Category Archives: music

30 years on, YLT still cut the mustard

The word idiosyncratic seems a perfect fit for Yo La Tengo. Over 30+ years they’ve gone their own sweet way, garnered regular critical acclaim without huge commercial success, and built a devoted fan base who love them to bits.

And a sold out Komedia bustled with twentysomething hipster beards through to grizzled indie vets in their 60s, as the New Jersey trio delivered their endearing ‘freewheeling’ show, taking questions from the crowd in between their 14-song set.

Yo La Tengo Komedia 29 Aug 2018With a pared down semi-acoustic vibe, Ira and Georgia took it in turns on lead vocal, the latter playing a minimalist stand-up drum kit, the former switching guitars, with James McNew on bass and backing vocal.

As ever, there were covers aplenty from Them’s Gloria to Johnny Cash’s I Still Miss Someone, the Bonzos’ I Want To Be With You to the final encore of Daniel Johnston’s Speeding Motorcycle.

And YLT favorites peppered the rest, including Shaker, All Your Secrets, Big Day Coming and Here You Are. Plangent tunes, sweet harmonies and their delightfully off-kilter lyrical sensibilities all present and correct.

We also learned, from crowd questions, James once spilled a drink over the Kinks’ Dave Davies, Georgia talked to John Lennon by mistake, and if they hadn’t formed YLT they’d have liked to be in Sun Ra Arkestra, The Clean or Black Flag (whose Nervous Breakdown they gleefully raced through).

Oh, and Colman’s Mustard is always on their rider. Hot stuff.

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My top 25 albums from 2010

These are in no particular order, but are all albums that have floated my boat in the last 12 months …

It’s been an excellent year for music and while I can’t claim to have heard everything interesting that’s been released, these 25 cover a fair amount of ground and include some high quality stuff from the worlds of indie, rock, folk, gospel, pop, soul, Americana and electronica.

Many of these are available for download from eMusic.com which I have no qualms about recommending – it’s the best place for discovering new, interesting and often independent label music. Highly recommended.

The Suburbs – Arcade Fire
Teen Dream – Beach House
The Age of Adz – Sufjan Stevens
The Promise – Bruce Springsteen
Bang Goes The Knighthood – The Divine Comedy
Life , Death, Love and Freedom – John Mellencamp
I Learned the Hard Way – Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings
The ArchAndroid – Janelle Monae
Praise and Blame – Tom Jones
It’s What I’m Thinking Part One – Badly Drawn Boy
The Besnard Lakes – The Besnard Lakes
Losing Sleep – Edwyn Collins
Go – Jonsi
Magic Chairs – Efterklang
Ship of Light – Husky Rescue
The Winter of Mixed Drinks – Frightened Rabbit
Heaven is Whenever – The Hold Steady
Sleep Mountain – The Kissaway Trail
July Flame – Laura Veirs
Songs for the New Depression – Loudon Wainwright III
Beachcomber’s Windowsill – Stornoway
Forecast – The Old Dance School
High Violet – The National
Pictures – The Len Price 3
The Longshot – Megson

Agree? Disagree? Let me know what you think – and your recommendations that have passed me by …

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