― Josh, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
To the others: try for loads of Yo
La Tengo live songs. Blue Line Swinger is a classic for example. I
like the version at St. Louis which is stretched to ten minutes. The
song evolves very slowly. Almost like Low's cover of Joy Division's
Transmission (one of the few covers which can compete with the
original). I must admit I did not have the time to listen to all
these mp3's. Anyways next time they are around and they love Germany
and Germany loves them I will go to see them.
― alex in mainhattan, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― gareth, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
Sonic Youth played the single most amazing
live show I have ever seen , at the ICA in
1983 or 1984. The three or four times I have
seen them since they have been boring: I
realise I have been buying records and
liking them purely in expectation of having
a repeat experience delivered. Nothing
suggests to me that this *cannot* occur: but
it *may* not. I have next to no opinion abt Yo
La Tengo either way.
― mark s, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― the pinefox, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
To Alex in all seriousness -- well, again, a matter of perception here.
Were you fortunate enough to attend, you might have found the YLT set
opening for MBV involved and interesting, but as mentioned for me aside
from the one song it was crudulous (I vaguely remember Ira starting on
stage flailing all around on his guitar and trying to 'rock out,' I
guess -- it looked stupid and I wasn't impressed). MBV, for my money,
had enough get-into-it live energy to easily carry the performance --
Deb Googe was always the most active of the bunch, unquestionably, but
on things like the 35-minute (yes!) version of the "You Made Me
Realize" midsong jam that I saw at the second show everybody seemed
possessed by the music and performance. To be sure, Kevin and Bilinda
were mostly concentrating on what they were playing and getting it
across -- but the music itself was so enveloping, it was insane. The
first time I saw them that year, the overcrowded, packed club audience
were constantly swaying back and forth, unsteady, a queasy slow-motion
pit while the band blasted away. Who needed acrobatics on the stage
itself at that point?
As for Sonic Youth's alleged improv skills -- hm. The one time I saw
them back in 1999, it was just after the equipment theft, so I allowed
for the fact that it was a greatest hits set of a sort and fairly
conservative all around, played on borrowed equipment and generally not
being much different from what was on record (they did at least do my
all time favorite SY song "Mote," though, so I was very pleased).
Great was my surprise when I learned from a friend who had been at both
that show and the SF show just before the instrument theft that they
had played *the same exact set*. I had been resolutely unconvinced by
them over time, and that just made it all the worse.
And don't knock the Pinefox -- like it or not, Alex, there *are* people
with different opinions from yourself who will hold to that opinion
just as strongly as you do yours. ;-)
― Ned Raggett, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
Wait -- so for a comeback, you're making fun of the fact that he's
from Germany? That crosses the line, IMHO, especially
inasmuch as his English is just fine; I suspect you wouldn't do
that with someone from Japan, or Ghana, or so on. Attack his
arguments, if you like, but not his ethnicity.
As for Yo La Tengo, surprisingly, I know very little of their
recorded output. However, when I saw them live in May 1998
(my band, among others, opened for them), I enjoyed it quite a
bit. Talkative college students ruined all the quiet songs (which
were very good otherwise), and the loud songs were fun -- Ira
was tossing his guitar everywhere, squalling and howling. It
was a good time.
― Phil, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
To the previous question:
I found YLT to be quite enjoyable live. A very professional, tight
band who know when to let go and when to come back in.
I missed them at the Town Hall shows here in town tho, and
have never been to a sit-down show with them. I'm sure it's on
par with Kronos or going to hear chamber music.
― JM, Saturday, 14 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Josh, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Dr. C, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
which is why the sonic youth comparisons mystify me, unless we're
only talking about the last two sy geffen albums, and even that's
doubtful. maybe i haven't heard the right ylt but what i heard just
sounded like another, albeit better-than-average, music-for-old-
people indie-mumble band. i don't see a "death valley '69" coming out
of that bunch anytime soon.
i didn't think sy were especially known for their improvisations
live. most of what's on the records sounds pretty through-composed
to me. obviously they stretch out some songs but they were never a
postpunk dead afaik. too bad to hear they were in poor form at atp
last year. i saw them last summer in montreal and they were good,
though the show was short. they even opened with a searing version
of "burning spear" and did stellar versions of "schizophrenia"
and "kool thing," closing with an extended "nyc g&f." their workout
through their whole back catalogue did make me appreciate that i like
some parts of it a lot more than others.
