Entries tagged with: Yo La Tengo

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Matador

Matador label-mates James McNew of Yo La Tengo and Ted Leo both have December 2011 Maxwell's shows coming up and both contributed 'Best of 2011' lists to Matador Records for the label's annual big list of lists. Maybe their lists contain some clues on what special guests we can expect at their upcoming NJ shows (Yo La Tengo on all nights of Hanukkah, Ted Leo on New Year's Eve). At a minimum, Ted's list contains a great recommendation for vegan pizza in Brooklyn. Both lists are reprinted below...

Continue reading "James McNew of Yo La Tengo & Ted Leo list their favorite things about 2011"

Yo La Tengo @ Maxwell's, Hanukkah 2007 (more)
YLT

Yo La Tengo, despite a scary health scare for Ira, will begin their eight nights of Hanukkah shows tonight at Maxwell's. Part of the fun is of course figuring/finding out who opens each show, and who the special guests and comedians are/will be. Any ideas?

So far it looks like the recently reunited Glands are visiting from Georgia to open the Christmas Eve show! You might remember that Yo La Tengo opened for them at Mercury Lounge in November.

Any other guesses? Who's definitely in from out of town? Marianne Faithfull? Dum Dum Girls? Who lives here or close to here that seems like maybe they could stop by? Titus Andronicus? Ted Leo? Kurt Vile? Thurston Moore? These are all just guesses... stay tuned for more as the week goes on.

Ira @ Maxwell's for Hanukkah 2008 (more by Natasha Ryan)
Hanukkah

Ira posted the following to Yo La Tengo's website on Saturday:

Hi everybody, especially those of you with tickets to next week's shows,

We strive to make our Hanukkah shows unpredictable, and in one unfortunate regard we've outdone ourselves this year. I'm going to be a little vague here, but I had a pretty serious health scare earlier this month. I'm well on the way to recovery, but I've not yet been deemed ready to Rock. The good news is . . . well, the good news is I'm on the way to recovery . . . but vis-à-vis next week, the good news is that I've been deemed ready to sit in a chair and play the concerts that mean more to me, Georgia and James than most anything else we do together. Our sets will undoubtedly be tweaked accordingly. In other words, if you were hoping to be in attendance for our annual airing of "Mushroom Cloud of Hiss," I'm afraid that is now zooming up the Unlikely chart with a bullet. But we're confident that it's going to be a great eight days. We're looking forward to seeing you all, and to not answering any questions about what happened to me!

As long as I've got your attention, I'll let you know about one other change this year. We've filled the walls of Maxwell's front room with a bunch of posters and other ephemera from our various closets. Some of it will be for sale (all proceeds to charity) and all of it will hopefully be entertaining.

Hanukkahly yours, Ira

Glad to hear Ira is doing ok, and here's to another great Hanukkah!

James McNew in Philly in Sept (more by David Andrako)
Dump

Yo La Tengo, who are now selling a Hanukkah t-shirt for charity for a limited time (if you can get the link to work), are playing eight sold out Hanukkah shows at Maxwell's later this month.

Dump, aka the other project of Yo La Tengo's James McNew, is playing a show at Spike Hill in Brooklyn tonight (12/11) with The Medium Necks and Asuna. Tickets are still available (and probably will be at the door).

Spike Hill, the Williamsburg bar and music venue conveniently located on Bedford right near the L, has also announced that O'Death will be playing there on New Year's Eve. Tickets are on sale.

O'Death have also announced a January 2012 tour with Brownbird that has them playing another NYC show at Le Poisson Rouge on 1/21. All O'Death dates are listed below...

Continue reading "Dump playing Spike Hill tonight; O'Death playing New Year's Eve (and other dates)"

Occupy this album

Is anything still going on at Zuccotti Park? Regardless, Jackson Browne and Dawes, who have collaborated before (just ask Lefsetz!), will perform for Occupy Wall Street at Zuccotti Park today (12/1) sometime between noon and 1:30pm (I've seen it listed as 12, 12:30 and 1). Oh and Third Eye Blind, who wrote a song for the movement, will be there too! How's it going to be? How's it going to be...

Later tonight the movement will be at Lincoln Center with Philip Glass.

Dawes begin a run of proper NY and NJ shows on 12/3.

