Arthur Yoria

Houston Press

Bethielife.com

Meet musician Arthur Yoria! This recording artist’s music has been featured in movies and tv shows, and he also tours in the U.S as well as internationally.  His next stop is Los Angeles where he will be doing several performances and also showcasing at the NAMM (National Assoc. of Music Merchants) conference.   Arthur combines guitar and vocals with samples, loops, and digital effects. The tracks that are heard live are recorded immediately on stage and are then played under the current live track until that track too becomes a background layer. His unique music has garnered him several awards and a huge following.

Check out his website www.arthuryoria.com  to see his tour schedule and especially when he’s playing in Houston. You can also follow him on FB, Insta and Twitter.

Arthur is currently working on a full-length record for Splice Records, LLC. A single that he just released from the upcoming record called, “Shake”  can be purchased on iTunes(Shake – Single by Arthur Yoria on Apple Music) . Check it out!

Arthur is known for being a private person, so I decided to get nosy and ask him a few questions!

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1. I know you are from Chicago. What is your heritage and how did youchoose Houston?

Both of my parents are from Colombia. They landed in NYC in the mid 60’s where my Father eventually started working for British Petroleum, he was later transferred to Chicago and then finally to Houston about the time I was starting High School.

2. What inspires you when you compose music?

The escape, the challenge to want to write a good tune, infatuation, anger, sadness, etc…they hit you from all different angles thankfully. Also, the process is the healthiest way to vent that I’ve encountered in my adult life so far.

3. Tell us something humorous about yourself.

If I made money as fast and as often as I fall in love, I’d be able to afford to meet more women.

4. I know you like to give back. Do you have one particular cause you care  about?

Animal Rights. My rescue dog has all but cured my depression so it’s only fair to give back. I really try to get the word out about spaying and neutering the domestic ones. Too many strays out there.

5. What is your fashion sense?

Minimalist, pragmatist.

6. What are you professional plans for 2017?

I’m in the process of finishing a new full-length record for the local record label, Splice Records which will be released in 2017. I hope to hit the to road when it’s done and play all around the country as well as over seas.

7. Do you have any irrational fears?

They’re all rational in my mind.

8. Do you have any favorite musicians/bands?

Serge Gainsbourg, Bob Dylan, The Ramones and Julio Iglesias.

9. If you could sit down to coffee with anyone famous, who would that be and why?

Teller from Penn & Teller. Most people talk too much.

10. What do you love most about being a musician?

The hours are nice as I’m a night person. Also, I’m shy around strangers and performing has made it very easy to meet new people which is usually a good experience.

 

FREEPRESSHOUSTON

There are two routes in the singer songwriter than an artist can take.  Either you can emulate someone else or you can forge your own path, but those are pretty much your only two options, in most genres of music.  And while the latter is the more difficult route, that’s the path that Chicago native and Houston transplant Arthur Yoria has chosen. For so many years Houston has had the mindset of “do we deserve this,” which is how I felt about Yoria’s songwriting craft.  Though he’s lived all over North America, as well as toured the globe, Yoria brings his own style to our city’s music scene.  With a new album on track to be released next year, Yoria’s team at Splice Records offered Free Press Houston a chance to debut his latest single a day before it’s to be released.  The song, “Shake” is definitely a cut above the rest while offering up a mix of complex sound and catchy chorus, the end result is Yoria’s ahead of the curve style through and through.

The quirky opening is enough to grab ahold of your attention before Yoria’s voice seeps onto the track like a ghost in the room.  Adding instrumentation like pedal steel and multiple guitars, Yoria keeps you in suspense before his chorus rolls in to grab ahold of your senses and stick in your head.  The catchy nature of the song mixed with a different approach gets your head bopping before it’s ever close to being done, and that chorus is one so strong you’ll know every word of it before you’ve hit the replay button.  This is definitely Arthur Yoria 2.0, while changing up his former style and adding a new twist to his already infectious songs, Yoria proves sometimes you can teach a dog new tricks.  With production from guitar slinger Kelly Doyle, mixing by SugarHill production guru Steve Christensen and a master from Chris Longwood; the song emanates those higher levels of what Houston’s music scene has to offer.

Rocks Off

We sat down with Arthur Yoria to see what we could learn about the stoner-rocker in 30 seconds. Rocks Off: What is the worst song in the world? Arthur Yoria: "Happy Birthday." I don't like the changes and the lyrics are trite. RO: What is the best lyric in the world? AY: "His brains were splattered on the sidewalk/ I could see what he was thinking." RO: Someone throws a beer bottle at you. What do you do? AY: Duck it and keep playing, or if it hits me I'll break it against the side of the stage and then go slice the motherfucker who threw it. RO: Without worrying about time, space, or physical laws, what would be the ultimate gig? AY: In a black hole that pays well. RO: What will you buy with your first million dollars? AY: Corruption. RO: What would you buy with your last dollar? AY: Pudding for you. RO: That's sweet. If you could canonize another musician as a saint, who would it be and what would they be the patron saint of? AY: GG Allin. He'd be the patron saint of flying feces. Arthur Yoria plays Stoner Pop Night tonight at Etro.

