does anything interesting ever happen in a yo la tengo song?

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i was forced to listen today and realized the answer is no, they jump right into a groove err...rut and stick to it for four or five or ten minutes and never let it go. dreadful.

keith, Wednesday, 24 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The answer to 'ever' is yes, cf exhibit 1, "We're An American Band", which has noticeably different parts and changes between them. But you're too grumpy for me to work harder at answering.

Josh, Wednesday, 24 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Well, definitely ten years ago, no. Things apparently have changed since.

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 24 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dynamics are overrated.

Ryan, Wednesday, 24 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

dynamics are for americans and therefore misdirected energy

mark s, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Dynamics are overrated? Don't be a fucking idiot.

electric sound of jim, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

No he's got a point.

Nothing interesting has ever happened in a Yo La Tengo song that I've heard, though plenty of 'dynamic' things have.

Tom, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I'm a big fan of dynamics. It's my thing.

N., Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

the roof collapses, according to the onion

Bob Zemko, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"Stockholm Syndrome" - tho I think a live version may be even more indicative. .. Yo La Tengo is an album band, not a singles band - so the question should be, "Does anything interesting ever happen on a Yo La Tengo album?"

Dave225, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

It is weird how little people mention YLT here, especially w/ them being such a "critics band" and all. Almost never. I've never enjoyed what I've heard of them; I figure they're a band I'll probably get into somewhere down the road.

Mark, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"interesting": definately. "happen": who cares! That's not really what they're all about.

, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Well, I've hearted Yo La Tengo ever since the release of Painful, though I have to admit that Electro-Pura didn't do a whole lot for me. I think there's a lot of interesting stuff going on in the music, even when it's woozy, somewhat static and drifting. I admit that I don't have much use for the earlier, RAWK albums, but when they started to go a bit spacey it became a lot more interesting to my ears...and at that point the more rock/pop of the numbers that then popped up became even more beautiful, like "Cherry Chapstick", "Sugarcube" or "Big Day Coming". I'm actually fairly surprised that you're not all over these later albums, Ned, because knowing what I know of your taste, I thought these would have been a pretty good fit.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I've mentioned this elsewhere, but YLT rubbed me *completely* the wrong way, one song aside (don't know which), with a couple of bleh shows ten years back and I've never been well disposed to them at all since -- it didn't help that they were opening for first the Verlaines and then later that year MBV, of course. (Then again, compared to the other MBV opener, the utterly dull-and-dead-as-ditchwater Buffalo Fucking Tom, YLT were the reincarnation of Queen in comparison.) I have heard some songs of theirs since then, and the most positive thing I could say about them is that one reminded me of Low. I would rather listen to Low.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I admire your ability to hold a grudge, sir. Heh.

Sean Carruthers, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

You have to work hard to get past my musical grudges. Rage Against the Machine would take centuries.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I can't wait for the press release that states that Kevin Shields is releasing a new MBV album with a revamped lineup including Zach De La Rocha...

Dan Perry, Thursday, 25 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

The problem is: YLT came upon the "scene" late for the sound they traffic in. They formed out of the ashes and leftovers of the NYC/Boston mid 80's post-punk era, when most of the more interesting and fertile ground had been worked and re-worked. I would venture their "success," like Mission of Burma's and possibly Sonic Youth's are based primarily on the appearance of the CMJ/Indie/Alternative demographic which come of age then, not necessarily on anything innovative about their material, re: interesting (not).

YLT are a critic's band, as Ira used to write frequently for The Soho Weekly News.

, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

To Dan: hmmm...I doubt.

Ned Raggett, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Another problem is their 'eclecticism'. Most YLT albums have suspiciously too many different styles going on. Who are they trying to impress? I do think they toned that down well on the last one.

Curt, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

They impress me. I can't think of another band who can do country / crazee guitar noise / electronica / Dead C covers and do it convincingly. You can slag 'em to the ends of the earth but they will remain one of my favourites.

electric sound of jim, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Interesting things about YLT: Ira's voice. The vocal play between he and his wife. Catchiness of their punkish songs. Beauty of their slower ones. Lyrics. The "rock school" video.

bnw, Sunday, 28 April 2002 00:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

What is so great about them is that while they can play many different styles like noisy drone rock, almost country ballads, pop songs, singer/songwriter stuff, electronica etc. they still have their significant sound which can be identified immediately. I also like their "musicality" by which I mean that the three of them can almost interchange all instruments between them. Live they are exceptional as they have humour and really get into their songs (when Ira is on from the songs easily get stretched to 10 or more minutes). For short time span attentionists this is probably not very interesting but for me it is.

alex in mainhattan, Friday, 3 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Me, I think they're great. But there is the important question of whether they or Sonic Youth did the better Simpsons theme cover.

Nate Patrin, Friday, 3 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

YLT's Simsons cover is better because of the "Tomorrow Never Knows" rhythm and the overlay of Homer singing "Uptown Girl" and "I buried Flanders"

Dave225, Monday, 6 May 2002 00:00 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ten years pass...

You laughed when I called Andrea True Anita Ward...

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 03:42 (four years ago) Permalink

― alex in mainhattan, Thursday, May 2, 2002 5:00 PM (10 years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

Butt Trump tweet (Matt P), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 03:45 (four years ago) Permalink

eatin my words

dutch tl;drs (electricsound), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 03:46 (four years ago) Permalink

the ned r. post above reminds me that the real indie darling blast from the past everyone should hate on now is low. because c'mon, fuck low.

Butt Trump tweet (Matt P), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:01 (four years ago) Permalink

*writes boring ponderous songs about boring personal issues with sham religion for 20 goddamn years*

Butt Trump tweet (Matt P), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:04 (four years ago) Permalink

maria played one of their albums years ago and it kinda scarred me. i never wanted to hear them again. it was kinda creepy. that hushed upclose vocal thing on the album was too butterfly kisses for me. like you're too close dude just back away a little bit. for some reason low never bothered me when they did that. maybe cuz they sing better.

scott seward, Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:04 (four years ago) Permalink

it's all in the church hymns

Butt Trump tweet (Matt P), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:08 (four years ago) Permalink

yo la tengo have a broader spectrum of sounds than that, scott. I agree that the deal you mention on e.g. "Autumn Sweater" can be a bit much. Low are awesome

Garth Brooks In ... The Life of (Sufjan Grafton), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:11 (four years ago) Permalink

actually, I meant "Our Way to Fall"

Garth Brooks In ... The Life of (Sufjan Grafton), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:12 (four years ago) Permalink

this may come down to different levels of spittle production

Butt Trump tweet (Matt P), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:21 (four years ago) Permalink

yeah, I just listened to some songs that I imagined weren't so close mic'd, and I was wrong. Even on "Cherry Chapstick" it's all whispery and close. I saw YLT live in Santa Barbara and it was a good show for me.

Garth Brooks In ... The Life of (Sufjan Grafton), Tuesday, 22 January 2013 04:23 (four years ago) Permalink


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