More info about Music For Occupy, the above-pictured album that features music by Jackson Browne, Yo La Tengo, Devo, Third Eye Blind, Lucinda Williams, Ladytron, and more, HERE.

words & photos by Keith Marlowe

Tandoori Knights @ the Bell House
Norton Records 25th Anniversary

I started the night, the fourth and final night of the the Norton Records 25th Anniversary celebration at the Bell House, watching Andy Shernoff from the Dictators playing an acoustic set in the front room. He ended with his hilarious zombie Jew song, based on Jesus's return to Earth.

The Figures of Light, who originally formed in 1970, played their classic proto-punk songs as well as tracks off their new album, Drop Dead, which was recorded this July in Brooklyn by the Gories' Mick Collins, who plays guitar in the band along with original members Wheeler Winston Dixon and Michael Downey, as well as Mark Natale and Miriam Linna from the A-Bones.

The Real Kids had to cancel due to illness, so another New Jersey band, the Swinging Neckbreakers filled in for them.

After them came the A-Bones, who feature vocalist Billy Miller and his wife, drummer Miriam Linna from Norton Records. They were joined at the end of their set Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney of the Flaming Groovies, who also played with the Daddy Long Legs the night before, and who played 'Teenage Head,' which was inspired by Kim Fowley when he was recording their record. Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan, who played the celebration on Friday night as part of the Condo Fucks, was also playing guitar in the A-Bones. as he often does.

Tandoori Knights, a take-off on the British show Tandoori Nights were next. They are fronted by King Khan and Bloodshot Bill, and the band is a slightly slower, more melodic sound than the two are known for in their other projects, but they still kept the crowd moving until after 1 am, when Norton founders Billy and Miriam came out to thank everyone who had made the sold-out four day event such a success. Billy, Miriam, and King Khan also all made late night appearances on the first night of the fest.

The Sonics @ The Bell House
Norton Records 25th Anniversary

After they finished the thank-you's at nearly 1:45, the band everyone was waiting to see, The Sonics, took the stage. They had headlined a show Saturday afternoon at Maxwell's too. I didn't see that, but Sunday night they took the Bell House stage and just completely laid it down. I was really impressed. They played an hour and a half set that just kept picking up energy the entire time, hitting all their well-knows songs, like Strychnine, the Hustler, Boss Hoss, Psycho and climaxed with their first and best-known hit, the Witch, and tore right into a cover of Louie Louie they totally owned, probably playing it better and with more authority than any other band in the world is capable of doing. The biggest surprise to me was how good their new songs are. Usually a band reforms knowing that they have a catalogue that people celebrate and will pay to hear, and they can tour on that nostalgia factor, or write some songs that completely lack the chemistry that the original members once had. I've definitely groaned when a reunion band announces, "we're gonna play some of our new songs tonight." but the Sonics have hit the studio hard. The new songs, Cheap Shades, Bad Attitude, Don't Back Down, and Vampire Kiss were really tight, and would sound right at home on both Here Are the Sonics and BOOM. Their new record, 8, was recorded by legendary Seattle producer Jack Endino and was released in 2010. It's great to see such an important band still touring and recording great songs......

More photos from the Sunday night show below...

Continue reading "Norton Records @ 25 -- the conclusion w/ the Sonics, Tandoori Knights aka King Khan & Bloodshot Bill & more (pics & review)"

photos by Jason House

Great Gaylord @ the Bell House
Great Gaylord & The Condo Fucks

After a raucous, sold-out first night of Norton's 25th Anniversary celebration at the Bell House, the party continued at the Brooklyn venue on Friday (11/11) where once again the night was opened by The Nor-Tones ("Norton's all-employee band includes members of the Little Killers, Daddy Long Legs, Stalkers, Girls At Dawn and LiveFastDie playing the hits of the Norton catalog.")

Night two also featured a set by mysterious cover band the Condo Fucks (aka Yo La Tengo) with Great Gaylord ("the Greatest Lousy Singer of all time"?). For the Condo Fucks it was their second NYC show in a short amount of time, though their first one at Mercury Lounge was sans Gaylord. Yo La Tengo will play eight more sold out shows over Hanukkah at Maxwell's (where Sunday's Norton show headliner The Sonics played on Saturday).

