Yo La Tengo's sold-out 2018 Hanukkah run at Bowery Ballroom starts Sunday (12/2) and runs through December 9. An annual tradition that took a few years off after Maxwell's closed, and started again in 2017 at Bowery, each show of the festive eight-night residency features a surprise musical opener and a comedian, and there are almost always other surprise guests who join Ira, Georgia and James for their main set. There's also a mix CD at the merch table made by a guest curator.
While we have no idea who the openers might be, It's always fun to try and guess. Artists in town this week include J Mascis, Mark Kozelek, Steve Earle, Lee Ranaldo, ESG, Sun Ra Arkestra (who played last year), Parquet Courts, Dean Wareham, Mary Margaret O'Hara, Cat Power, and Cloud Nothings. Other possibilities: The Feelies, Come, Fugazi offshoot The Messthetics,
As for comedians, this year's Hanukkah runs concurrent with the Janelle James Comedy Festival (formerly the Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival), so Eugene, David Cross, Catherine Cohen, Nore Davis, Liza Treyger, Matteo Lane, could all be possibilities, as could folks like old friends Todd Barry, Jon Glaser, and John Hodgman, fellow stripe shirt lover Chris Gethard, or Butterboy's Jo Firestone or Maeve Higgins, or Mike Birbiglia (who is on Broadway), John Waters.
Last year's openers included Superchunk (who came up just for the show), Tweedy, Nick Lowe, John Doe, Jim Jarmusch, Half Japanese, and more, with comedians Aparna Nancherla, John Hodgman, Fred Armisen, Eugene Mirman, Jon Benjamin, Neil Hamburger and more.
What are your guesses?