megastore on Sunset Boulevard, YLT tour manager Joe Puleo rode in a freight elevator with Keifer Sutherland. Next week, you will be able to hear a bit of our song “Saturday” on an episode of Mr. Sutherland’s Emmy-winning show “24.” Coincidence? You may have also heard one of our songs in a recent episode of the critically-acclaimed “Six Feet Under” program on HBO (as payment, we’ve strongarmed HBO into rush-releasing the “Mr. Show” DVDs. No word yet on getting “Attack On Love” on “Pimps Up, Ho’s Down 2,” but we’re working on it).

"My Little Corner of the World" will soon be featured on not one but two compilation records. It will be the titular cut on the Gilmore Girls record soon coming on Rhino, and is also the climactic number on Greasy Kids Stuff: Songs From Inside the Radio, on the Confidential label, out now, possibly. Check it out here.

Guess that’s it for now. See ya soon.