Also on the Friday night bill, some of which fell under the "R&B/Soul revue" umbrella, was Jackie and the Cedrics, a new lineup of Greg Cartwright's band Reigning Sound (featuring members of The Jay Vons), Mark Sultan (aka BBQ whose old partner King Khan played the night before), Lonnie Youngblood and the Bloodhounds with special guest Mick Collins (of the Gories and the Dirtbombs) on guitar, The Mighty Hannibal, Andre Williams (who also stopped by the night before), and Happy Organ man Dave "Baby" Cortez on keys.

More pictures and videos from most of Friday's bash, below...

Continue reading "Norton Records party @ the Bell House - night 2 pics & video (Condo Fucks, Reigning Sound, Mark Sultan, Mighty Hannibal & more)"

photos by Chris La Putt

"the glands the glands the glands!!!" - sami

The Glands @ Mercury Lounge - 11/4/2011
The Glands

The Glands are on a reunion tour that hits Maxwell's in Hoboken tonight (11/5). Last night it was Mercury Lounge in NYC where the Condo Fucks (aka Yo La Tengo playing covers) opened the show. According to Ahmad Bilal, "That Condo Fucks (@TheRealYLT) set was SO fucking visceral, fun & insanely tight. So glad @NYCtaper is recording. Georgia is incredible!". Stay tuned for that. Meanwhile here are some pictures and couple of videos of the headliner. It all continues below...

Continue reading "The Glands played NYC, Condo Fucks (aka Yo La Tengo) opened for them --- pics & video"

DUMP playing Hot Tub @ Littlefield this past Monday (by DoneWaiting)
DUMP

Tickets go on sale at noon for the eight Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows:

*12/20 Night One Buy Tickets Here!
*12/21 Night Two Buy Tickets Here!
*12/22 Night Three Buy Tickets Here!
*12/23 Night Four Buy Tickets Here!
*12/24 Night Five Buy Tickets Here!
*12/25 Night Six Buy Tickets Here!
*12/26 Night Seven Buy Tickets Here!
*12/27 Night Eight Buy Tickets Here!
Tickets are also still on sale to see Yo La Tengo as the Condo Fucks at Mercury Lounge.

Tickets for the four Phish shows at MSG go on sale Saturday at noon.

Mavis Staples, The Head and the Heart & Dawes have a show coming up at Beacon Theater. Tickets on sale at noon.

Speaking of holiday shows at the Beacon, Cyndi Lauper and friends are playing one too. On sale now.

By noon tickets will also be on sale for Yelle, Nada Surf, Devo and BOBBY.

One of those Devo shows is at the Paramount in Long Island where Cheap Trick also have a show coming up at. It went on sale today.

Ill Fits recently played some shows at CMJ. They play Mercury Lounge on December 7th with Ladybug Transistor and The Echo-Friendly. Tickets on sale at noon.

Yo La Tengo @ Maxwell's 2010 (more by Andrew St. Clair)
YLT

GREAT NEWS

*12/20-*12/27 The 8 Nights of Hanukkah with Yo La Tengo (on-sale Friday 10/28 at noon)
*12/20 Night One Buy Tickets Here!
*12/21 Night Two Buy Tickets Here!
*12/22 Night Three Buy Tickets Here!
*12/23 Night Four Buy Tickets Here!
*12/24 Night Five Buy Tickets Here!
*12/25 Night Six Buy Tickets Here!
*12/26 Night Seven Buy Tickets Here!
*12/27 Night Eight Buy Tickets Here!
In related news, the Condo Fucks have shows coming up at Mercury Lounge and the Bell House.

Condo Fucks @ Magnetic Field in 2008 (more by Bryan Bruchman)
Condo fucks

Exactly a week before they play the Norton Records celebration at the Bell House, The Condo Fucks will open for The Glands at Mercury Lounge (one of two previously mentioned NYC-area shows that the reunited Georgia band are playing). Tickets for Mercury Lounge and Maxwell's (where Emperor X open) are still on sale.

The Glands have also announced more shows since we last spoke. They're all listed below...

Continue reading "updated Glands reunion dates, and Condo Fucks!"

photos by David Andrako

The National
Yo La Tengo

"The National returned for a few encores, and Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo joined in on guitar for an exhilarating version of "Terrible Love." The energy roaring from the stage prompted Berninger to dive into the audience, and make his way through the crowd and head to the back of the room, where he walked along the circumference of the lower level taking a victory lap while still singing with mic in hand. This was followed by a tender a capella reading of "Vanderlyle Cry Baby Geeks." In a word, glorious.

