Sound Advice: Pete Yorn (Dec. 6)

Pete Yorn supports his latest album, Arranging Time, at the Taft Theatre.

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click to enlarge Pete Yorn - Photo: Jim Wright
Photo: Jim Wright
Pete Yorn

Now more than 15 years into his successful career, New Jersey native Pete Yorn had a rather unusual start in the business. Yorn moved to Los Angeles to pursue a life in music and in 1999, he signed a deal with Columbia Records. But the first music by Yorn to be heard by the public wasn’t on a recording.

After some demos found their way to the Farrelly Brothers, the filmmakers behind comedy hits like Dumb and Dumber and There’s Something About Mary, he was asked to score the pair’s forthcoming movie, the Jim Carrey vehicle Me, Myself and Irene (he also contributed to songs to the soundtrack).

After the release of the film in 2000, Yorn’s debut album, musicforthemorningafter, was released in 2001 and was a critical and commercial success, eventually selling enough to earn Gold certification. Early on, Yorn’s catchy and emotive songs were created largely on his own in the studio; Yorn played all of the instruments, layering tracks with the help of various notable producers (Brad Wood, Don Fleming and Ken Andrews were among those who contributed to musicforthemorningafter).

Since his debut, Yorn has released a consistent string of albums and EPs; for his 2006 tour behind Nightcrawler, Yorn did performances at independent record stores before each show, then released the 30-plus in-store recordings as part of his You & Me Acoustic EP series.

In 2009, on the heels of his fourth solo album, Back & Fourth, Yorn’s collaborative album with superstar actress Scarlett Johansson, Break Up, was released. Inspired by the albums French icon Serge Gainsbourg made with actress Brigitte Bardot in the ’60s, the LP did incredibly well overseas, especially in France, where it was certified Platinum.

Yorn broke from his traditional studio practice of building songs and playing most of the instruments himself with 2010’s self-titled release on Vagrant Records. The rare “full band” recording was inspired by the album’s producer, Frank Black of Pixies.

Since then, Yorn had his first child and inked a deal with Capitol Records, which issued his first solo album in six years, Arranging Time, in March. The album has been hailed as a return to the form of Yorn’s early work, which is fitting, as Yorn reteamed with R. Walt Vince (who worked on his first two albums) and returned to a layered recording approach that served him so well early on.

8 p.m. Tuesday. $25; $30 day of. Taft Theatre, 317 E. Fifth St., Downtown, tafttheatre.org.

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