Morr Music Reissues Legendary First Two Dump Albums From Yo La Tengo Bassist James McNew

posted January 30, 2013

Morr Music Reissues Legendary First Two Dump Albums From Yo La Tengo Bassist James McNew

Dump, the recording and performing alias of James McNew, is reissuing his long out-of-circulation LPs Superpowerless (1993) and I Can Hear Music (1994) on Morr Music. McNew has been the bassist from legendary lo-fi rockers Yo La Tengo since 1992. Remastered by Bob Weston (Shellac, Mission of Burma), the LPs are being released on vinyl for the first time ever. Superpowerless will be available as a CD, a double LP or digital download, and I Can Hear Music will be available as two CDs, a triple LP package or digitally. Both will be released with the original album artwork, bonus materials and detailed liner notes. Stream both tracks from the 7" split of 'Secret Blood'/'Slow Down' now after the jump, which was released January 24th on Morr Music.

Raised in Charlottesville, VA, McNew performed with Christmas from 1989 until they broke up two years later, at which point he joined Yo La Tengo. Yo La Tengo was known to have an extensive repertoire of covers-fittingly, McNew recorded an entire album of Prince covers as Dump. Tastefully chosen covers appear on much of his other recorded work.

The Dump moniker officially began in 1991, but he didn't have any releases after that name until Superpowerless came out two years later. McNew recorded most instruments-guitar, bass, drums, organ and vocals-by himself, except for the instances in which his Yo La Tengo bandmates joined him. McNew captured everything on a 4-track cassette recorder.  "It made more sense to me if someone recorded a song in the moment by themselves, and got it to me as soon as possible," he said of the process. McNew much preferred the lo-fi aesthetic he gleaned from this process to the clean, polished sound obtained in a traditional studio setting. What's more, some of the instruments weren't instruments at all-Dump was known to have used "cardboard boxes as bass-drums" and to have prized "the victory of enthusiasm over perfection." He recorded I Can Hear Music in a living room, which is particularly apropos for the lo-fi style he aimed for.

Dump has been joined onstage by his wife, Amy, his bandmates from Yo La Tengo, comedian Todd Barry and many more, and you can expect to see plenty of McNew with Yo La Tengo on the heels of their new release, Fade.

Superpowerless Tracklisting

  1. Hands Of Fear
  2. So Sedimentary
  3. Secret Blood
  4. Good Medicine
  5. Formerly One-Eye
  6. Dark Road
  7. Just For You
  8. Outer Spaceways, Inc
  9. The Sea Wall
  10. Broken Conscience
  11. Throw Out The Lifeline
  12. The Quality Of Hurt
  13. 19 ½
  14. Moon River
  15. Superpowerless
  16. Ode To Shaggs' Own Thing
  17. Love Theme From "Providence"
  18. Knox's Lament 
  19. How Many Bells? 
  20. Intro/ Nothing Left 
  21. Down To The Sea In Ships 
  22. Pennies From Heaven 
  23. Christmas Card 
  24. Snowman 
  25. Bunny Boy 
  26. Jaundice 
  27. Bus-Kicker's Theme

I Can Hear Music Tracklisting


  1. Slow Down
  2. Jury Duty
  3. Hope, Joe
  4. Into Fall
  5. Flap My Arms
  6. The Letter
  7. Relocation Program
  8. Ceilings
  9. Invisible
  10. Morning Morning
  11. Remembering
  12. Don't Let On
  13. Wanted Man
  14. Curl
  15. Zusaan Says
  16. Liberty Spikes
  17. Burning
  18. It's Not All Right
  19. Beyond The Door
  20. Never Comes
  21. Vienna
  22. Over

CD 2

  1. I Can Hear Music
  2. I Want To Be With You
  3. Class Of...
  4. No One, Never
  5. Dear Betty
  6. Acupuncture
  7. 8 Km High
  8. Bill Withers
  9. Slow Down
  10. Swimming Pool (Live)