Yo La Tengo, hand-picked by The National, opened the show. Every indie-rocker worth his flannel knows Yo La Tengo formed in 1984 and that their named translates to "I have it." Twenty-seven years on, they should consider changing the name of the band to "Todavía tienen que," or they still have it. They still can seamlessly segue from tortured guitar noise freakouts to breezy folk-rock topped with ethereal vocal harmonies. Hands down, the highlight of their set was "Periodically Double or Triple" which featured Kaplan churning away on the keys in a manner which would have made Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs proud while bassist James McNew and drummer Georgia Hubley nailed down the greatest Stax-Volt groove never heard.

Opening this wonderful bill was Baltimore's Wye Oak, touring in support of their latest release, Civilian. Guitarist Jenn Wasner's vocals were dreamy and her guitar playing was nothing short of towering. And watching Andy Stack playing both drums and keyboard simultaneously was a complete delight." [Phawker]

The review is from the first of two shows The National played with Yo La Tengo (complete with Sun Ra Arkestra horn section) and Wye Oak at Philadelphia's Academy of Music last week. The pictures in this post are from the second (9/8).

Since then the National headed to LA for another great triple bill last night (9/11) at Hollywood Bowl. They played that show with Neko Case and Sharon Van Etten. Their next scheduled gig is November 6th in Singapore. Hopefully more NYC shows get announced soon, but for now they have nothing coming up in North America at all.

More pictures and the National's setlist from Philly, below...

Continue reading "The National played Academy of Music in Philly w/ Yo La Tengo & Wye Oak (pics & setlist)"

The National at Coachella 2011 (more by David Andrako)
The National

The National and Yo La Tengo are both on tour this summer, mostly separately, but will play a few dates together with Wye Oak in September including two at Academy of Music in Philly. None of those bands have any NYC shows scheduled at the moment, but Yo La Tengo will come even closer than The City Of Brotherly Love. They play Mayo Performing Arts Center in Morristown, NJ on September 24. Ticket information TBA.

You can also catch 2/3 of YLT at the Danny Amis benefit happening at Maxwell's on June 29. Tickets for the benefit are still on sale.

The National's Bryce Dessner will also be in NYC this Sunday (6/19), in spirit anyway, when his O Shut Your Eyes Against the Wind composition is performed by the Bang on a Can All Stars as part of the Bang On a Can Marathon.

Bryce recently spoke to Unfold about his and Aaron's multimedia project The Long Count which premiered at BAM and is currently being performed overseas. The project is based on Mayan mythology and features visuals by Matthew Ritchie and a 12-piece orchestra that features Colin Stetson and vocals by Kim and Kelley Deal, Shara Worden and Matt Berninger. The project has only been presented live thus far, but Bryce says:

"We don't want to release a performance DVD or anything like that. I think you really need to see this show in person to understand the visual elements. But I think the songs will stand up on record, so we're looking to release an album in early 2012. Once The National tour dates calm down, we can concentrate on recording it more fully."
In other National-related news, Aaron Dessner is on board to produce Sharon Van Etten's next album. According to a January interview with Done Waiting, the collaboration is going/went well:
"I [Sharon] always express ideas, but honestly my arrangement abilities are pretty limited because I have never really had access to anything other than a guitar and vocal. I always have harmonies in mind, and working with musicians that have a vision with my music too is really helpful to learn how to do it better. I am working on new stuff now with Aaron (Dessner, of the National) and I say, "maybe strings on this," and he says, "we'll do a bunch of arrangements and you tell us what you like." People who are really motivated to help me see my visions. Being able to go to a studio that has more at my fingertips is opening me up to new ideas too. I am still learning every day. I am constantly exploring, mostly work with my bass player and my drummer and learning how to have a band and write together and then moving on from there. Still exploring these new songs; and they are opening up every day."
Sharon Van Etten opens for Beirut in the hopefully dry McCarren Park tonight (6/17).

Before heading out with The National and Yo La Tengo, Wye Oak will play Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, CT with Marissa Nadler on July 15. Tickets are on sale now. After the National/Yo La Tengo dates, Wye Oak will support Explosions in the Sky on part of their previously announced tour. That tour hits Wellmont Theatre on October 3, but Wye Oak do not open that date. The Antlers do. Tickets for the Wellmont show are still available.

