The Oh’s: Top Whatever Pt 5: The Yellow Jacket Avenger

Regular readers of (Bad)MonkeyX won’t be surprised that the Yellow Jacket Avenger is one of my favourite acts of the decade. I discovered him (Geoffrey Pye is the YJA, pulling in others as necessary) via Jack Breakfast, who was the only interview I ever did, way back in the very early BMX days. I picked up a CD by The Killers (not that The Killers) who had opened a Jack Breakfast show at Holy Joe’s; I fell hard in love with it.

There was much confusion for  a while over the band’s name, as Geoffrey Pye’s presence on the internet was almost zero. It was through asking questions on discussion boards that I finally learned that he was more regularly known as the Yellow Jacket Avenger, and a long time before I got my hands on any other recordings by him. I’m glad I did: the guy’s amazing.

Over the decade I wrote about him plenty often, and happily celebrated his best release yet, 2008’s Double Nature (left). That album alone would put YJA on this list – I love it.  Go here to find out more about that.

But there are gems all over in his scattershot releases, single tracks worth the price of admission anytime. Pye releases YJA music oddly – on CDs of strangely chronologized fashion (Mindball is an anthology of the years 1993 – 2005; We Are Geoffrey Pye is an anthology covering 1997 – 2003; Success! covers 1993 – 2004; the latest release, a new compilation on Zunior peels it back to 93-98.

But on each, there are enormous tracks (hear below), and the collections as a whole give a fine, accurate impression of his odd wonderfulness. (For more on the oddness, check out the videos on his site: one’s for a song (Emergency) but the other two are of, respectively, him taking the piss on a karaoke stage and him playing basketball on a farm. They’re awesome.)

I’m glad he’s hooked up with Zunior (a fine, fine Canadian mp3 selling website – like iTunes without the gross feeling). You can pick up (and really should pick up) Double Nature there, as well as this latest early-period collection. I myself look forward to the day when Double Nature comes out on a nice vinyl platter. That’d be awesome.

He’s got a new record in the works, and I look forward to hearing it. A lot. I’ve said it before and I am always, always right: YJA’s among Canada’s best-ever offerings, and waaay more people should know about it. Here’s some solid reasons for you to get yourself some YellowJacket Avenger music. And here’s his site.

The Special Fate (from Double Nature)

El Paso Refinery Flames (collected on We Are Geoffrey Pye)

To Cure It (from that early 4-song Killers ep, also collected on We Are GP)


1 Response to “The Oh’s: Top Whatever Pt 5: The Yellow Jacket Avenger”

  1. 1 Anella December 21, 2009 at 10:18 am

    YJA is amazing! Thanks for spreading the word. I have several of his recordings — can’t wait for the next release!

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