July 18, 2003

Hi everybody. Sorry it’s been so long since our last update, but you know how inconvenient this whole internet thing can be. We’ve been on tour pretty much non-stop since we last wrote. Who knew it’d be so much fun? Who knew Gilberto Gil wore such nice shoes? Who knew Hamish was the older Kilgour? Who knew about all those Swedish drinking songs? Who knew Cyril Jordan knew his own songs a little better than Richard Meltzer knew his? Who knew we’d get to meet one of Dow Jones & the Industrials? Boise–who knew? Who knew Icelandic bus drivers hated pants? Who knew the Nets would sign Alonzo Mourning? Who knew ATP Los Angeles would get cancelled? No, seriously, that one’s not rhetorical. Who knew that jazz legends Yes and Krokus would be playing at the Montreux Jazz Festival? Who knew Henry Rollins was so muscular? There’s so much we’ve learned over the last few months of touring. We’ve been almost everywhere, eaten almost everything, and rocked almost everyone. We took baths in Bath, played "Stockholm Syndrome" in Stockholm, and ate Danish in Copenhagen. But we’re not done yet, oh no. At the end of July we’re off to the esteemed Fuji Rock festival in Japan, and then it’s on to Australia for four kanga-riffic shows. Then we’ll set out in America again in September and October. Back to Japan in December. And more. We just can’t stop it, people.

Speaking of October, that’s when the Matador label will be releasing Today Is the Day, a six-song EP by us. It contains 6 songs, including the version of the titluar song we’ve been playing live recently, and a few no one’s ever heard.

Who is that guy, that eagle, and that octopus interviewing Ira in those clips? It’s none other than Jon Benjamin, and his co-hosts Scott Fellers and Lumpy, stars of the Midnight Pajama Jam. Have you ever seen anything like it? No, you have not. Their site has links to some amazing movies and other great stuff. Jon’s also part of the Tinkle crew here in the metropolitan area, and with his buddy Jon Glaser, they rock as Clap Attack, and as the mighty Soundtrackapella. Give it up for ’em.

Speaking of stuff, does anyone have NTSC tapes of the 3rd Alan Partridge series? Contact us at once.

Jutta Brandt is a very nice lady from Hamburg, Germany, who takes beautiful photos. Sometimes we’re even in them. She’s just put up a site featuring her work, so please go and have a look at www.juttabrandt.com.

Speaking of pictures of us, Jim Woodring drew a really cool one of us for The Stranger a few months ago. Here’s a photo of the picture. Congratulations to Jim on the release of his new Frank compendium, and his well-earned Japanese stardom.

See ya soon, if you live in Japan or Australia. So long, Spree.

xo ylt

Our award-winning team coverage of team Yo La Tengo news continues with:

highlights of festival season, by james

  • rollins band’s black flag set at dour festival, belgium
  • chillin’ with singer from rollins band
  • el-p, "patriotism," at primavera, barcelona
  • teenage fanclub opening with "everything flows" at primavera
  • playing opposite mogwai at glastonbury
  • eavesdropping on another band’s take on how life is and shit, roskilde festival, denmark
  • the freddie mercury statue, montreux jazz festival
  • gilberto gil and maria bethania at montreux
  • dirt, dirt, dirt.
  • urine, urine, urine.
  • . . . and continues with travel editor, Ira:

    There’s never been a better time to fly, as evidenced by the Rock United playlist for May-June 2003:

    Beggars Group and Matador Records present…

    • Danger! High Voltage (SoulChild Radio Mix) Electric Six
      Danger! High Voltage XL Recordings / Beggars Group 6 34904115722
    • Indiscretion #243 Aereogramme
      Sleep and Release Matador 7 44861057123
    • (Do Not Feed the) Oyster Stephen Malkmus and the Jicks
      Pig Lib Matador 7 44861057222
    • Coming in from the Cold The Delgados
      Hate Mantra / Beggars Group 6 09008103425
    • I Don’t Blame You Cat Power
      You Are Free Matador 7 44861042723
    • Portia Throwing Muses
      Throwing Muses 4AD / Beggars Group 6 52637230123
    • Little Eyes Yo La Tengo
      Summer Sun Matador 7 44861054825
    • The Final Arrears Mull Historical Society
      US XL Recordings / Beggars Group 6 07618503420

    . . . and concludes with this in-depth report on one of the tour’s highlights from Georgia:

    One of the bigger regrets I have from my youth took place the summer that I bailed on my sister (at the last minute) and our plan to drive across the country together in her dodge dart swinger. If memory serves, she wanted to bring her new friend along who I wasn’t so sure about at the time, so I was kind of pissed. They ended up going without me and had a memorable time to say the least. And I can’t remember ANYTHING I did that summer except that I missed out on that trip with the 2 of them, which of course would have been great, and I didn’t see either Roky Erickson and the Aliens or the Flamin’ Groovies play in LA.

    Shake Some Action (by the Flamin’ Groovies) became my favorite newfound record that summer and luck would have it that THIS summer I would find myself playing drums with Cyril Jordan on "Shake Some Action," a song I distinctly remember playing along with when I was learning to play drums in my mother’s apartment. Usually I am a bit of a crank when it’s time to be sentimental–but this was GOOSEBUMP CITY all the way! I mean "Shake Some Action" might be the best rock’n’roll song ever! And that moment of anticipation right as the 2nd chorus ended and Cyril was about to launch into the guitar solo, the very one we KNEW he would play note for note like he did on record some 25 or so years before…wow, what a thrill…anyway, other highlights from the summer tour include walking up and saying "hi" to Jennifer Coolidge in West Hollywood as well as Robin Williams who we spotted eating a hot dog on a street corner in Vancouver. Maybe it was a "not" dog, I didn’t ask.

    And then we were in Europe for 3 weeks. I watched a couple of ducks fighting in a park. Actually that was Canada.