Marissa Nadler

Marissa Nadler, whose self titled LP was released this week and is streaming on NPR, also has shows coming up on her tour with Faces on Film. That tour hits Mercury Lounge on July 27 (tickets) and Littlefield on July 30 (tickets). Marissa plays CT again on July 31 at Rudy's in New Haven (New Haven show cancelled).

All tour dates for everyone below...

Continue reading "The National, Yo La Tengo, Wye Oak, & Marissa Nadler (upcoming shows & stuff)"

Danny Amis

A message from Danny Amis

Dear Friends...

I can't thank you enough for your generosity.
Thanks to your help, and the upcoming benefit shows,
I no longer need to stress out over my medical bills. THANK YOU AGAIN!!!

As many of you know, I was diagnosed with Cancer in 2010.
This forced me to stop working and touring.
The type of cancer I've been told I have is called
"Multiple Myeloma", cancer of the bone marrow.
I was caught off guard without insurance, but thankfully was able
to obtain insurance through the Affordable Care Act which
passed congress last year and for which I am eternally grateful.
Without that insurance I wouldn't have been able to get a necessary
procedure to save my life called a Stem Cell Transplant.
I underwent that procedure in May, and it seems to have been successful.
I now face a couple of months of recovery.

Your generosity has helped immensely, it's a very expensive procedure.
Unfortunately, high medical costs are something I'll have to face the rest of my life,
as this disease is incurable. I can only hope to knock it into remission for a while.
I'm going to leave this donation button up for those who still want to help.
Simply be aware that I'm not set up to accept tax-deductible donations.
Again, I can't thank you enough for your help!

That donation button is at Danny's website, as is a list of upcoming benefit shows including the one taking place at Maxwell's in Hoboken on June 29. The Raybeats, The Individuals, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley (of Yo La Tengo), The Schramms, and Tall Lonesome Pines all will play the NJ benefit for the sick member of the instrumental surf group Los Straitjackets. Tickets for the Hoboken show are on sale. Conan O'Brien is performing at the LA one which is also still on sale.

Los Straitjackets go on a very long tour of their own without Amis this summer. The tour stops at City Winery on June 23 and 24 with Dave Alvin & the Guilty Ones. Tickets are available for both shows. It also hits Maxwell's on August 4 with Bill Kirchen. Tickets are on sale. All LS dates and benefit dates, below...

Continue reading "Danny Amis recovering from cancer procedure, benefit shows planned (and Los Straitjackets is touring too)"

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...

Continue reading "Yo La Tengo spun the wheel @ the Bell House w/ Antietam (pics), do it again tonight w/ The Baxx Sisis (dates)"

photos by Jason House

Obits

West Village record store Generation Records celebrated Record Store Day 2011 by releasing two new records (Off! and Bouncing Souls, both "Live At Generation Records"), and with a day full of in-store performances by Obits, I Hate Our Freedom, The Jay Vons, and Spa Castles. There were also DJ Sets from Yo La Tengo, Tom Scharpling (WFMU's Best Show), and Eric Davidson (and a special appearance by Fred Armisen who also played a secret set before Joan as Policewoman at Mercury Lounge two nights earlier) during the afternoon of 4/16. J Edward Keyes reports that, "Obits [turned] in a great all-covers Record Store Day set at Generation w. special guests: Ira & Georgia from Yo La Tengo!" You can see the action in the pictures from the whole day, above and below.

Obits play NYC again on Wednesday, and they'll play covers again, but this time at Union Pool as part of a tribute to Brendan of Orphan with Krallice, Mira Bilotte (of White Magic & Quix*o*tic), and Dope Body. Tickets are available at the door, and all proceeds go back to Brendan's family. Bands will be playing reworked material by Orphan, other Brendan material, and possibly some of their own material as well.

More pictures from Generation Records, below...

Continue reading "Generation Records celebrated Record Store Day w/ Obits, Yo La Tengo, The Jay Vons, Spa Castles & more (pics)"

Yo La Tengo during Chanukah 2010 (more by Chris Gersbeck)
Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo have scheduled a new round of dates, and they aren't Jewish holiday-themed benefit shows or to raise money for Japan, but they will, like the upcoming Elvis Costello shows, contain a special aspect. The band writes:

"For our ...[upcoming] tour dates, we've decided to take the advice of Blood, Sweat & Tears to "ride a painted pony/let the spinning wheel spin." And just in case that's not self-explanatory, read on..."
The Brooklyn dates are May 10th & 11th at The Bell House. Tickets for both 5/10 and 5/11 go on sale Friday at noon (4/1), and can also be found at Other Music with no fee. More dates, and details on what these shows will entail, below...

