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WFUV Pop Quiz: Jenny Owen Youngs

by Laura Fedele
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flickr.com/openeye/

Songwriter Jenny Owen Youngs joins host Rita Houston in Studio A for a discussion of pancakes, underwear and a dislike for Bob Dylan.

Aside from gear, your instruments or your band, I don't go on the road without...
Underwear.
What song do you wish you had written and why?
I wish I'd written that beautiful song on Ryan Adams' first record, "Amy." I love that song. It's gorgeous and lyrically and musically it's pretty close to perfect. I mean, is pretty close to perfect a good enough reason to have wanted to write something?
Who do you wish had recorded one of your songs (dead or alive)?
Someone who sells a lot of records. Anybody. Whatevs. Kelly Clarkson.
What song would you sing in the shower but never in public?
I have no shame when it comes to singing songs in public. So what do we sing the most? "For the Longest Time." That goes around. We all do that a lot.
Because you guys could probably sing the harmonies on that.
You would think we would, but no.
What's the first album you bought?
At the same time, I bought Green Day's "Dookie" and The Cranberries' "Everyone Else is Doing it So Why Can't We?"
If finds your iPod and hits shuffle, which song do you hope doesn't come up?
"Something Serious" by the Audio Club. Think of all the ridiculously bad Top 40 pop music. All the people going "errr" and spelling words out and all the trends and mush it all together in a delicious ball with a singer that looks like a young Brittney Spears before the trouble and a dude that looks like a sleazier Kevin Federline and that's what the Audio Club is all about. The End.
What's your favorite Dylan song?
I'm trying to think of a Dylan song I like. I'm sorry, I know everybody likes him and I want to be cool, but I can't. I can't hang with the Dylan. I mean, he's OK but I don't feel strongly enough about any song of his to say anything.
What job would you have if you weren't a musician?
I'd like to think I'd be a marine biologist, but that's a lofty aspiration. It involves a lot of science college. But let's go with that.
Do you have any hidden talents?
No, they're all out on display. Specifically, just for you, Rita.
Do you cook?
I try.
And what's your signature dish?
Pancakes. I start with the mix as a base, but I put in some mashed banana and nutmeg and berries and some chopped nuts and stuff. But I feel like Aunt Jemima's wheat pancakes is a good place to start and then the elbow grease comes in with chopping up other stuff.
And finally, what is the biggest misconception that your fans or the media have about you?
Right now the biggest misconception of the moment is a rumor I'm spreading, that Bess, who plays guitar and sings, is also a member of the band Tegan and Sara. That's the one I'm pushing, because I'm into misconceptions. I'm at a loss for anything besides that at this moment in time.
What wacky thing would you do if you had the time, guts, resources or whatever?
I would like to build a "green" house from scratch, out of renewable material.

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