Austin Vida

Austin-based singer-songwriter Arthur Yoria will be performing Tuesday night, August 10, at Momo's as part of the weekly World Music Night series produced by Bemba Entertainment. The Colombiano by way of Houston is a one-man band, playing eveything from guitar to melodica. One of the most unique performers in Austin, Yoria's music is in both English and Spanish. His music has been featured on numerous televison shows. Arthur Yoria takes the stage at 8 p.m. with Austin Piazzolla Quintet following at 10. Admission is $5, or $3 with student ID. Ages 18 and up are welcome. Momo's is located at 618 West 6th St. above Katz's Deli. For more on Arthur Yoria, read our interview with him here. Take some Arthur Yoria with you below with this free mp3 of Yoria's song "Ensima De Ti" from his EP Suerte Mijo.

tapebombs[required listening]

Last weekend, while sifting through emails I was taken by a concisely worded email from Arthur Yoria asking me to take a listen to his new EP. Admittedly, I probably pay way to much attention to the local music scene and was immediately curious of a name that I didn’t recognize. After spending the last 5 days with Yoria’s latest release, I feel confident in saying if you don’t know of him already, you most likely will soon. Arthur Yoria was born in Chicago, Illinois. He is a recent Austin transplant, but is not new to Texas — he attended high school and college in Houston, TX. He’s been releasing music since 2003 [if this website is to be believed] and has seen his songs used in commercials for Domino’s Pizza, Arizona Jeans and Cheapbooks.com, of all things. Yoria’s most recent full length release, 2009’s (281) is packed full of polished, smartly tongue-in-cheek, stoned-out power pop. Until Canciones, this seems to be standard fare for Yoria. But, within the first two seconds of his new EP, it is immediately apparent that something is different. Yoria’s mastery of the pop framework hasn’t gone anywhere, but in place of the electric guitars, the big big drums, and the slick studio sheen are two tastefully delicate acoustic guitars, two crafty voices, and a glaringly honest RIYIYB (Record it Youself in Your Bathroom) aesthetic that makes me weak in the knees. Yoria explains the transition as an excuse to tour Spain and Columbia [where his parents are from] as a duo with only acoustic guitars. Whatever the reason, this EP does indeed add a strong and relevant page not only to Yoria’s catalog of recorded material, but also to his standing as a songwriter. In addition to his solo work, Yoria plays with Austin’s Monoceja’s and Houston’s The Shit Stained Condoms. In the coming year, Yoria will tour the Midwest in May and hopes to tour Europe and Columbia before the year is out. He’ll record the second half of Canciones as well. Please enjoy these songs. Should you like, there are plenty more on Arthur’s website.

rock y roll radio

Recently saw Arthur Yoria at Momo's, World Music Night sponsored by KUT 95.5 FM/kut.org presented by Bemba Entertainment and was just blown away by his creativity, music and style. How is it that Rock y Roll Radio did not know about this incredible talent? To be honest, Rock y Roll Radio did know about Arthur Yoria. Caught Arthur's performance at the Flamingo Cantina in Monoceja's debut performance in August. Monaceja could be described as a two man experimental, Euro-pulsating beat, fusion rock band. Eduardo "Edo" Fajardo, of bands Edo and Executive Life is the other half of Monaceja. Arthur is not new to music but somewhat a new solo act to Austin. He is an accomplished Houston based bilingual singer/songwriter, nominated Songwriter of the Year in the Houston Press Music Awards since 2001. "He combines guitar and vocals with samples, loops, and digital effects. The tracks that are heard live are recorded immediately on stage and are then played under the current live track until that track too becomes a background layer." And now that you know about Arthur Yoria, catch his shows, get his music and Rock y Roll Radio promises you won't be disappointed.

space city rock

(281) Whoa. What the hell? I knew quirky/cool singer-songwriter guy Arthur Yoria was mixing things up a bit on his latest release, (281), but honestly, when lead-in track "No Messin' With My Rectum If You Like My Erection" hit the chorus (and yes, that is the song title, not to mention most of the chorus lyrics), I nearly drove into the concrete barricade on the side of the freeway. It's just such a ridiculously, over-the-top, um, explicitly frank come-on/caveat of a song that I still have a little trouble believing that I'm hearing what I'm hearing. The truly weird part, though, is that in spite of the huge level of uncomfortableness, well...it ain't bad. Throughout (281), in fact, Yoria manages to veer wildly away from a lot of what he's been known for in the past, diving headlong into weirdness and half-assed experimentation, all while keeping things insanely catchy. See "He Can, She Can, We Can," which features a deep, screwed-down vocal that sounds like it stepped off a Gorillaz album (it's a little busy for the Swishahouse crowd, I'm thinking) over a funky, rumbling track; it's utterly bizarre and totally unlike Yoria's past work, but it really, truly works, all on its own. And that's Yoria's genius, really: he's such a supremely talented songwriter that songs that really, really shouldn't work (and probably wouldn't work, in the hands of somebody else) actually come off as clever and strange. Like, say, the dark, murky, New Romantic-esque electronicism of "You Should See Me," or the weirdly bluesy "The Libyans" (which, as near as I can tell, has zero to do with Libya), where Yoria declares he doesn't care what anybody thinks but just wants to "play [his] golden fiddle." Then there's "Drunk Piss," which is an instrumental that sounds remarkably like, well, a late-night stumble down to a dingy bathroom to take a piss. Things get a bit more down-to-earth two-thirds of the way through the disc, with the resigned, gorgeously layered "Tell Me I'm Wrong" grounded in more familiar melancholy power-pop territory and the swooning "Blue" more dreampop-y and sweet than anything else. The latter of which incorporates a little snippet of what sounds like a totally separate song in Spanish, tacking it on at the end. "Something In My Stomach" is a little goofier, with its spoken vocals and stop-start rhythm, but it works amazingly effectively at conveying the self-doubt and confusion that sets in when somebody really gets under your skin for the first time. It's funny, but (281) almost seems like a B-sides collection or something, partly because it's so far removed from his older stuff and partly because of the general slapdash feel of it (the album was originally only available at shows, but now it's available online in MP3 form, too). Of course, it could also be because this time out Yoria attempted to crowdsource his songwriting somewhat, throwing early mixes out to fans for critique and comment. Or, most likely of all, Yoria's just decided he's tired of being That Suave/Sensitive Pop-Rock Guy and wants to throw the rulebook out the window. Hats off to him for doing it; it doesn't work for everybody, no, but against the odds, it works for him.

