Posted in music | pictures on May 11, 2011

photos by Winnie Cheung

YLT @ the Bell House - 5/10/11
Yo La Tengo

"For their current U.S. tour, the band has embraced the indie-rock equivalent of "Wheel of Fortune," a large wheel divided into several categories, including songs beginning with the letter S or an entire instrumental film score written by the band. A spin by a guest lands on an imperative that sets the performance for the first set.

That wheel [was] with them Tuesday when they [began] a sold-out, two-night stint at the Bell House in Brooklyn.

"The less information we give people about what's going to happen, the better," Kaplan, now 54 years old, said in a recent interview.

The concept revitalizes Yo La Tengo's back catalog by stepping outside the common practices fueling the music industry's nostalgia boom. But it's also a lot of work.

"It calls upon us to be familiar with a lot of songs that, until we did it, we weren't familiar with at all," Kaplan said. "A couple of songs we'd never played [live] before -- some songs we'd never played in years."

For Kaplan, the notion of touring behind one of the group's classic albums holds little interest. "That was one of the things," he said. "Do we put records on [the wheel]? But we didn't want to."

The second set features songs of the band's choosing, a safeguard for the crowd should the wheel stop at one of the more esoteric options, such as "Sitcom Theater," which requires the members of Yo La Tango to act out an episode of a sitcom of their choosing." [WSJ]

Last night's first set, determined by the wheel, was "The Name Game" which meant all songs they played had a name in the title. You can see a picture of the list of names they played ("Griselda," etc), give or take a name, below.

The next Bell House show goes down this evening (5/11), with The Baxx Sisis opening. More pictures from last night's show which was opened by Antietam, and more tour dates too, below...

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Yo La Tengo --- 2011 Tour Dates
May Wednesday 11 Brooklyn, NY The Bell House
May Saturday 14 Nelsonville, OH Nelsonville Music Festival
June Saturday 04 Dublin, IE Forbidden Fruit
June Monday 06 Edinburgh, UK Queens Hall
June Tuesday 07 Gateshead, UK Sage Gateshead
June Wednesday 08 Leeds, UK Cockpit 2
June Thursday 09 Birmingham, UK O2 Academy 2
June Friday 10 Oxford, UK O2 Academy
June Sunday 12 London, UK Royal Festival Hall
June Saturday 18 Denver, CO Westword Music Showcase
June Monday 20 Columbia, MO The Blue Note
June Tuesday 21 Iowa City, IA Englert Theater
June Thursday 23 Minneapolis, MN 400 Bar
June Friday 24 Minneapolis, MN 400 Bar
June Saturday 25 Chicago, IL Green Music Festival
June Sunday 26 Chicago, IL Subterranean

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Comments (45)

Too many pictures.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:05 PM

Really wanted to see them act out an episode of "Becker." Total disappointment.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:08 PM

i was hoping for family matters

great show nonetheless

Posted by chris g | May 11, 2011 1:08 PM

yeah, ylt are class act all the way. noise + pop = fucking awesome.

and, ira is looking pretty great for his age. it'll be interesting to see where, ahem, fishsticks crybaby and tyler will be in their '50s, i mean 50's, i mean - 50s!

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:10 PM

Tyler will be in the clink for skateboarding over a cop's toe.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:13 PM

2nd setlist?

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:13 PM

Just like Elvis Costello only YLT songs arent nearly as good.

Posted by Blag the destroyer | May 11, 2011 1:16 PM

i can't believe he's 54 years old... he really does look good for his age. and he still rocks faces

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:17 PM

54... is that right? his wikipedia page vaguely says he was "born in the 60's."

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:24 PM

Glad that I stayed home to wash my hair last night. Looks like I didn't miss a thing.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:25 PM

from a random interview i found:

Ira Kaplan: Nope, no Bar Mitzvah. On my 13th birthday, my mom took a station wagon full of my friends to see Easy Rider, so let's just say the Holy Modal Rounders played.


Easy Rider came out in 1969... if it was his 13th birthday then he was born in 1956... so it would make sense that he is 54.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:27 PM

What time did Yo La Tengo start the first set? 9:30? When did the show end?

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:35 PM

they started at 9:30... i was there till 11:30, had to make it home, but they were only about a half hour into the 2nd set. intermission was a really long 45 minutes or so.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:38 PM

They started a little bit before 9:30, played over an hour first set, half hour break, second set from about 11:05 to 12:00.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:39 PM

why such a long break... mission of burma used to always do two sets, but the break would be like 10 minutes which was perfect.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 1:40 PM

Intermission wasn't 45 minutes. It was about 20.

