Cannot recall how this came about at all, but our show at Portland’s Crystal Ballroom on this date eight years ago included a cellist.  Amy Mitchell must have written to us offering her services, but I can find no evidence, cyber or otherwise.  In any case, by the time the night was over, she’d played six songs with us, including the one and only live performance of the Roy Wood-inspired part on “Watch Out for Me, Ronnie”  and 2006’s lone rendition of “Attack on Love.”  So I guess we thought it went well–wish I remembered it!


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Spanning the world

It took almost the entire year, but I believe this post will feature our first emoji!  (Unless, of course–and this is very fucking possible–it’s not actually an emoji, and I’ve just committed some hopelessly out-of-touch Internet Is A Series Of Tubes-like faux pas.)

Night two of our muy bueno visit to Buenos Aires and Santiago is there: I can tell that in October the 15th of 2010 YLT played in Buenos Aires, Argentina and that day my former girlfriend moved in with me after a rough period of long distance relationship.   It’s funny because today I’ve been thinking a lot about her and now I run into this 😀  That was a hell of a night, full of love, hope and music.  A pity it didn’t work out.  But that’s another story. . . .

Two years earlier, it’s another two-night run, this time in Taipei.  We play “Batman” for the recently deceased Neal Hefti.  And in 1987, we make a rare Hoboken appearance at someplace that’s not Maxwell’s, at a benefit for local fire victims.  Speed the Plough/Trypes/Yung Wu’s John Baumgartner sits in on organ and accordion for our short set.  Tune in next time . . . if there is a next time.






Love is in the (Buenos) Aires

Our second tour of South America was a mixed bag.  Stops in Chile and Brazil–the highlights of our 2001 trip–were completely dissatisfying festivals.  But fortunately we were not lied to in song: The best was yet to come, specifically two shows in Buenos Aires, the first one four years ago today.  There’s a little awkwardness when we arrive and find La Trastienda wallpapered in sponsorship.  Eventually, we compromise by agreeing to whatever they want to do so long as it’s off the stage.  The audience soon turns that into a hazy memory (truly: I’m thinking the sponsor was Coca-Cola, but can’t be sure).  During the quiet part of the set, we take a request and perform an impromptu two-acoustic-guitars version of “Deeper Into Movies”; the crowd is not as persuasive when they start ba-ba-ba-ing for “You Can Have It All” during the encore (except for those who came back the next night when we played it).  Perhaps best of all, our second show is on the eve of the day of respect for cultural diversity.  Our evening flight home allows us time to have a fantastic lunch and then take advantage of a parade route that is mere blocks from our hotel, marveling as indigenous Argentinians march by in eye-popping regalia.


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Extra Painful


On December 2nd, Yo La Tengo will release Extra Painful, a deluxe 2XLP/2XCD reissue of their classic 1993 Painful LP with a whopping 12 bonus tracks (plus many more via download coupon), in celebration of their 30th anniversary as a band.

Pre-orders via the Matador store that correctly answer a trivia question will be eligible to win tickets to the Town Hall shows and a copy of every in-print YLT vinyl album.

1. DoubleLP + 7″ + download coupon with extra tracks
2. Double CD + download coupon with extra tracks
3. Digital release is regular and bonus disc tracks (does NOT include download coupon bonus tracks)

Disc 1: The original Painful album (not remastered)
Disc 2: Extra Painful – the bonus tracks
7″: “Shaker” / “For Shame Of Doing Wrong” – exact reproduction of original single
Download coupon: all the album tracks + 15 extra bonus tracks
Packaging: Double LP + 7″ (in picture sleeve) with ephemera, photos, reproduction of original ‘band-aid’ sticker, the first ‘YLT Gazette’ in 14 years, liner notes by Gerard Cosloy and the band

Disc 1: As on vinyl
Disc 2: As on vinyl
Download coupon: includes the 2 tracks from the “Shaker” 7″ as well as the 15 extra bonus tracks
Packaging includes a booklet with all the artwork in the vinyl package

Track listings:


1. Big Day Coming
2. From A Motel 6
3. Double Dare
4. Superstar-Watcher
5. Nowhere Near
6. Sudden Organ
7. A Worrying Thing
8. I Was A Fool Beside You For Too Long
9. The Whole Of The Law
10. Big Day Coming
11. I Heard You Looking

Extra Painful:

1. Nowhere Near (demo)
2. From A Motel 6 (live acoustic)
3. Tunnel Vision (unreleased instrumental demo)
4. Sudden Organ (demo)
5. Smart Window (unreleased Painful session)
6. Big Day Coming (live acoustic)
7. Slow Learner (unreleased demo)
8. Double Dare (demo)
9. A Worrying Thing (demo)
10. I Heard You Looking (live)

Shaker 7″:

A: Shaker
B: For Shame Of Doing Wrong [8-Track Version – the CD single contained a different version which is on the download coupon]

Goin’ on a holiday

Nineteen years ago today, as Yo La Tengo and Run On make our way west across the U.S., Rick Brown and Sue Garner celebrate their sixth wedding anniversary–which if memory serves is traditionally the fabric softener anniversary–at Sudsy Malone’s in Cincinnati.   (Coincidentally, we’d be playing in nearby Newport, Kentucky on Georgia and my anniversary just a few years later.)  Across the street from Sudsy’s was Bogart’s, where we played with Superchunk in 1993, which I mention because that’s the lineup at the El Rey in Los Angeles in 1998, at a party to launch Mr. Show’s fourth season.  The two bands merge, as it were, for Peter Frampton’s “Show Me the Way,” the chorus rewritten as “I want you Mr. Show me the way/ Bob and Dave/ I want you . . . now on Monday.”  There would be no fifth season, so the sound mix must’ve been subpar.  (The day before we recorded the theme from The Simpsons, as heard in the closing credits of “D’oh-in’ in the Wind”–during the session Dan Castellaneta very graciously phoned one of my brothers as Homer to wish him a happy birthday.)



(Tally) Ho, Adrian

Our swing state tour draws to a close 10 years ago today in, dare I say it, spectacular fashion at Philadelphia‘s First Unitarian Church.  Sue Garner and Dave Schramm, who began the tour with us, are back, as is Todd Barry.  David Kilgour is the lone holdover from the previous shows in North Carolina, and joining in for one night only are Danny Ray Thompson and the late Tyrone Hill from the Arkestra, and Calvin Johnson.  In addition to singing four songs (among them Chris Stamey’s “The Summer Sun“), Calvin makes an eloquent speech, putting into words that which we’ve at best implied in the previous four weeks.  Danny Ray and Tyrone are a revelation as always (and yes, that’s something of an oxymoron, but it’s true nonetheless), elevating songs they’ve never heard before and will never hear again.  It’s the last night of tour, so we ask David to sing his Top 20 hit, “Tally Ho!”