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Scott Yoder Is a New-School Crooner

Scott YoderEXPAND
Scott Yoder
Photo by Kasey Elliott
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There aren't too many crooners in modern rock like Scott Yoder. But it's not Roy Orbison or Chris Isaak who Yoder is channeling when performing. "I always had an affinity for the classic films, like Marlene Dietrich in The Blue Angel," Yoder says. "In these film-noir movies, they usually had a scene where they showcased a song that was lip-synched in a bar scene. Lizabeth Scott did some great lip-synch performances. I identified with the female singer over the grizzled guy fawning over her. From my perspective, that's my live show."

These black-and-white femme fatales will inform his stage persona at Churchill's Pub this Friday, September 7, and Bumblefest in West Palm Beach this Saturday, September 8. He'll be backed by his three-piece band. "I'm looking to be hypnotized when I go to a show, so that's what I try to do when people come see us," he says. "I'm interested in dialing things back as much as possible volume-wise, but not energy-wise. How quiet can I make it and still pull it off? We apply that principle as a live band."

Yoder got his musical start as a teenager in Washington state when he formed the Pharmacy. That psych-rock band was his musical finishing school. "Brendhan Bowers was the same proficiency as me on the drums as I was on guitar," he says. "We skipped school and played music. His dad did construction work and built him a music room." The truancy paid off: A few years later, in 2005, they were touring the world with the Moldy Peaches' Kimya Dawson. "It blew our minds going on tour with her. We opened for her and were her backing band. She tapped us into the anti-folk scene. She taught us about how to set up a tour and to tour sober. Three months sober as a young touring band is rare."

The touring life is one Yoder has found addictive. He's constantly traveling the world to play any stage he can find. His current series of shows highlights his newest record, A Fool Aloof. "I've been doing music solo for three years. I wanted to start writing more personal and emotional songs," he says. "When I was writing them, I dealt with a lot of breakups — breakup of my band, breakup of a relationship, and the breakup of a bone in my hand in a bike accident. I was ready to play up some more theatrical vibes. My mumbling-through-songs-I-don't-feel-confident-in days are behind me."

Scott Yoder. 9 p.m. Friday, September 7, at Churchill's, 5501 NE Second Ave., Miami; 305-757-1807; churchillspub.com. Admission is free.

BumbleFest. With Scott Yoder, Lumerians, Santoros, and others. 6 p.m. Saturday, September 8, at Voltaire, 526 Clematis St., West Palm Beach; 561-408-5603; bumblefest.com. Tickets cost $10 to $15 via ticketfly.com.

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