Yeah Yeah Yeahs in their debut session for John Peel tonight. Recorded on July 10, 2002 and broadcast on August 22nd over BBC Radio 1.
They formed in New York City in 2000 and composed of vocalist and pianist Karen O, guitarist and keyboardist Nick Zinner, and drummer Brian Chase. It is complemented in live performances by second guitarist David Pajo, who joined as a touring member in 2009 and replaced Imaad Wasif who had previously held this role. According to an interview that aired during the ABC network’s Live from Central Park SummerStage series, the band’s name was taken from modern New York City vernacular.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs have recorded four studio albums; the first, Fever to Tell, was released in 2003. The second, Show Your Bones, was released in 2006 and was named the second best album of the year by NME. Its third studio album, It’s Blitz!, was released in March 2009. All three albums earned the band Grammy nominations for Best Alternative Music Album. Its fourth album, Mosquito, was released in April 2013.
A bit of background in case you came late to the party (thanks Wikipedia):
Karen O and Brian Chase first met as students at Oberlin College in Ohio in the late 1990s, where Chase was a jazz student at the conservatory. Karen then transferred to New York University, and while in New York met Zinner in a local bar, where they formed an “instant connection.” During this time they also shared a loft with future members of the band Metric. The two formed an acoustic duo called Unitard but soon decided to “shake things up a bit” by forming a “trashy, punky, grimy” band modeled after the art student, avant-punk bands Karen O was exposed to at Oberlin. After the drummer they initially recruited bowed out, Chase joined the line-up.
The band wrote a slew of songs at their first rehearsal and soon wound up supporting The Strokes and The White Stripes, earning a significant buzz for their arty and garage punk scene. In late 2001, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs released their self-titled debut EP, which they recorded with Boss Hog’s Jerry Teel, on their own Shifty label. Early the next year the band stepped into the international spotlight, appearing at South by Southwest, touring the U.S. with Girls Against Boys and Europe with Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, and headlining their own U.K. tour. Wichita Recordings distributed the group’s EP in the U.K. and Touch and Go reissued it in the States.
In 2003, the band released their debut album, Fever to Tell, which received several strong critical reviews and sold more than 750,000 copies worldwide. The album’s third single, “Maps,” received significant airplay on alternative radio. In 2010, Rolling Stone ranked “Maps” as 386th in their list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. The video for their 2004 single “Y Control” was directed by Spike Jonze. In October 2004, the band released their first DVD, Tell Me What Rockers to Swallow. The DVD included a concert filmed at The Fillmore in San Francisco, all of the band’s music videos to date, and various interviews. Later the same year, the band was also featured in Scott Crary’s documentary Kill Your Idols.
In November 2009, NME rated Fever to Tell the No. 5 Best Album of the Decade.
To get an idea of what they were up to early-on, hit the play button and crank up their debut session from August 22, 2002.
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