The Null Device
Posts matching tags 'yo la tengo'
The Null Device's top 8 records of 2003:
- 8. Yo La Tengo - Summer Sun. A nicely laid-back collection of grooves from Yo La Tengo, and more than a worthy follow-up to And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out.
- 7. Martin L. Gore - Counterfeit2. Covers of acts including Nick Cave, the Velvet Underground and others, done in glitchy, electronic fashion, with the characteristic Depeche Mode formula of aching humanity and cold electronics. Note: the Australian release is corrupt; the US release isn't.
- 6. Ninetynine - Receiving the Sounds of Science Fiction EP. A five-track taster of their upcoming album, available only through a singles club in the US. Has some good new tracks, though I still think they shouldn't have taken the guitar line out of San Pedro.
- 5. The Postal Service - Give Up. Indie synth-pop from Seattle; intelligent and well arranged, even if some of the love ballads may be a bit too perky.
- 4. Radiohead - Hail To The Thief. This could possibly have been album of the year, or close to, had it not been for EMI deciding to release only defective versions in most markets (the US being an exception). In any case, the set of MP3s leaked onto the internet prior to release was actually slightly better than the released version (for example, The Gloaming lost its third verse before making it to CD). NOTE: The Null Device does not advocate violating copyright laws.
- 3. Belle & Sebastian - Dear Catastrophe Waitress. The Glaswegian indie-pop collective's latest album, produced by Trevor Horn, and bouncing all over the place, from rock to pop to retro. A bit fey in places, but then again, you'd sort of expect that.
- 2. Minimum Chips - Gardenesque. Three tracks they recorded for SBS and a longish studio arrangement. Good, if a bit short. Maybe one of these years they'll record a full-length album?
- 1. Spearmint - My Missing Days. Spearmint probably have the best songwriting of any English indie band these days. Their songs are very much about subjective experience, and don't confine themselves to the usual romantic-relationship clichés that sell well, but cover other things, like accumulating too much stuff as one goes through life, or the process of really getting into a book. Their music is pretty good too, reminiscent in places of Pulp or someones.
(A number of albums were disqualified for not being available to the public in non-defective CD format; being available on import from the United States or similar was sufficient. These include albums by David Bridie, The Thrills and Client.)
Tonight I saw Yo La Tengo at the Corner Hotel. First up were the supports, Decoder Ring, who also played at the Mogwai gig last year; this time they seemed to have more electronics and sequenced synths in the mix, sounding somewhere between (post-)rock instrumentals and some kind of post-Kraftwerk electro; they were pretty good.
Then, after a DJ break, Yo La Tengo came on, and played for some two hours (including two encores), starting off with their cover of Sun Ra's Nuclear War, and going on to Let's Save Tony Orlando's House (one of my favourite YLT songs). They swapped instruments a fair bit, playing four keyboards, two drum kits (plus bongos!) and numerous guitars (which were handed to them by a guitar tech/valet offstage), not to mention some 2- and 3-part vocal harmonies. Ira (the guy in the striped short) stole the show in places with his antics, rocking out on the guitar, thrashing it about, and pretending to be about to throw it, though carefully not letting go. (Perhaps he was only thrashing it about in an ironic sense?)
Anyway, they played a few quieter, country-tinged numbers (Today Is The Day, Tears Are In Your Eyes and Take Care near the end), some of their more upbeat pieces (Season Of The Shark, a great rendition of How To Make A Baby Elephant Float (dig those chords!), Moonrock Mambo, and Georgia vs. Yo La Tengo at the very end), and a few rock numbers (including one off their Christmas EP -- the one with the artwork by Daniel Clowes). During the second encore, whilst taking a request, they said that they didn't like to repeat songs from the previous night; given that they played most of their new album tonight, I wonder exactly which ones last night's audiences were treated to.
Anyway, next week it's Interpol, which should also be good.
"It's just a twisted mass of black-frame glasses and ironic Girl Scouts T-shirts in there.": 37 Record Store Clerks Feared Dead In Yo La Tengo Concert Disaster in Athens, Ga. Rescue workers are still sifting for the wreckage for copies of Magnet, heated debates over the definition of emo and other signs of life.