― sundar subramanian, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
― Ned Raggett, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
@Pinefox: Nice reply. I could not stop laughing (I am dead serious).
But how about:
Who are you mainhattan characters? They are only, like you say and
with energy supply people. They seem, in the music bang so much,
versed to be (you know mouse also Falco Jacob, swing me, amadeus, OH -
. I would like to know well-being their world opinion in the morning.
It neckt Karikaturbonfire it I). If you go into such a way on
writing, it, type of merry, is you is, like film star of years 20.
Therefore they like, everything are good you in the love music of the
Now it makes sense. Thanks to Babelfish.
So you like Lloyd Cole? Mmm. Me too. But could it be that you have
taken the title of his last album too literal?
Don't get weird on me pinefox.
@Phil: No. My English is crap and was even worse in that post above.
And you are exaggerating. Pinefox cracked a joke. I do not think that
this is enough to start a war. And I guess our ethnicity is the same
(I am Indo-European). But thanks anyway.
― alex in mainhattan, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
My first experience to MBV, as I've gone on about elsewhere (time and
again!) on this board, was pure shock and stunned trance at how
wonderful it was, hearing "Soon" for the very first time. That had
about as much to do with rationality as throwing myself off a cliff
because I might bounce.
I have no problem with you arguing your case and all, but junk your
attempts at artistic psychoanalysis. If you can't accept the fact I
disagree, that's your problem and not mine.
On the other hand when I read your last post I am flabbergasted by
I accept that and I do not want to go any deeper (only a little bit).
I just wanted to understand why our judgements differ. Especially as
we start from practically the same point. When I saw MBV ten years
ago they were my favourite group. Loveless was the most hypnotic
album of the 90s. A song like When you sleep is absolutely
stunning and still today. The concert left me totally cold. No
interaction between the band and the public whatsoever. Except some
stage-divers. When I went to see YLT the first time I did not expect
a lot. And Ira talked to us and reacted when people asked for songs.
And he was playing guitar like a devil (sorry another stereotype).
Totally involved into his music. He was on a trip and he took us with
him. I left the concert as a convert to YLT. When comparing those two
bands to drugs I would say MBV is about taking LSD, a lonely but very
strong experience. But YLT is about sharing a joint. It is a social
thing and it is a soft and quite feeble high which lasts.
So maybe we have different preferences concerning those substances.
For another thing, this 'really getting into it, man = emotion;
concentrating on playing = technical, unemotional' vision -- I
absolutely refuse this limiting, ridiculous stereotype. Some of the
most calculated bullshit I've ever encountered at shows has been from
the most active people on-stage, some of the freest, most evocative and
emotional playing from the most calm and controlled performers. Roy
Montgomery in particular, with two extended improvisatory pieces at
Terrastock 2, showed that much, all while sitting down, but he had that
crowd -- and a large one it was -- on as much of a trip as Ira did for
yours. *And* Mr. Montgomery was engaging in a bit of audience banter
too if that makes you happy.
I am not trying to set up an opposing set of rules to yours, Alex, but
I am trying to demonstrate that your own vision is not automatically
the mirror image of mine. Is this so hard to understand?
(But I still maintain, however, that your English is not crap. Es ist
ganz besser als mein Deutsch...)
― Phil, Sunday, 15 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
On the subject of YLT live- I remember Alec Empire interview in NME
where he talked about seeing YLT live and how they were scared to go
on because the stage was covered in water and so they might get
And alec then called them a bunch of assholes- he would love to be
there himself, he'd relish that kind of situation- and he proceeded
to tell the the kids to stop buying all of this indie garbage.
― Julio Desouza, Monday, 16 July 2001 00:00 (11 years ago) Permalink
'Fun' reading above.
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 1 December 2005 22:34 (7 years ago) Permalink
I suppose I'm only really familiar with "And the nothing...", "I Can Hear the Heart...", "Summer Sun", and "Painful", since those are the only ones I own. Oh, and their first album, which I've listened to 1/2 a time.
But I only recognized about 5 of the songs they played, total. I assume the rest were covers, obscure b-sides...who knows. When things couldn't get any worse, they ended with their "Nuclear War" cover, which lasted about 15 minutes and wasn't very impressive. Then, when they finished, a fall-over-drunk woman yelled out, "HAY!!1 Play it...aGEE-YEN!"
And they did. They played another 15 minute long version of Nuclear War, which was just as disappointing as the first. Then, they were done.
Plus, it looked like Ira and Georgia were in the middle of a messy divorce the whole show.