Houston Press

ARTHUR YORIA - (281) On 2004's I'll Be Here Awake, Arthur Yoria quickly established himself as one of the Houston area's most interesting musicians. His tales of lovelorn angst set against melodic pop made for an infectious combination that drew fans worldwide, and his live shows — whether full-band powerhouses, stripped-down, electronic-backed performances or simple acoustic-guitar sets — practically made him a household name among local music fans. Since then, however, he's steadily grown away from the all-out pop of his earlier work; 281, available only at shows, furthers the different direction of 2007's Handshake Smiles. Yoria's tongue-in-cheek humor is intact on 281's "The Libyans" ("I just want to play my golden fiddle"), "I Don't Wear Red" ("I'm the one who stays when you leave, but I'm the one who gets free beer") and the all-too-personal "No Messin' With My Rectum If You Like My Erection." But the experimental pop storytelling of "I'm The Cold One," the sedate "Tell Me I'm Wrong" and stoner-rific "Blue" — not to be confused with Yoria's similarly mellow ode to Xanax, live favorite "Little Blue" — are 281's high points. Recalling his past anxiety and seemingly constant relationship issues, the songs are obvious outlets for Yoria's insecurities; he sings about what everyone feels but hardly anyone ever discusses. 281 shows a maturing Yoria comfortable enough with himself to again push the boundaries of his music.

Houston Press

Arthur Yoria hasn't always been the easygoing guy he is today. Not long ago, Yoria suffered from panic attacks, attacks so severe that for a while the singer/songwriter was housebound because of his fears. When talk therapy and other remedies didn't help, Yoria started taking antidepressant medication. It worked. “I had always been a pretty anxious person; I was just a big worrier. It all just kinda came to a head; I don't know why. It lasted about six months. I was really lucky that that drug happened to work.” Arthur Yoria says he's a different person since his recovery from panic attacks. Arthur Yoria's recovery was slow and painstaking. “At first it was just getting in the car and going around the block. Then it was getting in the car and going around another.” Now fully recovered, Yoria says the change in his life has been huge. “I think I'm completely different person.” And a different performer, who just happens to have a new CD out, Handshake Smiles. “I recorded it at a friend's house using just one mic, which is a different approach for me. Initially it was a budget issue, but then it kinda turned into a nice little challenge. It became interesting. Without having to concentrate on huge drum sounds or walls of guitars, it left more room for the actual song to take center stage, the lyrics, the vocals,” he says. “A lot of CDs, what they have going for them is big production. Having all that can sometimes take away from a tune. On this(record), each song definitely had to fly on its own." “This time around the songs are about the last couple of years or so. They deal with a couple of relationships gone wrong and being broke, but at the same time finding the humor in the situation. I hope that's the one thing that comes through; that even though there are bumps in the road, I'm able to see the humor in it all." Yoria is quick to say that while autobiographical, his songs are not literal readings of his life. “I have a wild imagination,” he laughs. “When you listen to my songs you could think that I lead a tumultuous life, and that's not so. It would be exhausting if I had to live all these things that I write about.” Yoria calls “Should Be,” the opening tune on Handshake Smiles, “a disclaimer.” “I'm making fun of myself. It's sort of a disclaimer: ‘Look, I'm about to talk about a lot of shit about a lot of stuff,'” he says with a laugh. “Trash Bag,” the last song on the disc, is a positive song, something Yoria says might seem a rarity in his work. “For people who are familiar with my records, I mainly focus on relationships gone sour and maybe getting back at someone for the way they treated me, whether it's fiction or truth. It definitely is a positive song; I'm declaring my love for someone — wow, that was a huge cliché, wasn't it? I don't think I've ever said that, and now it's [in an interview]; how about that?” (Laughs.) Yoria happily calls his music pop, even though most other singer/songwriters working in the same style would bristle at the term. “It's such a vague term, and it's such a relative term. When I say pop, I mean a certain song structure, and I use that as a base. I've never been offended by that term, it's just means 'popular' and that's what I want. I want as many people as possible to be exposed to what I do.” In fact, millions of people have heard Yoria's music. Several of his songs have been featured on TV and in films. One of the first songs was heard on the television show The O.C. after a girlfriend entered his music into a songwriters' contest without his knowledge. So is it fun turning on the TV and hearing his own music? “It's fun because you get money for those things,” he deadpans. “Actually, in my opinion, it's where it's at for songwriters right now. It's better than a record deal. You're getting plugged into an audience that you wouldn't get otherwise. All of a sudden you're getting e-mails from 14-year-old girls saying how much they like your song.” Those 14-year-olds now have a whole new batch of songs with Handshake Smiles. “I hope that I've evolved. I hope that I've become a better songwriter as well as a better musician. I'm really happy with it. Just the fact that it's a new approach, and that it doesn't suck in my opinion, I'm ecstatic about it. Arthur Yoria performs Saturday, April 28, at the Houston International Festival, 1111 Bagby, 713-654-8808.

