Yesterday, Yeasayer and Sleigh Bells played a show in Chicago. Unfortunately my schedule prevented me from attending, as much as I would have liked to. Ah well, they’ll both be back in town this summer, playing Lollapalooza and the Pitchfork Music Festival, respectively, and I’ll see them at those events when I cover them. Recognizing that the band was in town, I planned accordingly to feature Yeasayer on this week’s Live Friday. They do a handful of tracks off their new album “Odd Blood,” which coincidentally is also one of my favorite records so far this year.

If you’ve never seen Yeasayer perform live, it’s an interesting experience to say the least. I wasn’t very impressed when I saw them for the first time 2 years ago, but upon seeing them again last year they had noticeably improved. They weren’t even playing the new stuff then, which is far more energetic and danceable and I imagine only enhances their shows. You should know that the live versions of the songs available for download below aren’t exactly a testament to Yeasayer’s live prowess. Simply put, whoever mixed these songs didn’t do a very good job. The instruments are far too high in the mix and Chris Keating’s vocals are far too low. This is especially apparent on “Ambling Alp,” where the final verse of the song, my favorite verse mind you, has the vocals almost completely drowned out by everything else. Still, sound problems like that aren’t enough to keep me away from recommending this session, and I hope you give it a shot if you like the band.

There’s also an interview, which you can stream via the link below, where the band talks a little about firing their drummer and experimenting with any and all types of percussion in the studio they had rented. There’s also a bunch of technical talk about synths, if you’re into that sort of thing. I wouldn’t call it incredibly fascinating, but it’s not dull either. Okay, that’s all from me this week. Enjoy the next couple days and we’ll pick this fun up again on Monday.

(Note: The first two mp3s are direct links, but “O.N.E.” is only available via Yousendit or Zshare. Sorry, I’m having hosting issues.)

Yeasayer Live on WXPN 3-19-10:
Yeasayer – Madder Red (Live on WXPN)
Yeasayer – Ambling Alp (LIve on WXPN)
Yeasayer – O.N.E. (YSI or zshare)

Stream the entire interview/performance

Buy “Odd Blood” from Amazon