November 14, 2008

Hi everybody,

As members of the Yo La Tengo mailing list (and readers of the finest blogs) may know by now, we’re going to play another series of Hanukkah shows this year at Maxwell’s from December 21st to December 28th. As of this writing, all shows are currently sold out online, with the exception of December 24th and 25th. You can find links and ticket information here. Inflation may be rampant, but not here: tickets will be $30, just like last year. Shows will begin at 9:00 on Friday and Saturday, and 8:30 every other night. There’ll be a musical act in addition to Yo La Tengo, some comedy, and maybe something else. We’ll see. But just like last year, we will be enforcing a strict “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy about the lineups. Mostly because we won’t know until the last minute, but — we cannot tell a lie — also because we’re ornery that way.

There is one thing we can tell you. The Feelies will not be playing with us during Hanukkah, scout’s honor. But we will be doing a gala New Year’s Eve show with the Feelies, merely New Jersey’s greatest rock band ever, and Vivian Girls at the Wellmont Theater in Montclair, NJ, home of Stephen Colbert and Don Fleming. Tickets will be $35, or a mere $115 less than it costs to see Steely Dan. (To be fair, if you’re paying per chord, Steely Dan is priced competitively.)

As Joan Rivers asked so poignantly: can we talk? With all the economic turmoil turmoiling about us these days, it’s not that easy to suggest that you spend what’s left of your money with us. But if you’ve ever attended these Hanukkah shows before, we hope you’ll agree that they are unique evenings of entertainment (and if you haven’t, here are lengthy descriptions of the 2005 and 2007 editions). We don’t take a penny from these shows, and no performer receives anything beyond their expenses. The word benefit is an often abused one, but we promise you, the money you pay is being passed along to charity.

Which brings me to the next point. Over the years, from time to time people have offered unsolicited suggestions about where we could donate the proceeds from individual shows, suggestions we have frequently taken. So let’s solicit them this year: If you work for a non-profit organization, don’t hesitate to tell us about it. We can’t guarantee that we’ll select you as one of our recipients, but we will absolutely consider it.

I guess that’s it. Hope to see you in December.

Ira, Georgia and James