Ramblings of a Redhead Music Snob

Life & Music in New York, My City

Arm Wrestling with Yo La Tengo

Posted by xneverwherex on May 4, 2012

Yo La Tengo
Mystic Theatre
Petaluma, CA

May 2, 2012

It was quite a show for the threesome from Hoboken, NJ. It was their first time playing at the Mystic and their first time in Petaluma. I am sure after the show they had learned a lot more than they would have ever expected.

The show started soon after 8pm and Ira announced that they would be having a q and a. He explained it that we could ask questions between songs and he’d answer them (well the band). Sure enough there were questions galore that covered most topics. It’d be hard to recap most the questions but some that stood out were – what were the band members first album purchased. James talked about his first album bought with his own money at 9 years old being Deep Purple. Because of course, at 9 years old, that is the first album _every_ kid should buy. Georgia, who was seemingly beyond quiet, didn’t want to answer?! Thankfully, Ira coaxed her into telling us the first albums she could remember listening to which were the Monkees. Ira’s was Let’s Spend the Night Together. Ah the Rolling Stones. Hard to go wrong.

Yo La Tengo

Of course, it meant that there would be a Monkees song or 2. There were quite a few covers with ‘Im A Believer’ and ‘Gonna Buy Me A Dog’ from the Monkees. A Velvet Underground song ‘She’s my Best Friend’ also was played. The covers they played were really well done.

They were asked about SFMOMA (pronounced svmoma (one word)) which led to the band pronouncing almost every word bizarrely. Someone asked Georgia about the drums on ‘Saturday’ (then it was played). They talked about working in parking lots and all the music that they consumed (Robyn Hitchcock and Grand Funk Railroad). Oh and yes, is it torture to play a baby Grand Funk Railroad and some sorta bizarreness.

While I really wasn’t familiar with most of their songs – the encore ‘Sugarcube’ was really well done. All 3 of them have really strong vocals. Sexbeat we learned was the first cover song the band (although it was just Ira and Georgia at the time) to have played live, at a friends party.

They played a song from the Hal Hartley film Amateur. It turns out that their name was misspelled in the film itself. Doh! There was a cover of Neil Young’s ‘From the Turnstyles’. ‘Big Day Coming’ was really great and the lyrics stuck in my mind.

As the night came to an end we were rewarded with the best question/statement ever. Apparently, Petaluma is the arm wrestling capitol of the world. The band quipped they thought it would be most known for its chickens. I dont recall seeing a lot, but it is more farmland I suppose. As they returned from the encore, sure enough, Georgia and Ira had an arm wrestling competition. Quite naturally, Georgia won! 🙂

Its really hard to top a night that ends with that. While I cant say I was very familiar with Yo La Tengo’s work, I was happily surprised with the entire night. It was fun and quirky and a bit odd, just like the band seemed to be.

Oh and yes, there was mention of Snooki and the gang being denied from filming in Hoboken. The band clearly was enjoying themselves as much as the crowd. Would highly recommend checking them out for anyone that has the slightest interest.

Randomness of what was played written in my phone:

Beatles
Saturday
SF Moma movie song
Sexbeat – first cover
Song from dump? – its smaller than you are
Going Home
There’s a big day coming, I can hardly wait
All the turnstyles
Amateur – Hal Hartley film
The Monkees ‘Im A Believer’
Im Gonna Buy Me a Dog
Velvet Underground ‘Shes my Best Friend’
Im On My Way
On The Course of Change, try to more aware
Whatever you want from me, tore me down – encore

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