The Skyline Network

We used to pal around with this guy who was perhaps the best collector and teller of stories ever to be snuck beers at a bar. Generally, we are of the opinion that once is enough when it comes to re-telling of personal anecdotes, but honestly we had to restrain ourselves in requesting that he tell this tale or that to us yet again. One story in particular stands out as perhaps his greatest hit: the time when Rod Stewart offered him advice on picking up girls in a bar in Italy. Not even really advice, coaching (in his re-telling, he-who-wakes-up-Maggie often had an Australian accent as that was the closest he could affect – the Crocodile Dundeeness of it only added to the fun). This fable of reconstruction was always told over ales and long past when the clock had both arms up, so we cannot and should not relay all the details – but we recall it having a happy ending. Rod Stewart is not a particularly handsome man. But he has swagger, and he is sexy. He knows it – he wouldn’t ask you if you though he was otherwise. Along with, say, Fonzie, he holds court in a particular branch of the thistle thorn diagram of male sexiness. Oh yes, there are other things besides a leather tie or a leather jacket that makes one sexy, because, as we all know, there are other forms of sexy. Let’s take a moment to note that R. Kelly trumps all in this sort of a discussion. Moment done. Let’s move on to Handshake Smile, the new LP from 713 crooner Arthur Yoria. From the outset, Handshake is a dread sexy recording, but definitely not in the Drakkar Noir vein. It’s not the sort of active-sonar sexy that can backfire quickly into the realm of creepy if poorly executed. Nope. It’s more the chill, interesting, good smile, fun vein of sexy; corduroy and suede over silk and chiffon. It’s going to kiss you in the rain, and the entire thing will be filmed by a slowly reverse-tilting boom-mounted camera. Like the person at the bar you have to work your way over towards, it’s engaging before you’ve really figured out how to approach it. Indeed, even if you never get the minerals to go up to it and start a listening conversation, the memory of it sticks with you. Handshake has ACES pop lyrics, something we don’t generally pay much attention to (words are crap, we contend). It was bedroom produced with a single microphone, which isn’t evident at all from the sound of it, prolly due to the out and out quality of the mixing, the strength of the arrangements, the talent of the players and the, well, sexiness of the songwriting. Catchy can’t begin to describe some of these melodies; showy, corny, flashy or smelling of Cool Water never will. Yoria has put a lot of years into this game, and if the end result of it is going to be records like this, we’re stoked. Rod prolly would be too. No Homo. Recommended. Catch Arthur Yoria playing around town lots and lots in the upcoming month, but most importantly, at the Feel Good Hits of the Summer Festival Saturday, June 9th at the Proletariat

Space City Rock

I've never met a musician, from Houston or anywhere else, who can reinvent themselves as effortlessly from album to album as Arthur Yoria seems to. Just when I think I've got him pegged, he slips out the side and does something totally off the map from what he's done in the past, whether it's shifting from a smooth seducer to a freaked-out, amps-on-eleven rocker or from a rocker to a playful Spanish-speaking troubadour. With Handshake Smiles, then, Yoria's shifted, chameleon-like, from all of those things into, well, himself. He's gotten a little scruffier, growing back/our his hair and beard, he's not wearing the shiny shirts anymore, and the music feels like a throwback to the things Yoria himself probably listened to growing up. Smiles is all a little rough around the edges -- probably partly because it was done just at a friend's house with a borrowed mic, although it sounds a heck of a lot better than it should for that -- and the songs follow suit, heading off in a more bluesy, more '60s-ish direction that "Goodbye Marisa," off of 2006's Something Must Be Wrong, telegraphed. The guitars are simultaneously rawer and not as up-front as they have been in the past, the bass and drums grind together nicely -- see the break in "Clean For Free," in particular -- and the band seems relaxed as hell. I've heard Arthur play a fair number of these songs live a few times now, so they tend to sound somewhat familiar to me. Beyond hearing 'em live, though, there's just this warm, intimate, friendly feel to the songs, the kind that makes you feel like you've heard them all somewhere before, maybe on a crackly AM radio station back when radio didn't completely suck. Smiles is the sound of a bunch of guys getting together to chill and jam in their buddy's living room. Except, of course, that they're not playing half-assed Zeppelin or Stones covers, but are instead playing some damn fine songs of their own. Despite the stylistic changeups, Yoria hasn't lost his songwriting touch, thankfully, and there are few weak moments among the 11 tracks on here. The aforementioned "Clean For Free" is easily a highlight, a languid, bluesy rocker that has Yoria declaring bluntly that he wants out (of a relationship, I'm assuming?) with no strings attached, and he doesn't give a crap about the fallout. "Love Song in G" comes off like a '60s rock love song, somewhere in the realm of a less-poppy Push Kings, while "Sandy" aims for Byrds/Teenage Fanclub heaven with an awesome-sounding organ. Then there's the title track, which swipes half a guitar line (and that lazy-summer-day feel, to boot) from "Brown Eyed Girl" and bumps along contentedly beneath the words. Speaking of which, the lyrics make Smiles strike me as a coming-of-age album of sorts -- although yeah, that's a little silly, given that Yoria's no kid. Call it, instead, a back-to-basics album. The songs are about the everyday stuff we all deal with; no wild rockstar parties here, just down-to-earth lyrics about getting older and slowly turning into your dad ("Should Be"; and Arthur, I feel your pain there, man) or trying to make a living doing what you love ("Handshake Smiles"). Yep, despite being as accomplished an artist as Yoria is, the latter song's a humble ode to being able to just make it by on music. This sounds like Yoria spurning the frantic rat-race of "stardom" and just wanting to be able to live on what he does -- no more, no less. "Jimmy's Rig" is an understated little folky bit about a friendship gone sour, while "Trash Bag" is a gentle, self-deprecating picture of a would-be lover who might not be the flashiest or coolest but who'll take on all the hard stuff that's involved in a relationship, like doing the dishes or taking out the garbage. And, yep, there's also "Rim Job," which is a sweetly rockin', uh, spiritual/gospel track about sex (duh). And I have to say, while it takes quite a songwriter just to pull something like that off, to turn it into one of the best tracks on an album takes damn near a genius. Now that I'm thinking about it, maybe I'm making too much of all the stylistics changes Yoria's been through over the past four or five EPs and albums. Rocker, folksinger, pop star -- at the end of the day, they're all the same guy, right? Looking back, though, it sure looks like the progression that led up to now was the collective sound of Yoria learning to live inside his own skin. Handshake Smiles is him actually making it there, comfortable with who he is and where he's headed, leaning back with a beer in his hand and a grin on his face

