Posts Tagged ‘Yo La Tengo’

The 40 Best Yo La Tengo Songs

With the release of the band’s 15th album, There’s a Riot Going On, last week, the time was right to reappraise the trio’s discography  There’s a Riot Going On is a good one, but so far none of its songs have jumped off to become my absolute favorites. That’d be a tall order for any band.

And if you’re somehow wondering who these Yo La Tengo guys are in the first place, well, they’re a Alt rock band—and a really good rock band. The husband-wife team of guitarist Ira Kaplan and drummer Georgia Hubley started the band in Hoboken in 1984, and released four albums with a variety of partners and sidemen and on a handful of labels before incorporating bassist James McNew on the 1992 full-length May I Sing With Me. The next year they released their breakout record Painful on Matador, a partnership that endures to this day.  Painful is where their “disparate influences congealed into a fully formed style of the band’s own, from early ‘60s folk and pop to the post-Velvets diaspora of noise and punk,” and that’s still a good summation. They’re about as likely to play a three-minute pop gem as they are a forlorn folk song, a 10-minute one-note drone, a cover of a classic hit from the ‘70s, or a crazed, 20-minute noise jam. And they do it all with the same level of proficiency, confidence and humility. Again, but they’re are a really good rock band,

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All song were original recorded by © Yo La Tengo , except “The Whole of The Law”(by The Only Ones and re recorded by YLT)

Discography, Albums

Ride the Tiger (1986)
New Wave Hot Dogs (1987)
President Yo La Tengo (1989)
Fakebook (1990)
May I Sing with Me (1992)
Painful (1993)
Electr-O-Pura (1995)
Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo (with Jad Fair e Daniel Johnston) (1996)
I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997)
And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000)
The Sounds of the Sounds of Science (2002)
Summer Sun (2003)
Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs: 1985-2003 (2004)
Yo La Tengo is Murdering the Classics (2006)
I’m Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass (2006)
Popular Songs (2009)
Fade (2013)

On 1971’s There’s A Riot Goin On, Sly And The Family Stone filtered the creeping hangover of the ’60s into a murky, slurring monument of fugue-state funk. It was an album that reflected the twilight mood of its time: Woodstock optimism ossifying into Altamont dread, “free love” fading into porno reels inside 42nd St. grindhouses, stoned grooves edging into junkie paranoia (and dovetailing with Sly Stone’s own descent into addiction). In its muffled cries, There’s A Riot offered a bitter, brooding response to a world that seemed to be rapidly falling apart, one that recommended just barring the windows and getting good and numb.

In nicking the title for its newest record, released amid a similarly epochal American, Yo La Tengo posits its own There’s A Riot Going On as a similar Album For These Times. Though the long-running indie band has hesitated to say as much in interviews, the press materials refer to the free-floating “confusion and anxiety” in the air that inspired it, suggesting it’s an “expression of freedom and sanity” that similarly captures a nation teetering on the edge. But this isn’t a collection of protest anthems, nor is it even the kind of alarming, seismic stylistic shift Sly Stone pulled to announce his disillusionment with the soul-dream he’d started. It finds Yo La Tengo working in an especially hushed, candlelit mood, not too far off from the dusky lullabies of 2000’s And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. The album is not a reflection of anger so much as a meditative retreat from it—less agitprop than aromatherapy session.

Having followed Yo La Tengo for awhile . Their new album “There’s a riot going on”. These are dark times, in our heads as much as in the streets. It’s easy to lose contact with the ground, flying through endless banks of storm clouds day after day. Confusion and anxiety intrude into daily life and cause you to lose your compass. There are times that call for anthems, something to lift you out of your slump and put fire in your feet. And then there are times when what is indicated is a balm, a sound that will wrap around you and work out the knots in your neck. While there’s a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it’s like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, ghostly flamingos calling “shoo-bop shoo-bop.” You are there. And even if your mind is not unclouded–shaken, misdirected, out of words and out of time – you can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries, above the sound and above the Sound. For Yo La Tengo this is a slow-motion action painting, and Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no outside engineer (John McEntire later did the mix). They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You’d never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush. You’d imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. Within two listens you will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of Shades of Blue, will involuntarily hear She May, She Might on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and Let’s Do It Wrong late at night. While there’s a riot going on you will feel capable of bobbing through like a cork. In 1971, when the nation appeared to be on the brink of violently coming apart, Sly and the Family Stone released There’s a Riot Goin’ On, an album of dark, brooding energy. Now, under similar circumstances, Yo La Tengo have issued a record with the same name but with a different force, an album that proposes an alternative to anger and despair. Their first proper full-length since 2013’s Fade, There’s a Riot Goin’ On is an expression of freedom and sanity and emotional expansion, a declaration of common humanity as liberating as it is soft-spoken.

