No band has ever balanced dreamy against disorderly with the casual precision of Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley. From the start, Kaplan's guitar squall mooted accusations that the pair's murmured vocals were bland, while the melodies borne on that swollen feedback were warm, intimate, rarely indulgent. After bassist James McNew signed on as permanent third-wheel in '93, the band compensated for a gradual decrease in dissonance by emphasizing the groove implicit in their flat post-V.U. beat. And yet, collected on the first two discs of this career summation, their most indelible stand-alone pop moments — from the starstruck "Tom Courtenay" to the lovelorn "Sugar Cube" to the dead-serious-but-not-earnest "Nuclear War" ("You can kiss your ass goodbye") — sound unexpectedly of a piece. As, in fact, do the more weirdly transcendent bits consigned to disc three, particularly an unforgiving assault on Fleetwood Mac's "Dreams."
By Glenn Kenny on 01.14.14 in Icons
If ever there was a rock 'n' roll icon who needed no introduction, Bruce Springsteen — who got his nickname "The Boss" because, from very early on, he was the guy who made sure the band got paid — is surely that guy. As...
By Francis Chung on 12.08.14 in Live in Pictures
Photos of Yo La Tengo in Washington, D.C.
By Andrew Parks on 10.21.14 in News
"Anyone who ever said they liked our older records more than Painful," Yo La Tengo frontman Ira Kaplan said at Ohio University last year, "I just told them they're wrong." He won't have to say much soon; not w...
By Eric Ducker on 09.29.14 in Features
"We figure, if people like rock 'n' roll music, they'll like this, 'cause it says 'rock 'n' roll' on it."