Donewaiting.com/Houston Calling

This Saturday (5.19.07), local musician Arthur Yoria celebrates the release of his new album, Handshake Smiles, with a CD release show at Rudyards at 11pm. Local bands Spain Colored Orange (12am) and Southern Backtones (8pm) are also on the bill. I recently asked Yoria a few questions, some of which appear in the May issue of Envy magazine. If you can't wait until Saturday to get your copy--or would rather just have a digital copy--you can buy Handshake Smiles online now at Yoria's MySpace page. Interview: Arthur Yoria HC: Over the years, I've seen you play everything from sidewalk gigs to big shows in clubs around town, and I have seen many musicians struggle to pay bills if they choose not to have a day job. How has your opinion on what it means to be a working musician in Houston changed (or has it) in the time between I'll Be Here Awake and your most recent releases? Yoria: Unless you're playing country, blues, jazz, or covers, it's a tough racket as a performer in this city; no question. I took a little time off from the "guarantee" circuit while working on the new record but I'm ready to start making the endless number of phone calls to the few establishments in Houston that will pay singer/songwriters to play their own material. Honestly, I try not to spend too much time and effort on anylizing the scene; there's too much work to do. I will say, however, that it seems as though there are less places that actually pay well than there were back in 2004. Oh yeah, there are always private parties and events; those usually pay well if you can deal with being sonic wallpaper for an hour or so. HC: At one show last year (Engine Room), you said something to the crowd like, "I'd rather play to 20 good ones than 100 idiots." It's obvious what you meant, but I'm curious to what you think when you see seemingly apathetic crowds. Yoria: It can be challenging to say the least. But at this point, i've stopped trying to figure it out. As a performer, that kind of an obstacle makes me work harder to make a connection with the room and that's always a good exercise. HC: What can you tell me about the making of Handshake Smiles? It's a vastly different set of songs from your previous work -- I get a real sense of classic rock influence (in a good way -- I'm a fan of classic rock as well). I'm glad you chose to mix it up a bit in terms of just doing the same thing you've done before. Was that your intention? Yoria: It was fun times working on this one. We did the record at my friend, George Easterly's house using a decent mic that Tody [Castillo] let us borrow. Every instrument was recorded using just that one mic, including the drums. This time around, I wasn't interested in getting a "big rock" sound. Go back and listen to some of the old Kinks records and you'll notice that there isn't much double tracking going on and the drums aren't really in your face but the tunes still rock your face off; it's all composition and arrangement. The new direction has everything to do with the band that i've been playing with (Matt Taylor, Mike Poulos and Ron Segura). With very little direction, this is simply what happens to a song when I bring it to a rehearsal with these guys. Classic Rock? Yeah sure. What's not to love about Classic Rock? It makes me want to have a good time. HC: Do you record at home a lot or do you prefer working in a studio? Yoria: Catch-22. Recording at home usually involves a relaxed atmosphere, convenience, more time to re-do things or re-think things but the potential down-side is also all of the above. I'm down with either. HC: How has digital technology changed the way you make your music (or has it)? Yoria: Editing in ProTools is always fun. Song structure can change, parts can stay and go, etc. There's less pressure to get it right, I suppose, which could be a bad thing. Good questions, smarty pants. HC: Are you worried about illegal downloads or do you support sharing music? Yoria: Not yet. But if I put out a record on my own and suddenly everyone has it but didn't pay for it then I sure hope that the "buzz" generated by the record would lead to other sources of income otherwise I'd be screwed, right? HC: You tell some interesting stories in some of the songs on Handshake Smiles. Even the title track--and this is my interpretation and I could be wrong--seems to be about a struggling musician having to go out and kiss ass to play and get the bills paid. Yoria: In "Handshake Smiles," I'm acknowledging both sides of the coin -- getting high with friends and laughing about all the crap is wonderful, making love with your partner is wonderful, but chances are you have to get up and and go earn an honest buck and some of us even have to go do things like catering to make ends meet. Easy gig, but I hated it. HC: If forced to pick one, what song would you say you're most proud of off the new album? And why? Yoria: "Rim Job." It's in an alternate tuning and that's a rare approach for me. I'm so relieved that it worked out. Lyrically, it starts off on a very base sexual level, hence the title, and then it turned into a kind of socio-political statement regarding gender. Women are smarter and stronger than us and even though I wish it were the other way around, I can't help but to love them. Also, it still makes me do a little air guitar when I hear it. HC: You've done a better job than probably anyone in Houston of getting your music heard outside the region, including The O.C. contest, etc. Do you have any ideas on improving how Houston musicians are viewed outside of the city/state? Yoria: Hip Hop is definitely giving us (Houston) a much-needed facelift right now. So before anything else, let's just take a minute and be thankful for that. Imagine if it was another Nickelback or something that was putting us on the map? Houston rock needs either better songwriters or more outrageous characters that don't give a shit. Both types have a tendency to garner national attention. Thanks to Arthur for taking the time to answer these questions. Be sure to come out to Rudyards this Saturday night (5.19.07) for Arthur's CD release show for Handshake Smiles.