 

Which is good! A few storming guitar squalls from Painful and Electr-O-Puraaside, Yo La Tengo has never been particularly aggressive, and certainly no one expects the mild-mannered Ira Kaplan or Georgia Hubley to start murmuring calls to march in the streets. Besides, we could all use some nice, chill music to draw the blinds and escape into right now. That said, the title and attendant marketing have forced a context of historical importance onto Riot that it can’t quite live up to; anyone expecting a bold, era-defining statement here will ultimately be let down by its softly spoken rumination on fear, hurt, and uncertainty, which could be applied equally to dramas political or romantic. Still, as with its namesake, the unease is there, palpable in the smaller sonic spaces, sensed more than shouted. We could all use more nuance these days, too.

The album’s impressive layering can be attributed to the band piecing Riot together entirely in the studio, rather than composing and rehearsing songs beforehand—cobbling it together from scraps of leftover recordings and adding parts one at a time, sometimes months in between. It’s similar to how the group has worked on film music, Kaplan has said, and indeed, there’s a real “imaginary soundtrack” feel to much of Riot, with long stretches of pure tone interspersed between the pop songs. (In “Shortwave,” a beat-less, glassily pretty drone that sits somewhere between Julianna Barwick and Stars Of The Lid, it even yields arguably Yo La Tengo’s first purely ambient track.) There’s also plenty of evidence it was mostly written on a computer: Shambling, snapped-to-grid drum loops, watery fluctuations, choral swells, field sound samples, and other digital tricks abound. Songs don’t end so much as dissolve, lingering just a hair longer than expected, which gives the whole thing a slightly haunted feel. Still, it hangs together organically, united by its sustained, melancholically dreamy mood.

Opener “You Are Here” begins with nearly six minutes of languorous, EBowed guitar hums over a motorik chug of sleigh bells, as immersive as slipping into a bubble bath. It fades into the breezy, ’60s-pop bounce of “Shades Of Blue,” where Hubley sings with peppy resilience about “painting my room to reflect my moods,” before Kaplan responds with “She May, She Might,” a melancholy sigh outside her window delivered over a psychedelic swirl of gently strummed guitars and back-masked flutters. On “For You Too,” Kaplan takes his shy-kid act a bolder step forward while backed by an insistent fuzz drone, shrugging that he’s “just some guy / With too much pride,” but suggesting he could still rise to the occasion: “Whenever there’s hurt and / When things are uncertain / Maybe I could be that guy / I’d like to try.” The theme of taking comfort in each other in times of doubt is one that Riot returns to frequently: In “Above The Sound,” a jumble of jazz bass and distant, off-kilter drum fills are washed over by hazes of slowly shifting feedback tones, while Kaplan and Hubley huskily harmonize, “What if we bear it with a grin / To take it on the chin.” Later, the ghostly “shoo-wop shoo-wop” refrain and odd liquid squelches of “Forever” create a similarly unnerving backdrop for Kaplan to croon, “Laugh away the bad times / Lie about what’s to come / The less said, the better / Let’s drink until we’re dumb.” And closer “Here You Are” concludes, “Most days, we circumvent / Tune out the world / Except our friends.” These songs project a defeatist, November 9 kind of sentiment that makes the whole Sly Stone nod a bit more plausible—and there’s also “Out Of The Pool,” whose blurry, refracted funk guitars and compressed feedback squalls beneath Kaplan’s surrealist, spoken-word mutters definitely feel like a distant spiritual cousin.

Admittedly, all that muted resignation gets a bit enervating at times. Kaplan and Hubley’s kitschy lounge-pop duet on “Let’s Do It Wrong”; the game-show bossa nova of “Esportes Casual”; and even the catchy, yet featherweight “Shades Of Blue” all toe the line between comfort music and elevator Muzak, their innocuousness only amplified by the conceit that this album is supposedly saying something. And it slouches into banality with a listless cover of Greenwich folkie Michael Hurley on “Polynesia #1,” which here resembles the island-vacation daydream of some tranquilized ’50s housewife—a fantasy of slipping away to paradise “at my leisure” that reads as less “expression of freedom” than self-indulgence. It’s in these moments that even the album’s quasi-political ambitions seem far-fetched; there’s a difference between offering bliss and blissful ignorance, after all.

But those are minor quibbles, ultimately. For the most part, There’s A Riot Going On succeeds in finding strength in the stillness. Two of its best tracks are also its quietest, with both “Ashes” and the stunning “What Chance Have I Got” surrounding Hubley with little more than minimal drum patterns and sparse atmospheres, her tender voice a calming, reassuring guide—in 2018, or another 30 years from now. As always, Yo La Tengo puts its faith in the power of music to pull us out of whatever hell we might be going through, here by warmly pulling us in.