Continue reading "Yo La Tengo playing 'Wheel Spin Shows' (2011 Tour Dates include 2 nights in Brooklyn)"

Yo La Tengo, David Byrne, Fred Armisen (photo by antonieta molina)
David Byrne and YLT

"Yo La Tengo squeezed more than a drop of good will from a sugarcube last night at Maxwell's in Hoboken. The band performed a last-minute Japan Benefit Concert to a packed room of sweaty record store clerks--all the proceeds went to Peace Winds Japan, a Tokyo-based non-profit organization helping those displaced by the recent disaster. But in typical Yo La Tengo fashion, they weren't alone: SNL star Fred Armisen sat in on drums for the entire show, Glenn Mercer of The Feelies joined them for four songs, and legendary bike enthusiast David Byrne dropped by in grandfatherly overalls for a handful of tunes as well during the invigorating, nearly-three hour show" [Gothamist]
Speaking of the Feelies, they have a new album and some shows coming up.

A picture of the Maxwell's setlist and a few videos below...

Continue reading "David Byrne, Glenn Mercer & Fred Armisen played w/ Yo La Tengo at their Japan Benefit @ Maxwell's"

Yo La Tengo @ Maxwell's on Hanukkah (more by Chris Gersbeck)
Yo La Tengo

"This just in . . . we're going to play at Maxwell's on Wednesday, March 23. Tickets will be $50 and all proceeds will go to Peace Winds Japan. The show will start at 9 pm. No other bands, but we'll see if we can find something to put up our sleeves (please don't hold us to that). Due to the short notice, tickets will be available exclusively on line, starting at 10 am EDT Monday March 21, through Ticketfly, who have generously offered to donate all of the fees to Peace Winds Japan. To order click here." - Yo La Tengo

Big Star

"Big Star's third album, Third/Sister Lovers, has long been revered by artists and critics as one of the most influential albums ever produced. Written and recorded when the legendary 70s band was primarily a studio project consisting of Alex Chilton and Jody Stephens, the third album was never been performed in public with the original string and wind orchestrations. That changed in December 2010, when an all-star band unearthed the original scores, assembled an orchestra and performed Big Star's Third at Cat's Cradle in Carrboro, NC. Performers that night included Jody Stephens (Big Star), Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Chris Stamey (the dB's) - the creative genesis they experienced prompted plans for a historic concert in New York City.

On March 26th, a mind-boggling array of indie rock all-stars will gather to perform Big Star's Third at Mason Hall. Norman Blake (Teenage Fanclub), Mitch Easter (Let's Active), Ira Kaplan (Yo La Tengo), Tift Merritt, Mike Mills (R.E.M.), Will Rigby (the dB's), Matthew Sweet, Chris Stamey (the dB's), Jody Stephens (Big Star) and M. Ward (She & Him) will be joined by The Lost in the Trees Orchestra with Jane Scarpantoni, Django Haskins (The Old Ceremony), Brett Harris, Sidney Dixon and Matt McMichaels to recreate the original scores and breathe life into a bittersweet album that has impacted generations of musicians. Some very special guests will be announced in the days to come. As the evening unfolds, Chilton and Stephen's musical ideas that were far ahead of their time 35 years ago will resonate in the hands of a collective of sympathetic, top-notch musicians. "We have been trying to create a concert piece that can have a life in years to come, trying to keep the spirit of the music and make it come across with the right emotions live," Stamey told Indy Week. "There's something about this record that connects with my generation, and apparently many generations."

The assemblage will perform Third/Sister Lovers in its entirety - fans can expect additional Big Star and Chris Bell songs as well. "It's easier as time passes to revisit that album because it came out of such a dark period," Big Star drummer Jody Stephens told the Raleigh News and Observer. "There were brilliant moments in the studio, especially Carl Marsh's string arrangements, which really take it to a whole other world. But it could be emotionally difficult to watch certain things happen. I was so close to it at the time that I could not see what it was.""