camelsmokes

Saturday Night’s Alright By David Burn CamelSmokes Staff Writer “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” -Rudyard Kipling HOUSTON—Montrose is an artsy neighborhood on the southwestern flank of downtown Houston. It’s populated with eclectic architecture, famous museums, funky boutiques and colorful neighborhood joints. Rudyard’s, an English Pub on Waugh Drive is one of the true landmarks in this district, serving up “the best bar food in Houston,” several locally brewed beers on tap, darts in the back room, patio seating out front and live music in the upstairs room. Tonight, a celebration of local voices is underway and the gathered crowd is as eclectic as can be. A lesbian couple dances close, beautiful people emerge from cabs and hipsters mingle. Local singer-songwriter Arthur Yoria is conducting a record release party for Handshake Smiles. Quiet Company is in town from Austin and local favorites Spain Colored Orange are headlining. Hank from Southern Backtones opens the show, burlesque troop Concrete Rose Caberet and ice carver Reverend Butter also perform. In short, there’s a constant stream of creation to hold one’s attention through the night. Quiet Company is a relatively new group put together by Taylor Muse following his stints in Eisely and The Connotations. Muse, who composes the band’s material, says he’s inspired by The Beatles and The Smiths. During the band’s performance, other influences leak out of the guitars, keys and tambourine. Quiet Company’s arrangements are grand in the style of Pink Floyd and The Polyphonic Spree. Yet, there’s also some indie power pop in the mix. Towards the end of their set, Muse and company bust into “Circumstance” off their Shine Honesty album. Now tell me if you think I’m wasting time On chasing some dolled up dream that will leave me jaded Well, I’d trade my skin to be young again And I’d bow out graciously The song has Wilco-like progressions and Muse jumps around on stage, kicking out the jams. Arthur Yoria is up next. He frequently plays solo, but tonight, he’s with his four-piece band. Yoria and his compadres on the front line sport cowboy-style snap shirts and all three play Fender Guitars. Yoria looks a little like Mark Spitz with a beard, or as he says, “Pablo Escobar circa 1981.” Either way, he’s a handsome guy and the ladies are packed in up front to get a good glimpse of the man in the middle. Towards the end of his set, Yoria plays “Clean For Free” off the new album that perfectly expresses the theme for the evening. I do believe in listening I do believe in listening when it’s interesting but have you heard me lately? Have you baby? At times Yoria sounds a bit like an upbeat Elliot Smith, although it’s difficult to compare him to others, as he is clearly an original. Even the label “singer-songwriter” fits him poorly. He says good-naturedly that he’s more of a “post-singer-songwriter.” He adds, “Not all of my songs sound like Nick Drake.” Speaking about his song craft, Yoria says, “The goal as a songwriter—I think at least one who has any roots in pop—is to say something universal in a very simple way that everyone can understand, but really hasn’t been said before in such a fashion.” Yoria is fortunate that he has the perfect place to showcase his originals. He runs his own label, 12 Records. It’s a project he started with his friend Matt Maloney, formerly of the Houston Rockets. As the label head, Yoria is intimately involved in promoting his own music. In fact, Yoria mans the merch table tonight where his new disc, Handshake Smiles, is selling briskly at 10 bucks a pop. He also kindly takes the time before his performance to stand for an on-camera interview. And he has a personal greeting, sometimes a hug, for all his loyal fans in attendance tonight—and there are many. Houston is famous for producing acclaimed singer-songwriters like Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and Lyle Lovett. In Arthur Yoria, this massive Gulf Coast city has yet another craftsman it can be proud to call its own.

Houston Chronicle

Yoria pays the bills with Handshake Smiles By SARA CRESS Copyright 2007 Houston Chronicle Arthur Yoria's Handshake Smiles bears the worry lines of a young man who has hung his head and given in; adulthood has arrived. If it doesn't hit you in the wistful opening track, Should Be, in which Yoria, 34, drives a sensible car and realizes "I look and sound just like my daddy," perhaps you'll hear it in the second track, Clean for Free, in which he wants to end a relationship without any breakup drama: "I want to leave clean. I want you to let me go for free." But it's the jangly title track that drives the point home: Getting high and having sex is great, "but when the smoke dissipates and bills are late, it's time to think about handshake smiles and lipstick spittle in the wind." Naming the album Handshake Smiles is Yoria's way of saying, ``This is how I pay the bills.'' Yoria's melancholy moan is as sexy as ever, if a touch more cynical than on his first full-length, 2003's I'll Be Here Awake. While that was a slick pop album, Handshake explores rockier terrain. Banjo and accordion add textures to Should Be and I Told You Not to Write Again, while brazen guitar licks dirty up the pop on Love Song in G. Sandy is the kind of aching, twisted love song that has the potential to reach the same success that Yoria has had before, mostly with background tunes for TV shows (The O.C., Felicity). The right song at the right moment between two characters on One Tree Hill could turn Yoria into a superstar. The oddball on the disc is Jimmy's Rig, a gentle, bluesy folk song that departs from the rest of Yoria's oeuvre. It's a pretty diversion and shows that Yoria can comfortably switch gears in his songwriting, but it's a weird fit in this collection. The disc wraps up with Trash Bag, a quieter, sincere love song about righting wrongs and having patience when a relationship loses its way. "If you need someone to take out all the trash, I'll be in the next room waiting with the bag," Yoria sings. Through all his explorations of what it means to be an adult on Handshake Smiles, Yoria reaches its strongest meaning in the end: selflessness.

Absolute Powerpop

Arthur Yoria is back with a full-length release, and if you're not familiar with this Houston-based power popper, you're missing out. His I'll Be Here Awake was one of the top discs of 2003, and last year's EP/Single Something Must Be Wrong featured one of last year's top tracks in the title tune. Handshake Smiles is another winner, although it's a bit more stripped down than Yoria's previous releases, which isn't unexpected given it was a "bedroom recording". The disc opens with "Should Be", a pretty (and melancholy) number that recalls Jon Brion, while "Clean For Free" follows with an Americana-ish sensibility and wouldn't have been out of place on the new Wilco disc. The title track is vintage jangly pop, and "Love Song In G" is the classic Yoria power pop that we've come to know from his earlier releases. Other highlights include "I Told You Not to Write Again" (power pop complete with banjo!), "Sandy", and the wistful closer "Trash Bag", which evalulates a long-term relationship with an understated beauty, both lyrically and melodically. Handshake Smiles is a triumph for Yoria, who's managed to avoid repeating himself without sacrificing his tunefulness.

