[Photo from night one courtesy of EarDrumNYC]
That life is short is one of those well-worn cliches. It’s also true. Knowing that this would be the only Yo La Tengo Hanukkah show I would see this year – and knowing that YLT frontman Ira Kaplan might not have been able to make it at all – that old cliche came to mind in full force. This is a band that consistently holds nothing back – a band that, whenever its career is over, will wind up its run with no regrets. The same can be said of this Hanukkah run at Maxwell’s, which found classic acts like Pussy Galore and The Trypes reunited, showed off Lee Ranaldo’s post-Sonic Youth project, and found critical darlings like the Sea and Cake and Kurt Vile opening.
The openers are always a big part of the story with these shows, but Yo La Tengo rightfully remains the focus. Once again, they delivered a set that was by turns fiercely jammy and rocking, quiet and pensive, and funny. And as with virtually every Hanukkah set they play, it was full of surprises and special guests. Continuing the tradition of covering Jewish musicians, after a solemn opener of “As the Hour Grows Late,” the band moved on to Bob Dylan’s “I Threw It All Away”, followed by a nearly ten-minute guitar-freakout version of Velvet Underground’s “Heroin,” that featured Eleventh Dream Day’s Rick Rizzo ripping it up on guitar. Though still early in the night, that could easily be my top highlight. On the other hand, it’s hard to argue with the sprawling sequence of “From A Motel 6” into two Beatles numbers “Flying” and “It’s All Too Much” each featuring The Trypes. But then, if you were Ira, you’d probably pick the song that closed out the eight-night session – his mother, Marilyn, performing Bob Hilliard and Lee Pockriss’ “My Little Corner of the World”. Ms. Kaplan and her son can now check another item off of their bucket list. And so do we.
nyctaper and I recorded this set with four microphones and soundboard feed running into two clock-synced decks, providing rich, fantastic sound. Enjoy!
Thanks to Jesse Jarnow of The Village Voice and Frank & Earthy for the setlist and his outstanding coverage of all eight nights. Also, our final YLT recording of 2011, the December 24 show, will be posted Wednesday.
Stream “Heroin [Velvet Underground]”:
Stream “From A Motel 6”:
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Yo La Tengo
Hoboken, NJ USA
Digital Master Matrix Recording
Hosted exclusively at nyctaper.com
Recorded by nyctaper and acidjack
Produced by acidjack
Soundboard + DPA 4021>Sound Devices USBPre2 + Neumann KM150 >> 2x Edirol R-44 [Oade Concert Mod] (decks clock synced via the USBPre2)>6x24bit/48kHz WAV>Audition (mix down, light EQ, downsample to 44.1kHz)>Audacity (set fades, tracking, amplify, downsample to 16bit)>FLAC ( level 8 )
Tracks [Total Time 1:40:23]
02 As The Hour Grows Late*?
03 I Threw It All Away [Bob Dylan]*
04 Heroin [Velvet Underground]^
05 I Should Have Known Better?
06 Swing For Life
08 Liz Beth [Eleventh Dream Day]^?
09 Big Day Coming (acoustic)^
11 The Empty Pool [Yung Wu]%
12 From A Motel 6> %
13 Flying [The Beatles]>#
14 It’s All Too Much [The Beatles]>#
15 I Heard You Looking!
16 Take Care [Alex Chilton]
17 [encore break]
18 Blue Line Swinger
20 My Little Corner of the World [Bob Hilliard, Lee Pockriss]@
* with Rick Rizzo on guitar and John Baumgartner on accordion
^ with Rick Rizzo
% with Glenn Mercer
# with the Trypes
! with Glenn Mercer, John Baumgartner and Stan Demeski
@ with Marilyn Kaplan on vocals