CMJ #105

September, 2002



We Were Young And Needed The Money

Idaho Music-Retrophonic

Los Angeles’ Idaho has carved out a career making beautiful downer albums focusing on the sleepy baritone and spare compositions of Jeff Martin, who’s earned comparisons to depressive maestros like Marks Eitzel and Kozelek. For this “unofficial follow-up” to 2001’s Levitate, the band dipped into its back catalog and came up with 17 previously unreleased tracks from its decade-long career. Similar in spirit and scope to 2000’s live compilation People Like Us Should Be Stopped. We Were Young And Needed The Money is comprised of rarities and outtakes, supposedly from, well, when Idaho was young and needed the money. Tracks range from early melodic gems like 1992’s “Carefully Turning,” to more recent works such as album opener “Social Studies” (from 1999’s Hearts Of Palm sessions). The standouts, which include 1995’s “Teeth Marks,” with its strange Seam-meets-Beck quality, and 1997’s “This Day,” which sounds like Dinosaur Jr. on Quaaludes, are perfect sad/tense showcases for the ragged ache of Martin’s brooding, delicate vocals. While odds-and-ends collections like this will surely appeal to zealous Idaho fans, it may not be the best introduction to the band for beginners: Those folks would do well to check out 1996’s Three Sheets To The Wind.



File Under

Low and Codeine bedfellows


American Music Club, Red House Painters, really mellow Sonic Youth