Leftover Cheese Blog

YORIA EUPHORIA “But when the smoke dissipates and bills are late, it’s time to think about handshake smiles and lipstick spittle in the wind” - Arthur Yoria I attended Arthur Yoria’s record release party at Rudyard’s in Houston on Saturday night. A good time was had by all, and I feel it was worth climbing aboard a jet to be there. Yoria is a unique voice from a city famous for them. Perhaps to help set himself apart from the previous generation of Houston singer-songwriters—players like Guy Clark, Rodney Crowell and Lyle Lovett—Yoria says he’s “post-singer-songwriter.” In truth, he sounds nothing like these Texas gentlemen. On some of his slow songs he strikes an Elliot Smith chord, on others he sounds a little like M. Ward. Yet, he can can turn on a dime and deliver an upbeat pop song with the best of them. The guy’s a unique talent. Yoria’s new album, Handshake Smiles, is available for purchase from his MySpace page. If you’re a fan of song craft, you’ll want to own this disc.

Six Eyes Music Blog

Chicago native and Houston based Arthur Yoria has a definitive knack for sounding laidback, kind of like Jeff Tweedy if he was a surfer, or if Wilco's latest Sky Blue Sky was a collaboration with Jack Johnson. Yoria even brings to mind the lovely solo record released by Broken Social Scene regular, Jason Collett, titled Idols Of Exile. There are some damn fine songs here that you've got to hear and that's why I'm telling you about Yoria... so you'll listen. These are from his latest effort, Handshake Smiles, on his own label 12Records Inc.

Buhdge

Built for comfort and built to last, Arthur Yoria's handshake smiles is a record for all musical seasons. Arthur Yoria, like many indie musician-types before him, seemingly dropped from the sky, burrowed up from the underground or whatever where-has-he-been-all-these-years yadda-yadda you might care to conjure up, but, fact is, he was here all along, doing his thing with a couple of LP-length discs and EPs, including one in Spanish called Suerte Mijo, and my guess is that, in any language, Arthur Yoria es el rey. Yoria's latest release rolls out the musical carpet ever so casually with "Should Be," his sweet voice sliding feather light over a tender mix of acoustic guitar, accordion and bass punctuated by Matt Taylor's quiet drumming, his brushes carrying the slight, seductive beat. The accordion parts alone will melt your heart and the song will melt the rest of you. Working with tried-and-true, classic song construction chops, Yoria shapes his sound around a knowing nod to sixties and seventies traditions, which is not to say that Yoria's sound is strictly speaking retro. It's all in the way one balances things, as you might expect. So, the lively title cut, an endearing, mondo-catchy slice of guitar-pop chugs along on its own terms even as it flirts with a flurry of classic rock guitar flourishes and tips its hat to Van Morrison's classic "Brown-Eyed Girl." It's an easy critic's move to sniff out even a whiff of Beatles influence in a record, mostly because in the pop game it's almost always there in some way or another, so it will come as no surprise to anyone that there is at least a whiff and half of Beatles something or other on this album. I'm not even sure I can pinpoint specific examples; I just know it's there, at least in spirit, and it ought to be, right? Like others before him, Yoria mixes the occasional surprising element into his mix, no more pleasingly so than on the catchy "I Told You Not to Write Again," a rocker with a subtle hint of banjo propping up the verses in true Mark Wirtz style. Sometimes, the element is not so much surprising as unexpected, as is the Rolling Stones vibe that propels the bluesy, slow-burning "Rim Job," which introduces itself with a muted, gospel vocal. And sometimes, it's just downright unlikely, as with the Peter, Paul and Mary-esque verses of the closing balladry of "Trash Bag." Trust me, it's there, and it's pretty wonderful. "I'm just not built for comfort, I'm built to last," Yoria sings as "Trash Bag" plays out and handshake smiles rolls to its end, and truer words cannot be spoken for this superb Houston-by-way-of-Chicago talent, not quite a newcomer and not quite a household name, but if there is any justice for music fans in this world, he will be.

Houston Press

Never having met him, I'm still willing to bet Arthur Yoria drives all the girls crazy. Handshake Smiles has an easygoing charm and romantic streak a mile wide, echoing Paul Simon, Cat Stevens and that guy with the acoustic guitar who got laid way more than you in college. In Yoria's rootsier, more rocking moments, namely "Should Be," "Love Song in G," "Cuttin' a Rug" and the first-rate "I Told You Not to Write Again," Wilco's A.M. seems to be his main source of inspiration. (Good choice.) With hints of the Beatles, Kinks and Shins also surfacing, Handshake Smiles practically begs to be cued up for your next date night.

