Released in 1987, “Shore Leave” was Yung Wu’s only album. However, the members of Yung Wu were incredibly active!
Yung Wu was one of three 1980s side-project bands consisting of members from the legendary group The Feelies. Dave Weckerman had joined The Feelies in 1984 as a percussionist, but on “Shore Leave” he was Yung Wu’s lead singer and songwriter. Glenn Mercer (guitar), Bill Million (guitar), Keith DeNunzio (bass), and Vinny DeNunzio (drums) retained their roles from The Feelies, and John Baumgartner was recruited to play keyboard from the (awesomely named) group Speed The Plough.
Yung Wu featured a more down-to-earth vibe than The Feelies, but “Shore Leave” retained the group’s joyful, post-punk pop that made their sound unique. Their album was out-of-print for some time until Bar/None Records reissued it last spring. You can listen to the full album below, purchase it from Amazon, and stream it on any major music service.
*Tip of the Hat* to Jason Hartley for the recommendation!
Hailing from Vancouver, P:ano was a Canadian lo-fi orchestral pop band that formed in 1999 and dissolved sometime around 2008. The band’s members consisted of Larissa Loyva, Justin Kellam, Julia Chirka, and Nick Krgovich. Each member played several instruments that varied from song to song.
I first heard P:ano in 2003 towards the end of college. Late one night I ran across a Salon.com article recommending readers to check out their 2001 debut When It’s Dark And It’s Summer. Sitting in my bedroom with headphones connected to the computer, I streamed the album’s moody first track “All Of November, Most Of October” and instantly fell for it.
At that point in my life I was editing the school’s arts & entertainment section of the newspaper. I liked it. I used that space often recommend albums, but I kept this one to myself. In the last days before I’d move on to the real world, I’d put the album on late at night to fall asleep.
P:ano released a series of other albums, but I never got into them. The Den from 2002 was focused but off-putting due to its complexity. 2005’s Brigadoon was over the top with quirkiness (though it’s grown on me because I realized it was their Pet Sounds).
The final album, the odd Ghost Pirates Without Heads also from 2005, was written & recorded in a day, and it shows.
Despite the uneven catalog, P:ano has always held a special place for me. They produced a perfect album for melancholy nights. I even slipped in “All Of November, Most Of October” into the my wedding reception.