felt like that back in 2000 when Zinner and O. first met in Williamsburg,
then later brought in Chase to make up the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' rhythm
section all by his lonesome. The trio recorded a number of EPs,
toured with such notable acts as The Strokes, Jon Spencer Blues
Explosion and Liars before releasing their debut full-length on
Interscope in 2003. Fever to Tell spawned the single, "Maps,"
that fueled the LP to gold-record status. Over the course of four
years, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs went from being a hot trash-rock band
with a flamboyant front woman known for her deranged stage exploits,
to full-fledged, radio-embraced rock stars.
Lord only where
their follow-up, Show Your Bones, will take them. While the
spacey, exuberant Fever to Tell was a harsh, pornographic
funhouse thrill ride, Show Your Bones is safer, more controlled,
more grounded, less epic. That said, tracks like the galloping "Honeybear"
and strutting opener "Gold Lion" boast a sneer all their
own. Perhaps it's a sign of age, but Zinner seems more apt to pick
up an acoustic guitar than his usual thunderstick, giving the CD's
tone an earthier, more mature feel.
toned-down approach on Show Your Bones, Zinner said the band's
live show is bigger than ever. Fundamentally, it's the same as the
last time they played Sokol Auditorium back in March 2004, "but
there's a lot more dynamics and a bigger production as far as lights
and sound go," he said. "We have more songs, which allows
us to achieve more of a big-show experience."
it would seem, than their Oct. 5, 2001, show at BPM in Williamsburg,
whose gig poster hangs on my wall. That night, the Yeahs shared
the stage with Liars and The Apes. Zinner remembers it well. "It
was a lot more innocent back then," he said. "It was very
exciting. We didn't know where we were heading, but we had a tremendous
force behind us when we played that tiny basement show. And in spite
of all the professionalism, I still feel the same spirit behind
it today. Nothing will ever change that."
Published in The Omaha Reader April 12, 2006.
Copyright © 2006 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.