|Yo La Tengo — Fade (2013)|
Yo La Tengo — Fade
Formed: in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1984.
Location: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States
Album release: January 14, 2013
Record Label: Matador
01. Ohm 6:50
02. Is That Enough 4:17
03. Well You Better 2:40
04. Paddle Forward 2:51
05. Stupid Things 5:08
06. I’ll Be Around 4:49
07. Cornelia And Jane 4:52
08. Two Trains 4:47
09. The Point Of It 3:41
10. Before We Run 6:16
Born: January 1, 1957
¶ Kaplan's gear is a point of interest for many fans and aspiring guitarists.
• Candy Apple Red Fender Jazzmaster, with tortoise shell pickguard.
• Sunburst Fender Jaguar
• Natural Fender Stratocaster
• Sunburst Jerry Donahue Signature Telecaster
• Purple Sparkle Danelectro 12-string
• Fender Super Reverb
• Fender Vibro-Lux
• Pro Co RAT
• Boss TU-2 Tuner
• Boss OD-2 TURBO OverDrive
• Boss GE-7 Graphic Equalizer
• Boss CS-3 Compression Sustainer
• Digitech PDS-8000 Delay
• Line 6 DL4
• Line 6 MM4
• Mu-Tron III +
• Vox Wah
¶ Custom switching unit for routing & triggering between the two amplifiers.
¶ Deluxe comes in a numbered edition printed on rainbow foil with a bonus 7" featuring two exclusive covers: I Saw The Light (Todd Rundgren) b/w Move To California (Times New Viking)
¶ Vinyl Includes MP3 download coupon featuring exclusive 11 minute jam.
¶ Fade is the most direct, personal and cohesive album of Yo La Tengo's career. Recorded with John McEntire at Soma Studios in Chicago, it recalls the sonic innovation and lush cohesion of career high points like 1997‘s I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One and 2000’s ...And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out. The album is a tapestry of fine melody and elegant noise, rhythmic shadowplay and shy- eyed orchestral beauty, songfulness and experimentation.
¶ But Fade attains a lyrical universality and hard-won sense of grandeur that’s rare even for this band. It weaves themes of aging, personal tragedy and emotional bonds into a fully-realized whole that recalls career-defining statements like Blood on the Tracks, I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight, or Al Green's Call Me.
¶ "Nothing ever stays the same / Nothing’s explained," the band sing in unison on the reflective opening track "Ohm". "We try not to lose our hearts / Not to lose our minds." ¶ It’s a straightforward sentiment for a band who prefer private intimation to forceful expression. It makes the song’s resistance to resignation feel that much more earned.
¶ This is the first time Yo La Tengo has collaborated with producer John McEntire, best known for his work in Tortoise as well as for recording such artists as Bright Eyes, Stereolab and Teenage Fanclub. He has helped the band hone a set of songs as multifaceted as they are seamless -- flowing from the low-key shimmy of "Well You Better" to the muted motorik kick of "Stupid Things" to the cozy distortion of "Paddle Forward," and right through to the cagey groove, horns and strings of the gorgeous album closer, "Before We Run," in which Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan sing "Take me to your distant lonely place / Take me out beyond mistrust."
¶ Fade's emotional core sits at its very center with two songs, one sung by Kaplan and one by Hubley. The tender, raw, Kaplan-sung ballad "I'll Be Around" pivots around a circular guitar figure set against James McNew's pulsating bassline. The song's simplicity and starkness stand like a beacon against the emptiness. The following track, "Cornelia and Jane," features Hubley gently singing, "I hear them whispering, they analyze / But no one knows what's lost in your eyes / Sending the message that doesn't get to you / How can we care for you?" supported by whispering cushions of horns and delicate vocal harmonies. The effect is both heartbreaking and reassuring.
• Ride the Tiger (1986)
• New Wave Hot Dogs (1987)
• President Yo La Tengo (1989)
• Fakebook (1990)
• May I Sing with Me (1992)
• Painful (1993)
• Electr-O-Pura (1995)
• I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One (1997)
• And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out (2000); US No. 138
• Summer Sun (2003); US No. 115
• I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass (2006); US No. 66
• Popular Songs (2009); US No. 58
Biography by Jason Ankeny
¶ Yo La Tengo are in many respects the quintessential critics' band: in addition to their adventurous eclecticism, defiant independence, and restless creative ambition -- three qualities that virtually guarantee music press acclaim -- the group's frontman, Ira Kaplan, even tenured as a rock scribe prior to finding success as a performer. So frequently compared to the Velvet Underground that they even portrayed the legendary group in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol, the Hoboken, NJ-based unit has explored the extremes of feedback-driven noise rock and sweetly melodic pop, shading its work with equal parts scholarly composure and fannish enthusiasm. Prolific and mercurial, Yo La Tengo have ultimately transcended their myriad influences to ensconce themselves as a beloved institution of the indie community.