Take or leave my opinion. If being a fan means the demonstration of passion and the willingness to forgive mistakes or mere competence, then I’m not one. But I love these songs.

  • Ira Kaplan – lead vocals, guitar, keyboard (1984–present)
  • Georgia Hubley – drums, lead and backing vocals, percussion, keyboard (1984–present)
  • James McNew – bass, guitar, percussion, keyboard, lead and backing vocals (1992–present)

There’s A Riot Going On

Debuting songs from their new album “There’s a Riot Going On”, On February 27th, Yo La Tengo performed an intimate show at the Brooklyn National Sawdust, happy to share footage of their full performance from that night. There’s a Riot Going On is due out March 16th via Matador Records. Check out Yo La Tengo’s tour date

A lot is made of Yo La Tengo’s love of the cover version. Sir Douglas Quintet. Sun Ra. The Rutles. The Parliaments. From 1990’s impeccable Fakebook through to 2015’s Stuff Like That There their knowledge and love the Hoboken indie-rock trio have for rock canon is as genuine as it is impeccably observed.

We know Yo La Tengo can sound like The Flamin’ Groovies, but, well, what do Yo La Tengo sound like? Only four non-covers albums since 2003 and their sound is as timeless/predictable (delete as applicable) as it was in their 90s heyday.  With a knowing album title and a sound that is exactly as warm, textured, soothing, dreamy and downright Velvety as you’d expect, There’s A Riot Going On initially appears to be very much Yo La by numbers. Shades of Blue’s Velvets/Beach Boys paean to introspection, She May, She Might’s gauzy psych-lite, Polynesia #1’s twilight exotica that would fit snugly on 1997’s I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One; gorgeous, woozy numbers all but no surprises all the same. A whole album might not have been quite there – the band have happily described it as an “accident” – but when these jams were manipulated and added to drones, snippets, loops and pieces from unused film scores and sessions dating back as far as 2007, what would emerge was familiar yet wonderfully not.

Given the source material, There’s A Riot Going On was never going to be the sonic revolution that Sly & The Family Stone-referencing title might suggest, but it is an invitingly disparate sound collage that will seduce fanboys and newbies alike.

Yo La Tengo are still the critic’s favourite band with maybe too much of a thing .

Yo La Tengo play songs from There’s a Riot Going On Check out more shows from National Sawdust:

Setlist:

00:00 You Are Here 10:25 Forever 16:20 for you too 23:14 Shades of Blue 27:40 Let’s Do It Wrong 32:00 She May, She Might 39:30 Out of Pool 44:40 Ashes 51:00 Here You Are

The band named its latest record There’s a Riot Going On, ruefully echoing Sly & The Family Stone’s 1971 LP title. But instead of facing the tribulations of our times with vitriol and barricade-storming, Yo La Tengo offers an aural panacea for the soul, a place where those wearied and wounded by the struggles of the day can soak up some warmth, placidity, and humanity. And “For You Too” takes a hands-on approach to the healing.

With fat, fuzzy bass, gently jangling guitar arpeggios, and an amiably loping beat, Ira Kaplan’s friendly, reverb-soaked murmur purposefully but unassumingly delivers a message of proactive, one-to-one compassion. He allows from the start that his communiqué isn’t coming from a place of perfection—”I’m just some guy, barely polite,” he begins, eventually adding “too much pride” and “way too snide” to his tally of personal flaws.

But after a few guitar flurries, Kaplan’s aqueous tones start to rise slightly as he avows his altruistic intentions. Emotional protection is what he’s putting forward, “whenever there’s hurt and when things are uncertain.” And while that would certainly sound like a welcome offer at any time, Kaplan and company know full well that things are more uncertain in their homeland than ever these days. So his words are likely to fall upon ears that need them now more than ever.

From the forthcoming album, ‘There’s a Riot Going On.’ Out March 16th on Matador Records

Image may contain: 4 people, people playing musical instruments, people sitting and indoor

Yo La Tengo are back with four songs from There’s A Riot Going On, their first new studio album since 2013.

Hoboken’s Yo La Tengo, are one of the longest-running and most rewarding indie-rock bands since the genre had a name, are up there with Tom Waits in the pantheon of artists who’ve never done anything except what they want. And like Tom Waits, fans are often rewarded regardless. They’ve got great records everyone agrees on (I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, …And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out) and great records even their fans can’t agree on (Summer Sun, I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass). None of them could have been made by any another band.

