Tag Archives: Yo La Tengo

Song-A-Day: February 1

Welcome to February everybody, these are the moments when we realize seemingly meaningful statistics like how 2014 is already 1/12th over by some measure. Today’s Song-A-Day is going to tie back to Yo La Tengo because I found such a joy in learning the story about how they chose their band name earlier today (I’m a sucker for stuff like that), and thus our chosen song for today will be by the band and off of their album I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One. The terrific “Sugarcube”

Whatever you want from me
Whatever you want I’ll do
Try to squeeze a drop of blood
From a sugarcube

Try to be more assured
Try to be more right there
Try to be less uptight
Try to be more aware

Whatever you want from me
Is what I want to do for you
Sweeter than a drop of blood
From a sugarcube

And though I like to act the part of being tough
I crumble like a sugarcube for you

Whatever you want from me
Whatever you want I’ll do
And I will try

Whatever you want from me
Whatever you want I’ll do
Try to squeeze a drop of blood
Squeeze a drop of blood
From a sugarcane

How ‘Yo La Tengo’ Chose Their Band Name

I was browsing the wikipedia artist page for Yo La Tengo and came across this gem about how the band chose their name and how it relates to the 1962 New York Mets.

Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley formed the band as a husband/wife duo in 1984. They chose the name “Yo La Tengo” (Spanish for “I have it”; or referring to a female-gender object or person, also “I’ve Got Her”) in an effort to avoid any connotations in English. The name came from a baseball anecdote. During the 1962 season, New York Mets Center Fielder Richie Ashburn and VenezuelanshortstopElio Chacón found themselves colliding in the outfield. When Ashburn went for a catch, he would scream, “I got it! I got it!” only to run into Chacón, who spoke only Spanish. Ashburn learned to yell, “¡Yo la tengo! ¡Yo la tengo!” instead. In a later game, Ashburn happily saw Chacón backing off. He relaxed, positioned himself to catch the ball, and was instead run over by left fielder Frank Thomas, who understood no Spanish and had missed a team meeting that proposed using the words “¡Yo la tengo!” as a way to avoid outfield collisions.[2] After getting up, Thomas asked Ashburn, “What the hell is a Yellow Tango?”.[3]   -Wikipedia page for Yo La Tengo

 

I love when I learn things like this about bands, any other awesome band name stories you know of? Tell in the comments

Connor’s Albums of the Year

22. Atoms for Peace- Amok

Thom Yorke and Flea jam out. Cool electronic vibes with a new Radiohead sound. Dank bass riffs. If you love Phish, this might be your #1, or #2 if Phish released an album this year.

21. Queens of the Stone Age – …Like Clockwork

7th grade me would’ve been a lot more pumped for this. It’s good experimental rock music. Nothing will beat Songs For the Deaf in my eyes, though this is an interesting take on the Queens’ sound. Rock on.

20. Earl Sweatshirt – Doris

I was hyped for this all summer, with “Whoa” and “Chum” having been out for a WHILE, it ended up being that those were two of the best songs on the album. Those are great songs that are hard to top, but I was hoping for more consistency. The song featuring Frank Ocean is sick though, and the “Centurion” beat is crazy. The rest is so-so in my opinion. The Earl Mixtape is better.
 

19. Yo La Tengo – Fade

This is really great and should probably be a lot higher on my list. It came out in the very beginning of the year. The vibe is mellow and melodic. This thing is endlessly listenable. I can’t see how anyone would dislike it. I’ve always enjoyed Yo La Tengo, but I’ve never been super passionate about them. That being said, I would recommend this to ALL

18. Owen – L’ami Du Peuple

Another solid release from Owen. My favorite song is “The Burial”, which is one of the few Owen songs not to feature an acoustic guitar. “Tonight, I’m a priest/ Shrouded in your quilt/ And you will see/ Truth in me/ So f***ing say something.” OOOohhhhh. “Who Cares” is great too.

17. The Story So Far – What You Don’t See

Pop/punk angsty songs about girls done right. I wish I was 15 again so I could get a girlfriend, get dumped, and listen to this all the time.
 

16. Nine Inch Nails – Hesitation Marks

I saw NIN with my dad last month. They were my favorite band as a youngling, and I still hold TR in a very high regard so this meant a whole lot to me. Hands down the best light show I’ve ever seen. You can check out footage here if you’d like. Unreal stuff. The music is leaning on electronica, but in a good way. Still \m/
 

15. Oneohtrix Point Never – R Plus Seven

This is weird stuff that sounds abrasive and terrible to most people I know. It’s all instrumental, experimental, synthy, electronic music. It can take you places though. I wish I could explain it better. This could easily be your nightmare. I think it’s incredibly interesting. Listen and let your thoughts wander.
 

