Yo La Tengo

WIN STUFF: Win tix to see Belle and Sebastian with Yo La Tengo BEFORE THEY GO ON SALE!


Merriweather Post Pavilion's summer schedule is shaping up to be quite spectacular. Recent show announcements already have us daydreaming about enjoying warm summer nights on Merriweather's lawn, and their most recent news has us yearning for that even more. Now we're looking forward to Belle and Sebastian with Yo La Tengo on Friday, July 12!

It's been two and a half years since Belle and Sebastian's most recent studio album, so their full-force return has been met with much excitement from fans. Earlier this month, Pitchfork released an hour-long documentary on the band's 1996 breakthrough album If You're Feeling Sinister, then the Scottish indie poppers announced a North American tour. Also in the works is a compilation of B-sides and rare tracks entitled The Third Eye Centre, which will be released this June, and a ninth studio album, to be recorded following the upcoming tour.

Yo La Tengo has also created a good amount of buzz this year with the release of their newest album, Fade, and extensive touring. (We're especially excited that they're on the Solid Sound bill!) 

Want to see these two awesome bands at Merriweather for free? Before the show even goes on sale, we're giving away a pair of lawn tickets! Here's how you can enter to win:

1. Leave a comment below, using a valid email address, telling us your favorite Belle and Sebastian album and why.

2. Retweet this or tweet the following:

I'm entering to win tickets to see Belle and Sebastian with Yo La Tengo at Merriweather Post Pavilion! #BandSMPP @ChunkyGlasses

3. Reblog this tumblr post AND send us a tumblr message with your email address so that we can contact you if you win.

The lucky winner will be chosen randomly and notified TONIGHT, so make sure you enter right away!

Remember: Even if you don't win, tickets for the show go on sale this Friday, February 22 at 10 a.m. through Ticketfly

REVIEW: Yo La Tengo - Fade

While Hoboken’s Yo La Tengo has been around for almost 30 years, it’s been 15 since the release of the seminal, I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One. Ever since that genre-hopping mix tape disguised as an album came out in 1997, the trio of Ira Kaplan, his wife Georgia Hubley, and James McNew have continued to release consistent, satisfying releases about every three years. It’s not a bad thing to know what you’re going to get from these encyclopedic minds of rock -- albums filled with nods to favorite bands or songs, lauded by indie critics while getting overlooked by the mainstream, albums that upon release have every fan asking where it stands in relation to the total catalog. Enter Fade, their 14th entry into the “what does it all mean” derby, and fans are once again left with something truly meaningful, if a bit melancholy around the edges.

TRACKING: Yo La Tengo - "Before We Run"

SOUNDS LIKE: Are you really asking that question? Really?
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The legendary Hoboken trio give us another taste of their upcoming full-length

After giving us a few "Stupid Things" to mull over since September, indie stalwarts Yo La Tengo finally announced the details of their upcoming 13th album, Fade, to the masses.  Due in January, Fade is said to be the most cohesive effort yet from Georgia, Ira, and James, a set of 10 songs more concise than they usually are (only two songs over six minutes!)  It's apparently on point with two of their classic modern day masterpieces, 1997's mixtape inspiration I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, and 2000's languid and subtle opus And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, equally melodic, noisy, elegant.

With said announcement came another new track, the gorgeous album ending "Before We Run".  Georgia takes the lead here, her voice as angelic and plaintive as its ever been, barely changing at all since she started singing songs on May I Sing With Me 20 years.  Starting with a cascading beat, Georgia is eventually joined in on harmonies with husband Ira, only to be lead out by an orchestra of strings and horns as the album fades in to the sun that's meeting the horizon.

We'll see how the other songs lead in to this epic finale when Fade hits stores on January 15th via Matador.  A deluxe LP version is available for preorder, which includes a 7" featuring their take on songs byTodd Rundgren ("I Saw The Light") and Times New Viking ("Move To California") along with a download of a bonus 11-minute song.

TRACKING: Yo La Tengo - "Stupid Things"

SOUNDS LIKE: No one but Yo La Tengo, but ok there's a pretty motorik Can-esque beat in there
WHY YOU SHOULD CARE: The legendary Hoboken trio drops a new single ahead of their next full-length

At this point in their career, no one can come close to emulating the sounds of Yo La Tengo.  Since 1985, when they started out playing Kinks meets Feelies guitar pop, to 1995 when they would begin to put out the records that defined indie rock, to 2005 by which point they had cemented themselves as possibly the elder statesmen of their genre, no artist has touched them.  They have done nothing but pay their respects and do their best to be as good, never better, than Yo La Tengo.

It's been three years since Popular Songs, and the band spent the summer recording in Chicago with Tortoise's John McEntire.  The finished product is due in January, but we get our first taste this week in the form of the single "Stupid Things".  It still is built on your standard Tengo foundation: Ira Kaplan's beauitful guitar improvisations delicately play out as James McNew brings in a fuzzy bass line and Georgia Hubley follows right behind with a krautrock beat to carry the tune.  Kaplan's vocals, his smooth warbled by effects coo, eventually makes up its mind to take a back seat to the musicianship these three have down pact. Eventually there's a brief appearance by a set of strings that sound as much real as they do synthesized, quickly leaving to let Kaplan do what he's always done best: just play the first thing that comes to his mind.  That first thing is always the best thing, and at this point in his career, he doesn't have to think about it.

Most exciting is that once you get used to this version through the rest of the year, the album version promises a completely different vocal.  Add that to the fact that they're working with a different producer for the first time since Electro-Pur-a, and you have the most anticipated Yo La Tengo album yet.

Yo La Tengo - "Stupid Things"