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'NUMB3RS' add up for Yoder song
March 9, 2005
He'd just put the finishing touches on another Friday night performance at The Daily Grind in Lower Burrell when Brad Yoder found his cellphone flooded with messages saying his song was about to be featured on the CBS show "NUMB3RS," which was airing as he checked his messages.
As luck would have it, Lower Burrell, Yoder says, is "one of the two places in the world where there are people who are fanatical about my music, and I get this sort of rock star treatment."

So the owner of the venue promptly rushed him to her house to see it. But they got there just in time to miss it.
Fortunately, Peter Beckerman, who had produced and engineered the Yoder CD, taped it. So he's seen the show, "a CSI clone with a strong math twist," in which the title cut from Yoder's album, "Used," was spliced into 35 seconds of background music in a diner.
"It's kind of cool because it was under the last conversation of the show and then when that conversation fades, it gets turned up," Yoder says. "They cut the lyrics in such a way that the lyrics don't make sense. But that portion was underneath the characters talking, so I'm probably the only one who'd even notice."

No one's pointed out the newly nonsensical lyrics, for example, in the emails he's gotten from around the country.

As Yoder describes the typical reaction, "One minute, they're watching TV, the next minute, they're like, 'Wait, it's Yoder.'"

So how does a self-released artist from Pittsburgh wind up with a song on CBS?

Yoder signed a non-exclusive deal with a licensing company in California called Imaginary Friends a couple years ago, figuring they'd open doors he couldn't find with Mapquest and a compass.

"Like I'm gonna know who to call in California," he says with a laugh, "and buy them lunch."

When CBS approached Imaginary Friends, the show's producers thought they wanted something more James Taylor-ish, but Yoder's agent told them, "You should really use this guy because it's a more contemporary show."

The licensing arrangement also has landed "2nd Thoughts," another Yoder song, on the fifth season DVD of "Dawson's Creek," which hits the streets in April.

While his music wasn't featured on the show itself, Yoder says it's standard practice to replace the more established artists they use on the broadcast to avoid extra licensing fees.

As for "NUMB3RS," at this point he's hoping the show will use another song or two and then enjoy a healthy run in syndication.

"If this show goes into syndication," he says, "I'd get a check that would let me take all my friends out for Chinese every quarter."

The Brad Yoder Band performs at Club Cafe, 56-58 S. 12th St., South Side, at 7:30 tonight. There is a $5 cover charge. Call Club Cafe at 412-431-4950 for more details.

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