First/Last-James Vincent McMorrow

July 14, 2012

“James Vincent McMorrow released his debut record, Early in the Morning, in Ireland to widespread critical acclaim in February 2010. A stunning collection of songs recorded over 5 months in an isolated house by the sea, the album is a completely self recorded and played affair, filled with beguiling and vivid stories, fables that move from a whisper in your ear to a mountainous crescendo in the space of a song, all the while retaining the environment and sentiment in which they were formed.”

James returns to Pittsburgh tomorrow, headlining a free show at Hartwood. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this edition of First/Last.

  • The first album you ever bought?
  • First album I remember owning was “Bad” by Michael Jackson, maybe someone bought that for me though. First album I ever definitely bought was Queen “Live Magic”.
  • Your last album bought?
  • “Heaven” by The Walkmen.
  • Favorite album of all time?
  • Impossible to answer, there are so many records that are incredibly important to me, and hopefully many more to come.
  • Least favorite/most disappointing album?
  • “Load” by Metallica.
  • First concert attended?
  • Garth Brooks in Dublin. I was about 11 and my Dad brought myself and my sister. He was a huge fan at the time. I remember digging it. The light show was incredible. It blew my tiny mind.
  • Last concert?
  • As a real life spectator? I went to see Chris Cornell solo when I was home in Dublin. It was great. His voice is ridiculous. There were notes he was hitting that were mind bending. Was real nostalgic as well, hearing all those songs I obsessed over in my youth.
  • Favorite concert ever?
  • Two Christmases ago, I made my way through several feet of snow to see The National play. They got stuck on their way to the venue and arrived 10 minutes before they hit the stage. The show was charged with energy.
  • Least favorite concert?
  • Can’t recall, perhaps I’ve blocked them from my mind. Although I can’t think why I’d have bought a ticket to something I wasn’t going to like!
  • Any thoughts, experiences about Pittsburgh?
  • I’ve only been there once before, opening for an Irish band called BellX1. It was before my album came out. I can’t remember the name of the venue but I do remember it being my favourite show of that tour, not a word of a lie.

Thanks, James. I think the venue here was Club Cafe. Just so you know, Hartwood is a tad more…bigger.