Sherpa & Yeti’s asks, Who is Y. O. U.?
BRECKENRIDGE – Y. O. U. has infiltrated your world. The Atlanta-based band creeped into your computer, slipped onto a MySpace page and offered you a free download of their new album, “Flashlights.” So why does this band allow you unlimited access to their videos and music? According to Y.O. U.’s website, http://www.pleaserock.com, it’s simple: “We believe in unicorns and cliches: If you love something, set it free.” Rolling Stone may have helped remove some chains from this Atlanta-based group by recently naming them one of the 25 best bands on MySpace. But for guitarist/vocalist Nick Nespodziani, that title was never the end goal. “We never really paid it (MySpace) much mind,” he said. “MySpace is such a strange phenomenon. I guess it’s the way things are going to be from now on, right?”But still, it seems a natural extension for a band that posts a mockumentary on its website about “sandal rockers,” those artists that choose to wear sandals while performing. Jimmy Buffet wore flip-flops on stage, and so do the three band members in Y. O. U. – Nespodziani, Mark Cobb on drums and vocals and Peter Olson on base, keyboards and vocals – for the mockumentary’s three-and-a-half-minute duration.
The originality doesn’t end there. Last week, during the band’s drive through Wichita, Kan., Nespodziani was describing an idea for the group’s “passion project,” an elementary-school musical to Motley Crue’s Dr. Feelgood. “We’d do a whole audition process American-Idol style and we’d have a piano teacher do a cheesy arrangement of Dr. Feelgood, and we’d have a script,” Nespodziani said. Right. But what about the band’s actual music, in particular the stuff they’re going to play as openers for Bobby Yang Saturday night at Sherpa’s? Is the crowd going to suffer (or wonder, whichever your take) through two hours of tunes from a muzak band, one of Y. O. U.’s other du jour ideas? “We don’t have any extracurricular things with us, so we’re pretty much doing a musical performance on this tour,” Nespodziani said, which is not what Y. O. U. has always been known for in Atlanta. “For a long time, people knew us for all the other crazy s*** we did,” Nespodziani said. “We wanted to focus more on the music. Now we don’t have to explain that we’re musicians. It’s kind of given us an artistic freedom.” The band wants to liberate its listeners, too. By making the download of “Flashlights” free, “No one has an excuse not to give our music a shot,” said Nespodziani. “We decided at this point we’re not a big band and the most important thing for us is to have as many people as possible hear our music.”
“Flashlights” listeners will here a sound “defined by the older school bands,” according to Nespodziani.”The style, the aesthetic and the way we go about making records is similar,” Nespodziani said. “It’s different from the superproduced, overcompressed and overanalyzing that goes on with modern records.”By focusing on consistency in both lyrics and production, Y. O. U. came out with an album they are proud of, according to Nespodziani. The band stayed focused during their “Flashlights” studio time, combining long hours with traditions from rock’s forefathers.”We drank a lot of Red Bull and vodka … and stayed in the studio a long time to just totally do that one thing,” Nespodziani said. “A lot of the bands we love and grew up with made records that way and that’s what we want to do.”Live music (and a download)
Who: Y. O. U. When: Saturday. Doors open at 9 p.m., show starts at 10. Y. O. U. opens for Bobby Yang.Where: Sherpa and Yeti’s, Breckenridge Price: $6 before the show, $8 at the doorDownload Y. O. U.’s album: Visit http://www.pleaserock for a free download of “Flashlights,” Y. O. U.’s newest album.
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