James McNew’s Dump is a project that gives a certain kind of joy. It gives the listener a chance to both appreciate McNew’s contributions to Yo La Tengo — where he’s played bass for more than two decades — and to hear what’s going on in his head and his alone. McNew’s songs — and his well-chosen covers — rest on a skillfully crafted series of loops and samples rather than a band, and show off what’s going on in his head and his alone. “Modest” is a word that gets thrown around in reviews of Dump material, and it’s true that McNew’s presentation is as unflashy as they come (though he did, deadpan, introduce the “band” as “we”), but these songs go well beyond the scope of mere bedroom recordings.
Witness McNew’s opening number at this Union Pool show, which was his version of Bobby Charles’ country-blues number “I Hope”. The song is a gem — also covered by Elvis Costello on National Ransom — but McNew’s version is a more radical departure from the original, with the backdrop formed by a shimmering loop that adds to the melancholy of the lyrics. We also heard some new numbers, “Weather Blues” (which had the strongest echoes of James’ other band) and “Feelings 2,” which were followed by a classic Dump cover from 1993, “So Sedimentary” (originally from Faith and John Hubley’s 1972 film Dig). The night ended with another Dump classic, the title track from Superpowerless.
I recorded this set with Union Pool engineer Robert’s house mix, plus Schoeps MK5 cardiod microphones. The sound quality is excellent. Enjoy!
Stream and download this recording at our bandcamp page:
Brooklyn, NY USA
Exclusive download hosted at nyctaper.com
Recorded and produced by acidjack
Soundboard (engineer: Robert) + Schoeps MK5c (at SBD, PAS)>KCY>Z-PFA>>Zoom F8>2x24bit/48kHz WAV>Izotope Ozone 5 (EQ, effects, image)>Adobe Audition CS 5.5 (align, mixdown)>Audacity 2.0.5 (track, amplify, balance, downsample, dither)>FLAC ( level 8 )
01 I Hope [Bobby Charles]>
02 Weather Blues>
03 Feelings 2
04 So Sedimentary