It's the most wonderful time of the year...Yo La Tengo's annual Hanukkah run, which brings indie rock, surprise guests, covers and jokes to Bowery Ballroom for eight straight nights. Ira, Georgia and James kicked off the 2019 season on Sunday night (1/22), and for their main set, they were joined by Fred Armisen on a second drumkit and guitarist William Tyler. A cover of The Beatles' "From Me to You" -- here slightly rewritten for the holidays as "From Me to Jews" -- opened the night and their set included "Swing for Life," "Here You Are," "Let's Save Tony Orlando's House," and more. Later, they brought out Steve Gunn, who joined them for the final stretch of the set which included a cover of The Grateful Dead's "Wharf Rat," "Tom Courtenay" and noisy guitar workout "Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind."

For the encore, YLT and Fred came back out, and then introduced punk legend Greg Hetson (Circle Jerks, Redd Kross, Bad Religion) to cover Circle Jerks' "Live Fast Die Young" and Redd Kross' "S&M Party" (technically Red Cross, the song dates from before they had to change their name), plus two Ramones songs, "Chinese Rocks" and "Carbona Not Glue." Then they brought out comedian Jon Glaser, who had opened the night under the pseudonym Man in the Green Mask and here was technically Jon from Delocated (you know him by his ski mask), to sing Christmas classic "White Christmas."

In addition to Glaser (we mean The Man in the Green Mask), the night's openers were Tyler and Gunn, who will together be playing three nights at Union Pool in February before heading out on tour with Mary Lattimore. Their set included a cover of The Chills' "Pink Frost" and an appearance by their friend Alexis Powell. Video of "Pink Frost" is below.

The night's DJ was Repro Man, Duane Harriott made Sunday night's mix CD and all proceeds benefited GLAD.

You can check out pictures from the whole night in the gallery above and and Sunday's setlist, via Jesse Jarnow's Frank & Earthy blog, and videos below. Seven more shows to go and tickets are sold out except for Tuesday and Wednesday (falling on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day may have something to do with it). If you're hoping to go one of the other nights, it's worth checking that ticket link periodically, as there are often tickets released throughout the week.

Yo La Tengo - Hanukkah Night 1 @ Bowery Ballroom 12/22/2019 (via Frank & Earthy)
From Me To You (The Beatles, sung as “From Me to Jews”)
Here You Are
Stockholm Syndrome
Let’s Save Tony Orlando’s House
The Point Of It
Swing For Life
Tears Are Your In Yours (guitar instrumental version)
Shades of Blue
Flying Lesson (Hot Chicken #1) (with Steve Gunn on guitar)
Wharf Rat (Grateful Dead) (with SG on keyboard)
Today Is The Day (fast) (with SG on guitar)
Tom Courtenay (with SG on guitar)
Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind (with SG on guitar)

Live Fast Die Young (Circle Jerks) (with Greg Hetson on guitar)
S&M Party (Red Cross) (with GH)
Chinese Rocks (Dee Dee Ramone/Richard Hell) (with GH)
Carbona Not Glue (The Reamones) (with GH)
White Christmas (Irving Berlin) (with “Jon” on vocals)


photos by Kate Hoos

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