BIG STAR THIRD is happening at Baruch Performing Arts Center (at Baruch College) in Mason Hall (17 Lexington) on Saturday, March 26, 2011. Tickets are on presale now (password: Alex), and going on general sale Thursday at noon. More details with the lineup listed out, below...

Continue reading "all star collective performing Big Star's 'Third' album"

Greg Oblivian on stage with the Oblivians at Knit (more by Andrew Frisicano)
Oblivians

"OK, let's get back to the music! We've been hoping that Greg Cartwright might join us at Hanukkah for years now, whether with the Oblivians or Reigning Sound or solo -- the guy wears many hats. Turns out that all we needed to do to coax him north was share a record with him and his newest band, the Parting Gifts (which reminds me -- did I ever tell you that my mom was a contestant on Concentration?). Direct from recording a session for WFMU's Cherry Blossom Clinic, apparently the first time all six of them had ever played together, they sounded great -- who's writing better minor-chord songs than Greg Cartwright? No one. Add a couple of Coco Hames's more country-oriented numbers and their side of our split single, and night 2 was off to a roaring start." [Ira of Yo La Tengo]
The covergence of The Ettes and Reigning Sound happened during three short dates on the East Coast last week (one with Yo La Tengo), as The Parting Gifts (featuring Greg Oblivian and Coco Hames of The Ettes) played Maxwell's on December 2nd and Union Hall on the 3rd. Video from Maxwell's is below. How was Union Hall?

If you missed them, unfortunately there are no dates laid out for The Parting Gifts in the near term, but Reigning Sound is playing the Bell House in Brooklyn on Feb 18th. Tickets are on sale for what appears to be their only scheduled show at the moment

Reigning Sound can be heard on that Nolan Strong tribute compilation called Daddy Rockin' Strong: A Tribute to Nolan Strong & the Diablos that also features contributions from Mark Sultan, Dirtbombs, A-Bones (whose member played with Yo La Tengo this week), Wreckless Eric & Amy Rigby (who both also played with Yo La Tengo this week), Gentleman Jesse & His Men, and others. Pick up a copy.

The Ettes played NYC two days before The Parting Gifts hit Maxwell's, supporting The Greenhornes at Bowery Ballroom on 11/30. The band currently has one upcoming show: January 16 at Pour House Music Hall in Raleigh, NC.

The Parting Gifts videos from Maxwell's and other recent vids of The Ettes and Reigning Sound are below...

Continue reading "The Parting Gifts played shows, Reigning Sound playing one"

The National

If there's a Hanukkah equivalent of the Grinch, they're probably relieved that last night, Wednesday, December 8th, was the final night of Hanukkah and the final night of Yo La Tengo Hanukkah shows. Those in attendance last night were treated to an opening set by a local band called The National and comedian Marc Maron. Frequent YLT collaborators Bruce Bennett (of the A-Bones) and Gil Divine were special guests during the encore, and Hamish Kilgour of the Clean sat in most of the night on guitar.

Here's the final tally:

12/1 - M. Ward, Todd Barry, Nash Kato
12/2 - The Parting Gifts, Jim Gaffigan, members of The Feelies
12/3 - Jeff Tweedy, Eugene Mirman & Kid Congo Powers
12/4 - Syl Johnson, Jon Glaser, Peter Wolf & Ira's mom
12/5 - Mission of Burma & Wyatt Cenac
12/6 - Mofungo, Amy Rigby, Wreckless Eric, Mikael Jorgensen, Tara Key, Gil Divine & Eugene Mirman
12/7 - Bonnie Prince Billy, Kurt Braunohler & Kristen Schaal & Nels Cline
12/8 - The National, Marc Maron, Hamish Kilgour, Bruce Bennett, Gil Divine
YKT's 12/8 setlist is below...

Continue reading "The National & Marc Maron opened for Yo La Tengo (and Hanukkah is over)"

Yo La

As hinted, posted and speculated, Bonnie Prince Billy (who plays Town Hall tonight), Kristen Schaal, Kurt Braunohler and Nels Cline (who played LPR one night earlier) all joined Yo La Tengo at Maxwell's on the 7th night of Hanukkah. Full setlist below...