The trio have also shared tracks  “You Are Here”, “Shades Of Blue”, “She May, She Might”, and “Out Of The Pool” from their newly recorded new album a  15-track collection, showing off the gamut of their new record’s sound and style. As well as all the new noises, writer Luc Santé has penned a bio which sheds a bit more light on what to expect:

There’s a Riot Going On. You don’t need me, or Yo La Tengo, to tell you that. These are dark times, in our heads as much as in the streets. It’s easy to lose contact with the ground, flying through endless banks of storm clouds day after day. Confusion and anxiety intrude into daily life and cause you to lose your compass. There are times that call for anthems, something to lift you out of your slump and put fire in your feet. And then there are times when what is indicated is a balm, a sound that will wrap around you and work out the knots in your neck.

While there’s a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what it’s like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, ghostly flamingos calling ‘shoo-bop shoo-bop’. You are there. And even if your mind is not unclouded – shaken, misdirected, out of words and out of time – you can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries, above the sound and above the Sound.

For Yo La Tengo this is a slow-motion action painting, and Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan, and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no outside engineer (John McEntire later did the mix). They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. You’d never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush. You’d imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. Within two listens you will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of “Shades of Blue,” will involuntarily hear “She May, She Might” on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and “Let’s Do It Wrong” late at night. While there’s a riot going on you will feel capable of bobbing through like a cork.

In 1971, when the nation appeared to be on the brink of violently coming apart, Sly and the Family Stone released There’s A Riot Goin’ On, an album of dark, brooding energy. Now, under similar circumstances, Yo La Tengo have issued a record with the same name but with a different force, an album that proposes an alternative to anger and despair. Their first proper full-length since 2013’s Fade, There’s A Riot Going On is an expression of freedom and sanity and emotional expansion, a declaration of common humanity as liberating as it is soft-spoken.

Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo have a busy year ahead of them, with a huge run of North American and European live dates booked for spring/summer.

Tracklist:

  1. You Are Here
  2. Shades of Blue
  3. She May, She Might
  4. For You Too
  5. Ashes
  6. Polynesia #1
  7. Dream Dream Away
  8. Shortwave
  9. Above the Sound
  10. Let’s Do It Wrong
  11. What Chance Have I Got
  12. Esportes Casual
  13. Forever
  14. Out of the Pool
  15. Here You Are

There’s A Riot Going On is out 16th March via Matador Records.

An array of famous Big Star fans which includes members of R.E.M, Wilco and Yo La Tengo  united to pay tribute to the group’s music in a new live film and album “Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…and More”.

The 90-minute concert movie, which is scheduled to make its theatrical debut at this year’s SXSW Film Festival on March 16th, is just one part of a package that’s being made available April 21st in multiple configurations. In addition to the deluxe two-CD/Blu-ray package, which bundles the songs and film together with liner notes by esteemed critic Anthony DeCurtis and the dB’s member Chris Stamey, fans can also pick up an audio-only CD version.

Having recently made its worldwide premiere at the 2017 SXSW Film Festival, this concert film (plus 2-disc companion album) celebrates the musical legacy of one of rock’s most influential bands – Big Star – and their legendary THIRD album. Experience this classic of late ’70s power pop through a collective of immensely talented fans, who assembled at Glendale, CA’s ALEX Theatre in April 2016 to record and film an epic performance.

The fabled group’s sole surviving original member, Jody Stephens, heads an amazing cast, whose membership includes latter-day Big Star alumni Ken Stringfellow and Jon Auer of the Posies, R.E.M’s Mike Mills, Let’s Active’s Mitch Easter, Chris Stamey of the dB’s, and others. Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone of WilcoIra Kaplan of Yo La TengoRobyn HitchcockDan Wilson of SemisonicBenmont TenchJessica PrattBrett HarrisDjango Haskins, and Skylar Gudasz are among the guests who are joined by a full chamber orchestra helmed by the Kronos Quartet, performing scores created directly from the original multi-track tapes from Ardent Studios for this event. Carl Marsh, who wrote the original orchestrations, conducts.

A tribute gig that quickly came together in the wake of Big Star co-founder Alex Chilton’s untimely passing in 2010 and performed several times since ,the Thank You, Friends performance honors Chilton’s legacy in general as well as Big Star’s classic “Third” LP in particular. Filmed in April 2016 at the Alex Theatre in Glendale, Calif., the set featured a lineup including a number of Big Star acolytes.

Wilco’s Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone joined the ensemble alongside Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo, Robyn Hitchcock Dan Wilson from Semisonic , and longtime Tom Petty sideman Benmont Tench and singer Jessica Pratt,all supported by a full chamber orchestra led by the Kronos Quartet and conducted by Carl Marsh, the arranger responsible for putting together the album’s original orchestrations.

Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live…and More is available soon.

“Thank You Friends: Big Star’s THIRD Live…and More” celebrates the musical legacy of one of rock’s most influential bands –Big Star– and their legendary THIRD album. Experience this classic of late ’70s power pop through a collective of immensely talented fans, including members of Wilco, R.E.M., Yo La Tengo, and, of course, Big Star.


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