Posted by Eric | May 11, 2011 1:54 PM

good people that keep it real
real people that keep it good

Posted by donn | May 11, 2011 2:05 PM

felt like 45 minutes

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 2:05 PM

Easy Rider opened in '69 but has played in movie theaters ever since, especially in the years right after it came out. I'm not saying he's not 54, I'm just saying that's not a case closed situation.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 2:15 PM

True story ... Easy Rider was noteworthy not just in it's portrayal of the counter culture and it's excellent soundtrack, but also for being the first American movie of the post-war era to feature hummus in the concessions cart while filming. Apparently, Peter Fonda felt that the use of hummus in the desert portions would help to bring a mild hallucinatory streak to the actors, who were all more interested in imbibing in drugs than eating anything at the time. Little known fact.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 2:27 PM

Intermission had to be longer than 20 minutes.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 2:29 PM

Okay, let me think.

They started playing a little after 9:30 and played for about an hour. Then they went backstage and were playing again by 11. I'd put the intermission between 20-30 minutes. So revised upwards a bit. But no way was it 45 minutes.

Posted by Eric | May 11, 2011 2:34 PM

I saw them in Costa Mesa a few months ago and the break between sets was over 45 minutes.

We got the Q and A part of the wheel, but they played songs as they answered the questions. (highlight was a cover of Neil Young's For the Turnstiles)

Killer show, still great to this very day.

Posted by kyle | May 11, 2011 2:48 PM

felt like 45 minutes

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 3:01 PM

Great show...Ira killed it on pass the hatchet. I've seen them do that song pretty much every time I've seen them, and he just keeps getting further and further in to it. He destroyed two guitars for the one song (not literally). The pics are awesome, too.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 3:22 PM

I would like to thank Yo La Tengo for not playing Mr. Tough for the millionth time. Excited for part 2 tonight!

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 3:29 PM

Can we get a 2nd set setlist? I had to leave early and want to know what I won't be hearing tonight.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 3:41 PM

They closed set #2 with an awesome "Heard you looking" with Tara Kay joining on guitar.

Also played (in no particular order) Barnaby Hardly Working, Nothing to Hide, Our Way to Fall, Stockholm.. shit, that's all I can recall. Great show though.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 4:02 PM

yep and Crying of Lot G

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 4:12 PM

Anyone have an extra for tonight?

Posted by arnie | May 11, 2011 4:17 PM

let me add "Moby Octopad" to the songs already mentioned.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 4:19 PM

and "Decora".

I am getting too old to remember setlists.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 4:21 PM

and there was a three song encore after the 2nd set.

BLS tonight? Story of Yo La Tango?

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 4:23 PM

it's "tengo".

geesh, not a lot of *true* fans on here

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 4:52 PM

But the name of the song is "The Story of Yo La Tango," doofus. The band mis-spelled it on porpoise.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 5:11 PM

I put on Yo La Tango when I have a room full of cranky kids, and they're all fast asleep within 90 seconds. They played Yo La Tango at Yankee Stadium last week, and Derek Jeter took a nap on the grass in shallow left.

"Nothing to see here, lady ... keep moving ..."

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 5:28 PM

"it's "tengo".

geesh, not a lot of *true* fans on here"

classic. idiot.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 5:38 PM

Kickball Katy's ice cream cone tattoo > Yo La Tango > LCD Shitsysmeh

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 5:45 PM

Door Into Summer (Monkees) and For The Turnstiles (Neil Young) were played in the encore

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 6:07 PM

Ouch, 4:52 got owned. Reminds me of the time I got caught masturbating in the bathroom by my younger sister's friend when she was over swimming in our pool.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 6:08 PM

4:52 might have be referring to the use of "Yo La Tango" in the WSJ article. It is sad that most people read the comments, but the not article. *True* fans indeed.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 6:12 PM

Christ... YOU guys are the idiots. You really think I would have said something about *true* fans not being around here if I wasn't being a sarcastic shithead? Pull the stick out of your asses...

Posted by 4:52 | May 11, 2011 9:50 PM

I have a feeling you're all a bunch of losers. I mean, you listen to band named Yo La Tengo and the "frontman" is a frizzy Jew. I guess he was trying to be facetious/faux-ironic when he named his soon-to-be vehicle.

Try the shrimp.

Posted by Anonymous | May 11, 2011 10:24 PM

My friend got a copy of the set list from Tuesday's second set - here it is (the list verbatim followed by full titles). Apt question for the true fans, which song does "True" refer to -- Almost True? If It's True?

Our Way = Our Way to Fall
Barnaby = Barnaby Hardly Working
Lot G = Crying of Lot G
True = ?
Double = Double Dare
Nothing = Nothing to Hide
Decora = Decora
I Heard You = I Heard You Looking

Posted by Anonymous | May 14, 2011 1:19 PM

I wish I was here.

Posted by Jamie | March 11, 2014 2:47 PM

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