Continue reading "Bonnie Prince Billy & Nels Cline played w/ Yo La Tengo"

words and photos by Chris Gersbeck

Yo La Tengo

Last night was night six, and Yo La Tengo played their fifth night of Hanukkah shows on Sunday (12/5), with their eight night stay at Maxwell's quickly coming to an end. I can only imagine the amount of exhaustion that comes from planning and rehearsing these shows, though you'd never know it thanks to consistently great performances from Ira, James and Georgia.

The legendary Mission of Burma, who just may be the greatest long-running live act of all time, were tapped to open the night. Playing almost entirely new material, along with a slew of covers including the Buzzcocks' "I Don't Mind" and the Wipers' "Youth of America", Burma continue to prove that they're one of the few, if not only bands to reunite and still produce material as innovative as in their heyday. And maybe I just haven't seen them live in a while, but Roger Miller's new hairdo is fantastic. I'm looking forward to seeing them again in January.

Daily Show correspondent Wyatt Cenac was the comedian guest of the night and his act was well received by the crowd. Cenac's stories were at times a bit convoluted, but the payoffs were definitely worth it. Apparently he and fellow correspondent John Oliver have a show coming in 2011 to follow the Colbert Report, which makes perfect sense.

It's kind of amusing that Yo La Tengo opened with the somber and mesmeric "Green Arrow", considering how intense their set would later become. Tearing through "The Room Got Heavy", Richard Hell's "I'm Your Man", and ending with "Mushroom Cloud of Hiss", Yo La's songs often collapsed into long, droning swells of feedback. Adding to the noise collage was Burma's tape-looper (and Shellac bassist) Bob Weston, who was sitting in with the band for the night, albeit from the soundboard. Manipulating YLT's vocals, guitars and percussion throughout, Weston added that unique quality that has become synonymous with Mission of Burma's sound.

All of this lent itself well to the encore, first with Roger Miller returning on organ to perform Jonathan Richman's "Astral Plane" with WFMU auction winner Jason Kaufman on vocals (who did a great job), then with MoB drummer Pete Prescott singing one of his and Weston's Volcano Suns songs (Weston came out to play bass on this one). Before long, Clint Conley also returned to the stage on guitar to perform as the supergroup I personally have dubbed "Yo La Burma". To say it was incredible to watch is an understatement. It's not too often you get to see things like this happen in such an intimate venue, so if you get the chance to check out any of the remaining shows, definitely do so.

More pictures from the fifth of eight crazy nights at Maxwell's are below.

Continue reading "Yo La Tengo, Mission of Burma & Wyatt Cenac @ Maxwell's (pics from the fifth night of Chanukah)"

Mofungo

"We regarded music as a form of socializing, and took a resolutely unprofessional approach. Only a few of us in the scene ever imagined becoming professional musicians. We were the stepchildren of the first generation of no wave bands (a term Chris Nelson coined in the New York Rocker, where I was a part-time photographer) like Mars, Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, D.N.A. and the Contortions. We took pride in our facile and self-taught instrumental licks, and played music that was often hookless and even atonal. Our influences were broad, including jazz, African music, commercial jingles, and the English punk movement, especially the artier aspects. We avidly followed bands like the Fall (in its earliest incarnations), Wire, and X-Ray Spex, all of whom we were able to see at CBGB.

It was an era when the East Village was not the tourist trap it has become. There were few restaurants open in the evening, and nearly every hipster you saw on the street was carrying an instrument. Everyone was either in a band, or was a DJ or rock critic. Music was featured at loft parties, festivals, and impromtu neighborhood clubs. One regular Mofungo gig was on the roof of my building at 630 East 14th Street, where we threw a party every Fourth of July. We also formed an alliance with Chain Gang, a punk outfit from the Bronx, whose members made a living driving cabs and self-released a series of amazing singles."
[The inside story of Mofungo by Robert Sietsama]

As prophesized, Mofungo opened for Yo La Tengo on the sixth night of Hanukkah at Maxwell's in Hoboken. I have no idea when the last time the No Wave band (if ever) got back together, but according to the above-quoted article, they played their last show in June 1992 at CBGB. And Amy Rigby and Wreckless Eric were in fact special guests, as were Mikael Jorgensen of Wilco and Tara Key of Antietam, and Gil Divine. Eugene Mirman returned as comedy opener. Ira made the mix disc. And they do it again tonight. Last night's setlist below...

Continue reading "it was Mofungo (Yo La Tengo Hanukkah night 6 setlist) "