Yo La Tengo, Fakebook

Jay Ruttenberg

By Jay Ruttenberg

on 04.22.11 in Reviews
Rock band as rock fans: the ultimate indie statement.

In recent years, Yo La Tengo has spent its eight nights of Hanukkah onstage at Maxwell's, the venerable rock club in the band's native Hoboken. For fans of this long-running indie powerhouse, the shows offer an increasingly rare chance to catch the band in an intimate setting. The most memorable part of the concerts, however, is inevitably the set-list's liberal allotment of covers penned by Jewish artists — Jonathan Richman, Marc Bolan, even (gulp) Billy Joel. Yo La Tengo is certainly nobody's idea of a cover band, but their college DJ's enthusiasm for left-of-the-dial pop is insurmountable. Fakebook, a 1990 disc comprised predominantly of cover songs (Holy Modal Rounders, the Scene Is Now, NRBQ, the most definitely not-Jewish Cat Stevens) is perhaps the group's most charming album. This is rock band as rock fan — the ultimate indie statement.