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Yo Yos | Uppers and Downers | review | rock | Lollipop

The Yo-Yo's

Uppers and Downers (Sub Pop)
by Jon Sarre

Saw these guys open up for Backyard Babies a lil' while back, nice buncha pint-quaffin' yobs, even got better than average teeth for Brits. They tipped like limeys (or pommies, if ya wanna moniker 'em like an Aussie), the bartenders were wont to complain, which is to say, they didn't tip, cuz the English don't do gratuities, even tho' they know damn well they're supposed to, but they pretend they don't, so if I ever go there, I'm not tippin' one bloomin' six pence, or whatever the fuck they call their money. All that aside, I thought 'em to be a pretty okay bunch. They didn't bitch as much as the Babies, or to be fair to the Swedes, their road manager, Johahn, or sumptin' like that. The guy complained about everything (to me, unfortunately, cuz I got suckered into bein' the "hospitality" go-fer that nite). Everytime I saw him, I cringed cuz I knew he wanted somethin' else, wine, cheap beer, batteries, there was damn near a fist-fight over fucking towels, f'chris'sakes (in the scum-sated world of concert promotion, y'see, it's important to cut as many corners as possible and act like the rider the band's management company sent you is more of a "guideline," thus "one bottle Jack Daniels" can translate into "I'll get ya some drinks later" or "bowl of fresh fruit" can become "tomatoes on cheeseburgers." Savvy band baby-sitters like this Johahn guy usually carry their own copy of the rider and force ya to honor every last fucking stupid thing).

The Yo-Yos, on the other hand, as support act, seemed quite content to munch on their fast-food-like "dinners" and, of course, scour the corners for eligible poon. One of 'em, I forget who cuz they all sorta have the same grease-monkey/rockabilly sorta ducktail'n'tattoo look, told me 'bout the last time he was in Portland with his old band, The Wildhearts, on tour with AC/DC at an arena with loadsa coke'n'muff and jeez, this grimy lil' punk club, well, that was a wee bit different. When they got up on stage, they sorta sounded like Johnny Thunders clones schooled on Gene Vincent 45s instead of Phil Spector girl group 45s, y'know, rock'n'roll classicism with the rough edges still there, a band ya could laugh with, in fact (vs Backyard Babies, still fun, but lookin' like Rancid and soundin' more like Faster Pussycat and bein' a band ya could laugh at). I'm willing to bet they played songs like "Champagne and Nakedness," "Too Lazy to Bleed," "Cellphonepsychophobia," "Rumble(d)" and other stuff that's on Uppers and Downers. If not, they'll probably play 'em next time they tour. I'll probably see 'em again, too.
(PO Box 20645 Seattle, WA 98102)


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