The blossoming of Yo La Tengo has been a love story from the very beginning. Ira Kaplan met Georgia Hubley at a concert, and together they began making music.
A few years later they married, and after going through several bassists, the two found James McNew, who’s been rocking with the band for the past decade.
The trio from Hoboken, N.J., that will play at Twilight this Tuesday, bears a striking resemblance to the famous ’60s rock group The Velvet Underground. They are so frequently compared to Velvet that YLT even portrayed them in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol.
Though the band’s style has become jazzier over time, they still play music deeply rooted in rock ‘n’ roll.In the past 20 years, the band has produced 19 full-length albums, not to mention countless EPs and B-sides. Their most recent album, Summer Sun, was released early this year.
Summer Sun has less of the rock ‘n’ roll sound than their previous albums, such as 1993’s Painful and 1996’s Ride the Tiger.
The band said they wanted to make a “fake jazz” album this time around.
They came through with an excellent record, and another EP is on the way this October.
The phrase “Yo La Tengo” is Spanish for “I’ve got it.” The band has definitely got something that other bands don’t, though it’s hard to explain exactly what.
Maybe it’s the group’s musical references to their favorite candy bars, with song titles such as “How to Make a Baby Elephant Float” and the abundance of musical talent that put them in their own league.
The group represents independent music at its finest. With their newest album, YLT proves they can play more than just rock.
The band’s sound is maturing, but it hasn’t lost the heart and the humor that make them who they are.
Opening for Yo La Tengo will be The Aislers Set. The San Francisco-based band has a similar sound to that of YLT and will complement the show well.
The band mixes speedy rock and soft ballads, creating a smooth blend of music.
The band’s third album, How I Learned to Write Backwards, came out this February and showcases the talents of writer/ producer/ vocalist Amy Linton.
The Aislers Set is an amazing group that hasn’t yet received the recognition they deserve.