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Yankee Dollar – s/t LP 11/36:45
Reissue of the sole album by Yankee Dollar, originally issued on Dot in 1968. What you’ll find emanating from these grooves is psych-tinged folk-rock with harmony vox, featuring a female singer who obviously took her cues from Grace Slick, and some fuzz guitar thrown in for good measure. This has been called “Flower-pop” in some quarters but I daresay it’s not quite light enough (in terms of mood) for said description. Not quite the lost treasure some describe it as being (not the most underused term when it comes to 60s records anyway) but not bad. David
@ www.akarmarecords.com

Yankees - "High and Tight" CD 17/50:22
Jon Tiven had a hand in several power pop bands in the mid to late 70's, working with the likes of Alex Chilton, Chris Bell, Tommy Hoehn, among others. Eventually, he started his own label, Big Sound, and released an album of his own songs with some other musicians and wife Sally under the Yankees moniker. Tiven had envisioned, according to the liner notes for this re-issue, a melding of R& B and new wave, including a couple of covers, that would harken back to the starting places of bands like the Small Faces and kinks, yet when the record was recorded, he wasn't wholly satisfied with the end result. Still, with good initial response and comparisons to bands like the Cars, he had some hope for success. But Big Sound was a small label (sound familiar?) and the band soon gave up after a few live gigs with a rotating group of musicians. Tiven licensed the album recently to Air Mail Recordings in Japan, and added a few demo tracks that never made the record that show more of his original vision. There are some true powerpop gems here, like the first track, "Take It Like A Man" that show some great promise, and some interesting covers, like the Holland/Dozier/Holland penned "Something About You" made famous by the Four Tops, among a couple of others. Some of this sounds pretty dated now, but it's a good document of where American powerpop was headed in the late 70's and "Take It Like A Man" is worth the price of admission all by itself. Steve
@ www.airmailrecordings.com

Yeah Yeah Yeahs – “Fever to Tell” 11/37:28
Yeah, these members of the latest Next Big Thang tinker with their Art-Wave-Punk sound but not quite enough to be accused of “selling out” (it’s not like they’re borrowing the Matrix folks from Liz Phair), and songs like the dub-infected “No No No” show they still have some ideas left in them, but overall it doesn’t quite have the impact their earlier, shorter CDs did (one advantage of limiting yourself to 3 or 4 songs is that there’s not a lot of room for filler)`. Let’s put it this way: whenever I’d play something from their previous releases on my radio show I’d always get someone calling up asking “What is this?!?”; I don’t see that happening with this release. If they don’t tighten up things next time around they’ll be faced with the dilemma of going from being a Potent Musical Force to simply being this year’s Elastica. David
@ www.interscope.com

Year of the Rhinos - s/t CD 10/36:06
Despite the fact That the album looks like a repackaging of the latest Iron Butterfly collection, Year of the Rhino really do bring something new to the table on this effort. Channeling the Byrds, YotR unleash one of the surprises of the year - an album of psychedelic rock that still sounds fresh and doesn’t need 73 layers of distortion to be interesting. “Stop the Time” and “Greedy Girl” particularly shine. Pretty damn impressive for an unassuming little record from Sweden. Ryan
@ www.rainbowquartz.com

Yma Sumac – “Voice of the Xtabay” CD 26/77:29
One of those folks whose synonous with the term “exotica”, and with good reason. You probably need no introduction to Yma herself, she of the Incan princess gear and four-octave range. Unlike too many “vocalist” albums with generic dinner-jazz in the background, expert production from Les Baxter and a sympathetic (or at least capable) band manage to effectively complement Yma without overpowering her (though that would be hard to do in any case) and help set the proper mood. The end result conjures up images of exotic lands found mainly in vintage movies as opposed to the studio this was recorded in. While her voice is probably not for everyone – one of my co-workers said it hurt her throat just to listen to Yma sing – you most likely will be rewarded for your efforts. David
@ www.cherryred.co.uk

Yo La Tengo – “Nuclear War” CD 4/36:47
YLT dish out 4 versions of Sun Ra’s classic anthem “Nuclear War”, complete with call-and response parts: (relatively) straight, a more throbbing version with kids vocals (yes including the “it’s a motherfucker” verses), an 15+ minute jazz version with guests on horns (takes the band’s interpretation to the next level and is the best track on here), and a Mike Ladd remix. Probably not intended to be taken as part of the band’s Normal Artistic Development or blahblahblah, but this is stone cold killer indeed. “If they push that Button/Your ass gotta go…” David
@ www.matadorrecords.com