― Zach S, Friday, 2 December 2005 02:06 (7 years ago) Permalink
― I do feel guilty for getting any perverse amusement out of it (Rock Hardy), Friday, 2 December 2005 02:33 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Tyler Wilcox (tylerw), Friday, 2 December 2005 03:08 (7 years ago) Permalink
― cdwill, Friday, 2 December 2005 03:22 (7 years ago) Permalink
― js (honestengine), Friday, 2 December 2005 05:22 (7 years ago) Permalink
I've loved them both times I've seen them, and like all the LPs, though And Nothing... doesn't get much play.
― nickn (nickn), Friday, 2 December 2005 08:24 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Tylerw (tylerw), Friday, 2 December 2005 15:01 (7 years ago) Permalink
But other than that, they've never been bad. And I told Ira Kaplan he was a Rock God at Maxwells one time, and he was doubled over laughing with (or at) me. I was pretty drunk at the time.
― kornrulez6969 (TCBeing), Friday, 2 December 2005 15:10 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 2 December 2005 15:14 (7 years ago) Permalink
I was at the Sun Ra Arkestra show Wednesday, which was fine (esp the jammy version of "Little Honda") except I found the comedians only mildly amusing.
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Monday, 2 January 2006 17:01 (7 years ago) Permalink
― maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Monday, 2 January 2006 17:52 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Curmudgeon Steve (Steve K), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 01:57 (7 years ago) Permalink
Their pieces with new-music horn players (Arkestra, Sabir Mateen, etc.) are the most disappointing collaborations since Dim Stars.
YLT were almost the Who circa 1968. Now they're the Who circa 1989. A huge and tragic waste.
― Lawrence the Looter (Lawrence the Looter), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 08:47 (7 years ago) Permalink
― it was jody that killed the beast (Jody Beth Rosen), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 08:48 (7 years ago) Permalink
"Tragic waste" is a ridiculous overstatement even if you don't like the horn stuff. Having the same approach to your shows in 1992 and 2005 would be ossification.
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 14:12 (7 years ago) Permalink
The double 7" is spectacular. Nuclear War 12, not so much.
I have to agree though, some of the best shows I've ever seen were Yo La Tengo shows. When they're on, they're on.
― mcd (mcd), Tuesday, 3 January 2006 16:56 (7 years ago) Permalink
Yea, but there are other approaches they could have taken (and could still take?) without "ossification'.
― curmudgeon, Tuesday, 3 January 2006 19:10 (7 years ago) Permalink
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 July 2006 18:32 (6 years ago) Permalink
― rajeev (rajeev), Thursday, 13 July 2006 18:59 (6 years ago) Permalink
― Sundar (sundar), Thursday, 13 July 2006 19:05 (6 years ago) Permalink
― jhoshea (scoopsnoodle), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:06 (6 years ago) Permalink
― DAVE's secret to fortu-Oh look! Shiny! (dave225.3), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:11 (6 years ago) Permalink
― jhoshea (scoopsnoodle), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:14 (6 years ago) Permalink
― DAVE's secret to fortu-Oh look! Shiny! (dave225.3), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:15 (6 years ago) Permalink
― jhoshea (scoopsnoodle), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:19 (6 years ago) Permalink
― DAVE's secret to fortu-Oh look! Shiny! (dave225.3), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:23 (6 years ago) Permalink
― jhoshea (scoopsnoodle), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:37 (6 years ago) Permalink
(also, you literally couldn't see the band whether you were standing or not. I had no qualms about standing cuz I arrived after 9, and any everyone-sits protocol was out the window by then.)
In addition to the octopi-sex score, I like the funk stuff for "Shrimp Stories."
― Dr Morbius (Dr Morbius), Friday, 14 July 2006 12:42 (6 years ago) Permalink
― tylerw, Tuesday, 11 December 2012 19:48 (5 months ago) Permalink
Real Estate tonight. By far my very favorite newer band. Would have liked to be there and see those guys all jam together. The lead singer told me Yo La Tengo is his biggest influence so this must be really special for them.
― Evan, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 03:12 (5 months ago) Permalink
sweet f'n jesus:
― EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 19:29 (5 months ago) Permalink
sick! love that bill million is so ocd that even on sister ray he keeps his rhythm part totally together.
― tylerw, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 19:37 (5 months ago) Permalink
totally. An anchor amongst the chaos.
― EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 19:43 (5 months ago) Permalink
I, uh, ... that didn't seem that chaotic. I guess I'm just burned out on the band.
― WilliamC, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 19:58 (5 months ago) Permalink
A poor choice of wording on my part. It's more unpracticed than chaotic. But Bill is dead certain to make every change at the appropriate time while the rest do their best to just keep chugging at whatever speed they can. He keeps it from being too sloppy.
― EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:06 (5 months ago) Permalink
False Alarm (with DW & SD)
want to hear this so bad
jarnow book only recommended if not having read the only yo la tengo book out there is gonna nag at you. some annoying errors, not a lot of insight, but you definitely get a sense of context for the early years
― da croupier, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:13 (5 months ago) Permalink
yeahhh, was hoping an nyc taper recording would be forthcoming of the feelie la tengo jamz. those dudes are slacking!
― tylerw, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:21 (5 months ago) Permalink
The book is best for examining the early NJ/NYC indie rock scene; YLT is really the frame around most of that discussion.
― Maria Tesla Pizzeria, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:27 (5 months ago) Permalink
yeah i almost wish it was more of an our band could be your life book with chapters on the bongos, and the dbs and shit. ylt were such passive participants, and there was so little insight into the personalities or their music (it's referenced how little ira knew about guitar at first, but we never get a real sense of when/how became mr wall of pedals) that would have been better to just be like "and then they lived matadorly ever after"
― da croupier, Wednesday, 12 December 2012 20:32 (5 months ago) Permalink
contrary to earlier rumors, it was El-P and John Oliver tonight.
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 December 2012 06:58 (5 months ago) Permalink
didnt recognize many of the covers (of which there weren't a lot) aside from "I Can Hear Music"
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 December 2012 16:33 (5 months ago) Permalink
― tylerw, Thursday, 13 December 2012 18:35 (5 months ago) Permalink
last time i saw yo la tengo it was "no smoking by request of the artist," fuck them. had bought tickets in advance too.
― adam, Thursday, 13 December 2012 18:53 (5 months ago) Permalink
Hmmm, I used to smoke, but this bothers me not at all any more. Can't you go outside and smoke, or take a break from smoking for an hour? Not that I don't smoke, I can totally understand why non-smokers cannot stand to play in a room full of smoke. Seems more like something the venue needs to be up front about, not the musicians.
― grandavis, Thursday, 13 December 2012 18:56 (5 months ago) Permalink
Uh, that was supposed to say "Now that I don't smoke"
it's been so long since i've lived in a state where you can smoke in a club.
― tylerw, Thursday, 13 December 2012 19:04 (5 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, me too. But also, at this point, if I like the musician, I am fully on board with making touring/playing shows as cool for them as possible, especially if they are not millionaires and are still out there fighting the good fight. The cards are mostly stacked against them.
― grandavis, Thursday, 13 December 2012 19:08 (5 months ago) Permalink
I don't want to breathe someone's cigarette smoke and I don't want my clothes to smell of smoke either. I was so glad when my area jurisdictions banned smoking in nightclubs.
― curmudgeon, Thursday, 13 December 2012 19:36 (5 months ago) Permalink
Yeah, I can't believe I used to smell like that all the time. And that I smoked inside, all the time (though not my own apartment/house). In restaurants, and venues, and bars. Seems really stupid in retrospect.
― grandavis, Thursday, 13 December 2012 19:39 (5 months ago) Permalink
that's cool, if i cared about that kind of shit i would move somewhere like that. however the expectation here is that if one is paying out the ass to see a bunch of old dudes play sister ray for 90 minutes one gets to drink and smoke and talk to one's friends while one does it, not stand outside like an asshole.
― adam, Thursday, 13 December 2012 20:00 (5 months ago) Permalink
Hah, sounds like exactly the wrong way to see Yo La Tengo do their thing to me. I mean, they play a ton of quiet songs, but more power to you. Everyone has their own idea of what makes a good show. I don't really have sympathy for the "I paid money damn it, so I get to do what the fuck I want" argument though. Again, I think your complaint is with the venue. Make them post when shows are non-smoking.
― grandavis, Thursday, 13 December 2012 20:13 (5 months ago) Permalink
― saltwater incursion (Dr Morbius), Thursday, 13 December 2012 21:01 (5 months ago) Permalink
Norman Blake tonight. Sorry speculative folks hoping for Keith Richards (not in this thread)!
― Evan, Sunday, 16 December 2012 01:16 (5 months ago) Permalink