Karen O

Karen O  (born Karen Lee Orzolek; November 22, 1978) is a South Korean-born American singer, songwriter, musician, and record producer.  She is the lead vocalist for American rock band Yeah Yeah Yeahs.  (More from Wikipedia)
I was in Virgin Records in New Orleans not long after I moved to the Coast and heard Fever to Tell (2003) by Yeah Yeah Yeahs playing live in the store and immediately snapped it up. The two opening tracks, “Rich” and “Date with the Night” are favorites of mine, as are “Maps” and “Y Control”. 
Karen O (lead vocals, piano) met Nick Zinner (guitar, keyboards) at a bar in New York and made an instant connection. As the band evolved, Brian Chase (drums) joined the lineup; he and Karen O had known each other as students at Oberlin College, where they were heavily influenced by the “avant-punk” bands in Ohio during that time period. Yeah Yeah Yeahs became the opening act for hot bands of the period like Sleater-Kinney, the Strokes, and the White Stripes
Fever to Tell was the band’s first full album, after releasing an EP called Yeah Yeah Yeahs in late 2001. The album has an amazing variety of songs, with several snarling, noisy tracks interspersed with quieter numbers. There is an interesting reason for this; as reported in the review of the album by Heather Phares for Allmusic: “Interestingly, the moody, romantic songs on Fever to Tell are the most genuine; before its release, Karen O hinted that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ new material would reflect the fact that she fell in love prior to making the album. ‘Pin’ and ‘Y Control’ have great guitar lines and a unique, bittersweet bounciness; while the unabashedly gorgeous, sentimental ‘Maps’ is not only among the band’s finest work but one of the best indie/punk love songs in a long, long time.”
* * *
In another move out of left field, Karen O wrote or co-wrote all but one of the songs for the soundtrack of the Spike Jonze film, Where the Wild Things Are that is based on the beloved 1963 children’s book by Maurice Sendak, Where the Wild Things Are. Her work is identified on the soundtrack as “Karen O and the Kids”; my sister Julie W. Kovasckitz is a fan and had no idea that Karen Os band Yeah Yeah Yeahs was responsible for those snarling songs on Fever to Tell. All Is Love” from this soundtrack (co-written by Karen O and Nick Zinner of Yeah Yeah Yeahs) was nominated for a Grammy
Karen O also collaborated with Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross on a cover of Led Zeppelin’s Immigrant Song” that was included on the soundtrack of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo (2011).  
(June 2017)
* * *
Items:    Karen O 
Last edited: March 22, 2021