Baby I'm Bored is the first studio solo album from former Lemonheads frontman Evan Dando. Anyone unfamiliar with Evan's past will need no back story to appreciate this eclectic and affecting collection of songs, which ranges from bittersweet country rock to pure pop pleasure, dashed with a little indie-rock noise.
Evan enlisted many friends and collaborators to make Baby I'm Bored, which was tracked at sessions in New York City, Los Angeles and Tucson, Arizona. Among the players and co-writers are Ben Lee, who contributed two songs to this album; Howe Gelb, John Convertino and Joey Burns from Giant Sand and Calexico; former Spacehog frontman Royston Langdon; one-time Codeine drummer/Come guitarist Chris Brokaw; and Come drummer Arthur Johnson. Evan's longtime Lemonheads songwriting partner Tom Morgan also had a hand in this material.
Los Angeles-based composer Jon Brion -- best known for producing/collaborating with Aimee Mann and Fiona Apple and for creating the scores for Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love -- produced, co-wrote and played on several of these tunes with Evan. New Yorker Bryce Goggin, who produced the last Lemonheads album, Car Button Cloth, as well as several Pavement albums, was at the board for the majority of the tracks that comprise Baby I'm Bored.
Evan elaborates: " I've been working with Howe, John and Joey for a real long time. The same goes for Ben Lee. I met Jon Brion in 2000 and we just hit it off. We wrote one song, 'It Looks Like You,' in twenty minutes. He's a musical powerhouse." When asked for any specific influences or inspiration for Baby I'm Bored, which he describes as "about twenty-five percent autobiographical," Evan immediately cites the Television Personalities seminal album And Don't the Kids Just Love It.
After the album cycle for Car Button Cloth, and his near-ubiquity for years in music magazines and on the international touring circuit, Evan took a much-needed sabbatical. When asked where he's been, Evan states "I took a long break between August 1997 and March 1999," then claims, wryly, " I was doing monitors for Enya." He also traveled extensively and got married.
Additionally, Evan has sporadically appeared as a guest musician or vocalist on a variety of projects. He played on and wrote songs for the Blake Babies 2001 album, God Bless The Blake Babies, and provided lead vocals for Massive Attack string arranger/film composer (Moulin Rouge, Romeo + Juliet) Craig Armstrong's cinematic-styled track "Wake Up In New York" on Craig's solo album As If To Nothing (Melankolic/Virgin). He also appeared on the Lee Hazlewood tribute album, Total Lee!, released on City Slang. A collaboration with Ben Lee, Tom Petersson from Cheap Trick and Jason Schwartzman from Phantom Planet resulted in an Internet-only single, "Dead Or Anything" and "Love Song," on Australian indie, Trifekta Records. In 2003, Evan joined Tom Morgan in an Australian studio for Tom's album with his band the Givegoods (EMI Records).
In his songs, Evan has always mixed open-heartedness and good humor with a tantalizing diffidence and a certain element of mystery. Like a slightly blurred photograph of someone you really want to look at, Evan's work draws you in with the promise of confidences to be offered, late-night escapades to be recounted, jokes to be shared. You may never really get to know him, but you're not going to stop trying.