¶ The core of Yo La Tengo (Spanish for the outfielder's cry of "I've got it!") is comprised of singer/guitarist Kaplan and his wife, drummer/vocalist Georgia Hubley. After forming the band in 1984, they placed an advertisement seeking other musicians to round out the lineup, requesting applicants who shared their fondness for the Soft Boys, Mission of Burma, and Arthur Lee's Love. A number of bassists and lead guitarists passed through the band's roster during its formative years, but after bowing in late 1985 with the single "The River of Water," backed by a cover of Love's "A House Is Not a Motel," Yo La Tengo's membership appeared to stabilize with the additions of guitarist Dave Schramm and bassist Mike Lewis prior to the sessions for 1986's full-length roots pop debut, Ride the Tiger, produced by former Mission of Burma bassist Clint Conley.
¶ However, both Schramm and Lewis exited in the wake of the record's release, leaving Kaplan to assume lead guitar duties. Bassist Stephan Wichnewski signed on for 1987's New Wave Hot Dogs, a more assured outing that brought the group's Velvet Underground obsession to the fore via a cover of the early VU composition "It's Alright (The Way That You Live)." Not only did Kaplan's introverted, half-spoken vocals and buzzing guitar work closely recall Lou Reed, but Hubley's rock-steady drumming and breathy backing turns simultaneously conjured memories of vintage Maureen Tucker. Even better was 1989's President Yo La Tengo, recorded with producer and guest bassist Gene Holder; opening with the droning squalls of the stunning "Barnaby, Hardly Working," the record spotlighted the group's sonic schizophrenia by including two Jekyll-and-Hyde versions of the track "The Evil That Men Do" -- one a gorgeous instrumental, the other a blistering feedback freakout.
¶ Schramm returned to the fold for 1990's Fakebook, a remarkable acoustic folk-pop journey through Kaplan's record collection and a virtual family tree of Yo La Tengo reference points. A wonderfully low-key collection of covers ranging from forgotten nuggets (the Kinks' "Oklahoma U.S.A.," the Flamin' Groovies' "You Tore Me Down," Gene Clark's "Tried So Hard") to absolute obscurities (Rex Garvin & the Mighty Cravers' "Emulsified," the Escorts' "The One to Cry," the Scene Is Now's "Yellow Sarong"), Fakebook also included a handful of outstanding new originals as well as luminous retakes of the previous record's "Barnaby, Hardly Working" and New Wave Hot Dogs' "Did I Tell You?" The superb That Is Yo La Tengo EP previewed 1992's May I Sing With Me, the first effort to feature permanent bassist James McNew (formerly of Christmas). A return to noise typified by the hot-wired nine-minute feedback saga "Mushroom Cloud of Hiss," the record balanced out its extremist tendencies with the occasional sidestep into melodic beauty ("Detouring America with Horns") and infectious indie pop ("Upside-Down").
¶ A move to the Matador label predated the release of 1993's Painful, another winner informed by the atmospherics of shoegazer drones and dream pop. Bookended by radically opposed renditions of the track "Big Day Coming" -- the first an organ-driven mood piece, the other an edgy guitar outing -- the record pushed Yo La Tengo in a multitude of new directions, significantly expanding the trio's palette of sounds and textures. Released in 1995, Electr-O-Pura continued the progression, zigzagging from dead-on British Invasion re-creations (the sparkling "Tom Courtenay") to shimmering folk (the Hubley-sung "Pablo and Andrea") to bracing sonic experimentation ("Decora"). After 1996's Genius + Love Equals Yo La Tengo, a two-disc compendium of B-sides, compilation tracks, rare singles, and unreleased material, the trio resurfaced in the spring of 1997 with I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One; And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out followed in early 2000.
¶ The group also performed a three-night stint as the backing band for Ray Davies on his 2000 U.S. tour, and in 2002 released The Sounds of the Sounds of Science, a soundtrack to the undersea documentaries of French filmmaker Jean Painleve. That fall, they released the Nuclear War single, which featured several versions of Sun Ra's epic, and that winter performed their second annual Hanukkahpalooza, an eight-night musical festival at Hoboken, NJ's Maxwell's, which also led to a special limited-edition EP of Christmas songs. Yo La Tengo released Summer Sun in spring 2003, and that year Georgia Hubley performed in Mirror Man, an avant-garde rock opera by Pere Ubu's David Thomas.
¶ In 2005, Matador Records paid homage to Yo La Tengo's 20th year as recording artists with the career-spanning compilations Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs: 1985-2003 and A Smattering of Outtakes and Rarities 1986-2003. The band returned the following year with the strong all-new album I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass. Fuckbook, a covers album that the band released under the alias Condo Fucks, arrived in 2009, followed several months later by the full-length Popular Songs. The following year, the Here to Fall EP, which featured remixes by De La Soul, Rjd2, and Pete Rock, arrived.
© Photo credit: John Halpern
© Photo credit: Michael Lavine
© Photo credit: Zach Klein; April 6, 2005. Yo La Tengo. From left to right: Georgia Hubley, James McNew, Ira Kaplan. (http://www.zachklein.com/)
|Yo La Tengo — Fade (2013)|