Yo La Tengo -“Today Is The Day” CD 6/23:24
Hoboken’s finest deliver once again: concisely offering on one hand another feast for fans of post-VU guitar strangle and similarly attuned dynamics, on the other ticker-stoppingly soft, pretty acoustic gems. For the former, one would be hard pressed to dislike blurry, feedback-saturated stormers like “Styles Of The Times” (and listen for the cheeky Joni Mitchell lyric nod - oh that Ira!) and especially “Outsmartener”, featuring some appropriately unhinged, Joujouka-like reed squeals from noted free-jazzer William Parker. On the obverse, Georgia Hubley’s hushed reading of Bert Jansch’s “Needle Of Death” doesn’t put a foot wrong, and the live on Australian radio closer “Cherry Chapstick” is end-of-summer becalm personified. MLH
@ www.matadorrecords.com MP3 Download

Yoshimi and Yuko – “Flower With No Color” CD 7/55:51
Distaff members from the Boredoms and Cibo Motto, doing what could be termed musique nature concrete, collected from a trip to the mountains with only a bunch of small portable instruments and the environment around them, with the resulting tunes featuring them “one with nature” without lapsing into new age sounds (some reports say all of this was recorded live and it probably was, but the sound quality’s almost too good to be a “field recording”). You probably have to be in the right mood to play this (e.g. in the mood to do something other than Kick Out The Jams), but if you are, you’d find this to be more awarding than you’d expect. David
@ www.ipecac.com

Young and Sexy - “Life Through One Speaker” CD 10/44:34
Boy howdy, if you’re going to call you’re band Young and Sexy, you’d better be so amazing hip that you can pull it off or so far from hip that you really don’t care what the hipsters think. This band definitely goes for the latter, leading off with “Oh My Love,” which is as saccharin and nondescript as the title implies. Dual male/female singers Paul Pittman and Lucy Brain really aren’t bad, but they don’t get much to work with here. The end result comes off as a cross of poppier Cowboy Junkies crossed with Death Cab for Cutie, except the resulting tracks wouldn’t make an album by either of those fine acts.“This time is not like the other times,” Pittman sings on “Weekend Warriors.” If only that were the case, Paul. Ryan
@ www.mintrecs.com

Young Sexy Assassins - "My Day in the Garden of Memories" CD 10/31:00
I've been joking for a while now about how the fashion with in-you-face-extreme-marketing is going so far overboard that it's going to slip into the most absurd subjects, like toothpaste, and we'll be brushing our teeth with New! Crest Extreme. Then, about a month ago I just about died when I saw a commercial for Aquafresh Extreme. The Young Sexy Assassins fit right in with the demographic that the marketing extreme-ists are trying to get, they could be the music for all of those Mountain Dew commercials. It's loud and obnoxious with the growling and yelling vocals that's better heard in smaller snippets. They call themselves "maximalist desk rock" and even claim to have an actual desk at their live shows. I like the band's sassy enthusiasm, but they need a bit more polish. Pam
@ www.misterrecords.com MP3 Download

Young Tradition - “California Morning” CD 3/6:56
Never has anything sounded so much like the Bryds without being the Byrds. Simon and Garfunkel, Brian Wilson, you get where I’m going with this. So the first song, “California Morning” comes on as I’m heading across the Bay Bridge on the world’s most sunny day and everything is gay. I mean really dictionary definition 1950’s happy gay. The other two songs sound the same, but without the joy that makes you feel like you’re not a total wuss for sort of enjoying this. Sharon
@ www.indiepages.com/matinee

Youth Ahead – “The New Album” CD 13/32:12
They’ve apparently been doing stuff for a few years, including releasing a couple of other full lengths, but this is my first exposure. I checked out their website to get a little more information, and I got that pit in my stomach right away, because they have a link to join their street team. OK, I guess with all the competition these days bands need crap like that, but for me it’s kind of a tip of where a band is coming from. And usually it’s not a good place. They sound OK, but the bulk of what they play is pretty generic pop punk that would fit in the Blink/Sum41/New Found Glory vein. There are just so many of these soundalike pop punk bands these days; they either lack the big hooks to trap you into the song, or they don’t have anything interesting to say…originality does indeed count, that they’ve got a long way to go in that department. Steve
@ www.theyouthahead.com

Youth Gone Mad featuring Dee Dee Ramone – s/t CD 15/34:51
Turns out Youth Gone Mad’s frontman Paul Kostabi and Dee Dee Ramone used to hang out and paint and write music together. This is the resulting compilation of often twisted punk tunes featuring Youth Gone Mad and Dee Dee; pretty diverse types of punky tunes, all of them oddball and strangely addictive. Included is a great cover of “Blitzkrieg Bop” and a touching upbeat post-Dee Dee tune called “Dee Dee Deceased.” I think I really like this, it’s bizarre and occasionally brilliant! Jesse
@ Trend Is Dead, PO Box 444, Normal, IL 61761

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