Pete Yorn, whose new album is “Caretakers,” appears at the Great American Music Hall on Monday. (Courtesy Jim Wright)

Pete Yorn, whose new album is “Caretakers,” appears at the Great American Music Hall on Monday. (Courtesy Jim Wright)

Pete Yorn calls his new songs ‘caretakers’

Rocker references sounds on popular 2001 debut

After his 2016 album “Arranging Time,” Pete Yorn intended to take some time off to raise his baby daughter, Ellie Bee, now 4 years old. But life got in the way. A sudden burst of creativity led to 2018’s “Apart” duets EP with Scarlett Johansson, his collaborator on 2009’s “Break Up,” as well his 2019 solo album “Caretakers.” Co-produced by Day Wave’s Jackson Phillips, “Caretakers” echoes the classic New Order-edged sound he introduced on his 2001 debut, “musicforthemorningafter.” Yorn says, “Jackson is kind of a generation or two behind me, and when we first met he said he grew up listening to my stuff because his sister was always playing it. So I think he saw me a certain way, and he reminded me of things about myself that maybe I had forgotten or moved on from. So he naturally went for those aesthetics with me in the studio.”

You got so productive you were writing and recording a song a day with Phillips, right?

Yeah. And he’s my touring guitarist now. He’s from Mill Valley — all those Day Wave guys are from Mill Valley. But when we started, we didn’t know what we were doing. We were just feeling things out, thinking of doing an EP, because I wasn’t signed to a label and nobody was waiting for a record. So we were kind of doing it just for fun. So as a jumping-off point I had three or four songs that I’d written, but when we got through those, I decided to just start writing more songs, right there on the spot, and this flurry of inspiration came.

“Caretakers” could refer to helping your aging parents, or your daughter as a future caretaker of the environment.

It means so many different things. Initially, it came from taking care of family, and then it grew to the fact that we’re all connected in our responsibility to each other. Then the other side of it is wanting to help the people you love, but maybe not being able to because sometimes there’s nothing you can do, it’s just out of your hands. So you have to learn how to accept that and not let it drive you crazy. And because music has saved me so many times, I see the songs themselves as caretakers.

And you have a guiding philosophy now, too?

I have my own brand of what I call hyper-present awareness. It’s a mix of Eckhart Tolle and seeing yourself the way a stranger would see you, with no stories. Because 99 percent of your thoughts are just distractions, and you don’t need them. So there’s that, some good B vitamins, and a little whiskey.

IF YOU GO

Pete Yorn

Where: Great American Music Hall, 859 O’Farrell St., S.F.

When: 8 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16

Tickets: $35 to $285 VIP

Contact: (415) 885-0759, slimspresents.com/great-american-music-hall

Pop Music

Just Posted

On Sunday, California bore the brunt of what meteorologists referred to as a bomb cyclone and an atmospheric river, a convergence of storms that brought more than half a foot of rain to parts of the Bay Area, along with high winds, concerns about flash floods and the potential for heavy snow in the Sierra Nevada. Much of the Bay Area was under a flash flood watch on Sunday, with the National Weather Service warning of the potential for mudslides across the region. (NOAA via The New York Times)
Bomb cyclone, atmospheric river combine to pummel California with rain and wind

What you need to know about this historic weather event

National Weather Service flood watch in the San Francisco Bay Area for Sunday, Oct. 24, 2021. (National Weather Service via Bay City News)
Storm pounds Bay Area, leaving over 145,000 without power: Closures and updates

Torrential rainfall causes flooding, triggers evacuations in burn areas

Plan Bay Area 2050 is an expansive plan guiding the region’s growth and development over the next three decades. The regional plan addresses progressive policy priorities like a universal basic income and a region-wide rent cap, alongside massive new spending on affordable housing and transportation infrastructure. (Shutterstock)
Plan Bay Area 2050: Analyzing an extensive regional plan that covers the next 30 years

Here are the big ticket proposals in the $1.4 trillion proposal

A collaborative workspace for a decentralized autonomous organization (DAO) in Coordinape is pictured at a recent blockchain meet up at Atlas Cafe. <ins>(Kevin N. Hume/The Examiner)</ins>
Business without bosses: San Francisco innovators battle bureaucracy with blockchain

‘The next generation will work for three DAOs at the same time’

Most Read