14. Tim Hecker – Virgins

Very similar to Oneohtrix as far as genre and style are concerned, though the sound is very different. This was made with live instruments and manipulated later which makes for a very organic experimental sound. There are so many layers and things going on here. Enthralling. The first track sounds like the earth is ripping apart. Close your eyes and imagine%%*&!)@*&^^&^%%{}”{“}{}”}{}”}{“”{}”{}”}{}”}{}}{}”}}”:]
 

13. Volcano Choir – Repave

Justin Vernon does post-rock stuff. Same old cryptic lyrics that could be interpreted a bunch of different ways. Thumbs up. This is my favorite song from the album and the best music video of the year (besides “Wrecking Ball”)
 

12. Touche Amore – Is Survived By

You can feel the passion behind Jeremy Bolm’s voice as he screams every line. This album is about leaving something meaningful behind after you die. Congrats dude, cause you did.
 

11. The Dismemberment Plan – Uncanny Valley

The Dismemberment Plan will always have a special place in my heart. Emergency & I is one of my favorite albums ever. I was beyond psyched when they announced a new album and tour. Shoutout to Ted for seeing the show with me. They definitely have not lost any of their talent or songwriting ability, despite not having the same emotional overtones of depression, isolation etc. When bands reunite to make a new album, I’m always worried it’s going to suck based on countless examples. Not only did this not suck, it’s very good.

Continue reading Connor’s Albums of the Year

Kyle’s Best of 2013

2013 wasn’t an amazing year for music, but a lot of cool things did happen. There were artists who re-emerged on the scene in Daft Punk, My Bloody Valentine, Boards of Canada, and The Pixies, and then there was a movement headed by Daft Punk and Arcade Fire to try and revive disco in a modernized way. The reason for my semi-disappointment is that a lot of the artist’s efforts this year to set a new standard for their peers failed in my eyes to create something overly significant and lasting (with one exception). Motives aside, and favoritism thrown out the window, here are my top 25 albums to get released in 2013

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25. Of Montreal- Lousy With Sylvianbriar

Release Date: October 08, 2013

Grade: B

I’m really interested to know if this album’s stripped down and more accessible approach was a choice made by Barnes or his management. A part of me hates it because I view him as one of the most fascinating artists out there and really enjoy hearing what he creates when he tries to make electronic masterpieces, but Lousy With Sylvianbriar serves as a reminder to earlier Of Montreal days when he made his living off making pretty pop songs and displayed his thoughts in a less bizarre way.

Track Pick: “Triumph of Disintegration

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24. Thee Oh Sees- Floating Coffin

Release Date: April 16, 2013

Grade: B

One of the better noisy rock albums that came out this year, Thee Oh Sees is a band that must be an absolute blast to see live and tries to capture that energy on the album. When that does happen it’s an awesome thing to hear, but it happens inconsistently as interest tends to fade during the second half of the album, but there are some gems on it like the one suggested below in “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster”.

Track Pick: “Toe Cutter – Thumb Buster

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Afraid of Heights

23. Wavves- Afraid of Heights

Release Date: March 16, 2013

Grade: B

I like listening to Wavves because their music is fun, and that’s why Afraid of Heights gets mentioned here despite it’s struggle to be substantial. They can do much better than this and have shown potential to write interesting songs, but they haven’t quite gotten to their peak yet in my opinion and I’m hopeful that they do soon.

Track Pick: “Cop

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22. The National- Trouble Will Find Me

Release Date: May 17, 2013
Grade: B

The product was still good on Trouble Will Find Me, but it’s a difficult one to get inspired by because it sounds uninspired in comparison to the previous three releases. I do enjoy Berninger’s delivery and cadence in their music a lot though, and it appears that even a sub-par record by The National is a quality album when you compare it to it’s peers.

Track Pick: “Don’t Swallow the Cap

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peace-in-love-album-leak21. Peace- In Love

Release Date: March 25, 2013

Grade: B+

This was the debut album for the group and it was a great success by a lot of standards. Their sound has evolved already from their first EP, and In Love is a more consistent album than most bands will achieve in their entire discography, let alone on their debut. This group has a ton of potential but I still have some questions about which genre they ultimately gravitate towards, because they’re stuck in between pop and rock right now and that’s not a good place for them to be because they’re completely different approaches.

Track Pick: “California Daze

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Continue reading Kyle’s Best of 2013

Alt Rock Mixtape V.2

Back in November our Alt. Rock department compiled an Alternative Rock mix tape of our favorite songs that were currently in rotation. Because of the difficulty in compiling a good representation of our department in a small amount of songs, and the even more difficult challenge of making hard copies of the mix tape, we’ve used that experience as something to learn from. The changes this year for the mix tape are going to be that it’s only available on our blog(that makes this exclusive!) and that we release it four times a year.

And so we arrive at our first mix tape of 2013, this one’s representative of everything that has caught our attention so far that’s been released this year. Tune in to WCDB to stay up to date with all of the best new releases!

Continue reading Alt Rock Mixtape V.2