Locally-honed, bedroom-grown pop from James McNew’s Dump


“Hope, Joe,” from I Can Hear Music (1995)

Before he played bass in Yo La Tengo, James McNew was a DJ at WTJU, published the music zine And Suddenly, and worked as an attendant at the Corner Parking Lot—which he has a few memorable lines about in The Parking Lot Movie.

Since 1993, Dump has been the outlet for McNew’s four-track home recordings, the most recent batch of which was 2003’s A Grown-Ass Man. “Hope, Joe” is a pretty pick from the whole McNew oeuvre, but it has the kind of curious build in intensity that you get on the best of his tracks. And that droning, utterly 1995 vocal melody? Delicious.

A few other McNew facts: In 2001, he released an album of Prince covers called That Skinny Motherfucker with the High Voice?, and his song "International Airport," was named Rob Sheffield’s "favorite song of all time" in Love Is A Mixtape. If you can rustle up a copy, give the whole of I Can Hear Music a listen before Saturday, August 13. Dump is playing a hometown show at the Tea Bazaar then, which should be a real treat.

What’s another song every Charlottesville music fan should know?

In 2009, C-VILLE’s Brendan Fitzgerald penned a feature called “Forty-five songs that every Charlottesville music fan should know,” which drew out comments from just about every music fan in town, most to the tune of “what, no Jamie Dyer?” Feedback contributor Spencer Peterson continues the conversation by adding to that list, one track at a time.

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