Houston Chronicle

The pop songwriter scene was relatively quiet this year, with someone touring, then leaving (Lanky, Nashville) and someone working on an album (Tody Castillo, should be out in 2008). The burden of creating radio-friendly music rested on Yoria's shoulders, who does Houston proud with his latest album, Handshake Smiles. It's a wonderful, varied effort with feel-good pop and some sexy, stripped-down rock

Under The Tangerine Tree

Non è mai troppo tardi per realizzare i propri sogni. Arthur Yoria, cantautore nativo di Chicago, residente a Houston e di sangue metà Americano e metà Colombiano può confermare questa tesi in qualsiasi momento. Chi ha detto che musicista può diventare solo chi nasce con lo strumento in mano? Yoria lo strumento, una chitarra, l'ha conosciuto mentre frequentava l'università, da grandicello, diciamo. Ha poi fondato un paio di gruppi, a me purtroppo ignoti, dagli strani nomi come Jeepneys e Lavendula, decidendo successivamente di mettersi in proprio e di fare uscire un omonimo Ep d'esordio nel 2001. L'anno successivo è già pronto il seguito, sempre un Ep, che chiama Can You Still Look Adorable. E' in quel periodo che la stampa locale si accorge dell'immenso talento di questo powerpop songwriter, e le recensioni favolose che ne conseguono spingono Arthur a pubblicare l'Ellepì d'esordio. Come spesso accade in questi casi, il problema grosso è trovare un'etichetta disponibile. Non c'è tempo da perdere, però, il ferro va battuto finchè è caldo eccetera eccetera. E Arthur, uno che non si spaventa davanti a niente, insieme all'amico fraterno Matt Maloney, fonda - con il solo scopo di autoprodurre il suo materiale - la 12Records, sotto le cui indipendenti insegne viene fatto uscire I'll Be Here Awake nel 2004. Il grande successo del disco (vabbè, grande si fa per dire, ma si parla sempre di indie pop, quindi...), i recensori sempre più stupiti, varie nominations ai concorsi indetti dai giornali del posto e il fatto che alcuni suoi brani venissero utilizzati come sigle di serie tv Americane spingono il Nostro ad insistere e a produrre nello stesso periodo un Ep di 5 pezzi cantato in Spagnolo ed intitolato Suerte Mijo ed uno di tre pezzi, di nuovo in Inglese, chiamato Something Must Be Wrong. I successivi tre anni Arthur li passa a preparare il secondo lavoro lungo, che poi è l'oggetto di questa recensione, Handshake Smiles. Mentre i precedenti lavori del menestrello Yoria erano collezioni di infettivi brani indie pop, quest'ultimo lavoro è leggermente più calmo e introspettivo - e del resto è stato definito dallo stesso autore un "bedroom recording" - pur senza perdere granchè in termini di vitalità e brillantezza. Il disco si apre con Should Be, un quieto numero acustico che ricorda Jon Brion e, forse per la tecnica di canto utilizzata, Brett Dennen. Clean For Free pesca nei territori dell'America più profonda, e alza la pressione con un ritornello più legato al gospel che al country, mentre la traccia successiva, la title track, è un danzereccio e coinvolgente intreccio di Americana e Jangle-pop. Jimmy's Rig, per sola chitarra e cantato sottovoce dalle linee melodiche vagamente soul, sottolinea la poliedricità di questo autore, anche perchè alcuni tra i pezzi successivi come la rock'n'rolleggiante Love Song In G e soprattutto Cuttin' A Rug ci riportano al classico Yoria sound, quel frizzante indie-pop che mi aveva tanto fatto amare il precedente I'll Be Here Awake. Le due canzoni migliori del disco, almeno secondo me, sono "stranamente" posizionate entrambe nella seconda metà dell'album. Una è senz'altro Sandy, dove è ancora il classico Yoria ad emergere, con quell'inconfondibile stile a metà tra l'indie pop e la classica roots music, in un brano dal tiro formidabile guidato da sontuosi arrangiamenti di organetto ed armonica a bocca. L'altro è I Told You Not To Write Again, forse la vetta di questo Handshake Smiles, un brano powerpop dove l'uso delle chitarre potrebbe addirittura piacere al Graham Coxon solista, rifinito da un favoloso banjo che ne caratterizza la seconda parte. Quando Bill Forsyth di Minus Zero, a Londra, mi fece scoprire Arthur Yoria, mi servirono 30 secondi d'ascolto per innamorarmi di I'll Be Here Awake. Questa volta sono dovuto arrivare al terzo brano, ma solo perchè la luce è leggermente più soffusa ed il disimpegno intelligente, marchio di fabbrica dell'autore di Houston, è leggermente più "impegnativo". Sia come sia, Handshake Smiles è un altro grande parto di uno dei migliori cantautori degli ultimi quattro-cinque anni

The Big Takeover

Though the Houston artist claims to have recorded everything on this release with just one microphone, it doesn’t sound that way – Yoria has such a rich sound. We’ll just have to trust the prolific power-pop songwriter who’s released 3 EPS and 2 full lengths since 2001. Taken entirely out-of-context, when Yoria sings “I just can’t stand myself / When I sound like everyone else” on “Should Be”, he’s got nothing to worry about, he’s definitely got his own voice though it’s not altogether that unique. Slide this CD into a CD changer also containing CDs by Josh Rouse, Pete Yorn, Jon Brion and Elliott Smith and you’ve got one hell of a good night ahead of you particularly if you land on Yoria’s “Handshake Smiles” and “Love Song in G” during the random shuffle

The Skyline Network

YORIA DROPS NEW ALBUM ON YOU SLOWER THAN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY PROCESS!!! SPUMONTE! Now, without a doubt Arthur Yoria’s Handshake Smiles was one of our favorite records in 2007. Its catchy. Its sexy. Its got banjo. So you can understand how we were stoked like sunstroke to get the news that not only does he already have another album coming out soon, but that people with access to the so-called ‘internet’ can get tracks from it ahead of time. For free! Peep the entry from his website: Beginning May 4th, 2008, i'll be releasing a digital single every 2 weeks for 6 months. Then i'm going to let you guys vote on the 10 that will make up my new record. WHAT?! Not only do we get a new treat every couple weeks for almost the rest of the year, at the end we’ll get to be involved in the tracking process?! HOLLA! Please credit our input in the process to “Party Call Me Productions”. First impression from our first listen: RUN FOR IT MARTY!