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Two Albums Make A Busy Year For Yorn

Of the Oakland Press

Posted: Saturday, August 1, 2009

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The last time we saw Pete Yorn around these parts was in June, when the Los Angeles singer-songwriter was opening for Coldplay on its latest North American tour. Not surprisingly, Yorn has nothing but good things to say about the high-profile slot.

“The Coldplay band and crew were excellent to us, and the fans were very nice to us,” says Yorn, 35, who released his fourth studio album, “Back and Fourth,” in June.

“Sometimes you do those things and you play to a half-empty house, but it was pretty filled up every night by the time we went on. It was just a great opportunity for me.”

Now Yorn is back out with “Back and Fourth,” hopefully a little more familiar to audiences — and with yet another album coming on Sept. 8. This one is “Break Up,” a collaboration with actress Scarlett Johansson that he actually hatched in late 2006 and recorded in early 2007, all stemming from a bout of insomnia he had after being on the road.

“I kind of dozed off one afternoon for a few minutes, (and) I just woke up and my heart was racing and I had this thing in my head ... ‘I have to do a duets album, a guy-girl album,’ ” Yorn recalls with a laugh. “It just popped into my head. I wasn’t dreaming about Scarlett Johansson or anything like that.”

The inspiration, in fact, was the Serge Gainsbourg’s 1967 collaboration with Brigitte Bardot. “I thought, ‘Brigitte ... Scarlett! She’s Brigitte!’ It was a really manic thought pattern that was going on,” Yorn recalls. “Within 10 minutes, I was texting Scarlett, ‘We have to make a record!’ And she was great.

“She blew me away with how fast she learned the songs. She just came in and ... had a really natural ability to pick up songs fast. It was really great.”

Pete Yorn and Zee Avi perform Sunday (Aug. 2) at Clutch Cargo’s, 65 E. Huron St., Pontiac. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets are $20 with a $64 four-pack. Call (248) 333-2362 or visit www.livenation.com. Yorn also will perform and sign copies of “Back and Fourth” at Borders, 34300 Woodward Ave., Birmingham, at 6 p.m. Sunday.

Web Site: www.livenation.com

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