You Can’t Pick Your Fans, But There’s No Harm In Trying

buckley.jpg bullwinkle.jpg

(one of the above might be a friend of Yo La Tengo. Hint : It isn't the guy on the left)

Currently laying waste to the Mountain Regions, Yo La Tengo took time out from their busy schedule to forward the following bulletin:

A fan sent us this link, with the apt subject line: Horrors! 

Your request for songs to add to an NRO soundtrack is the perfect Friday afternoon diversion.  So here are a few tunes that popped into my mind, leading off with my strongest candidate.

“My Little Corner of the World”-Yo La Tengo (This great song really ought to  be the theme for The Corner.  Sample lyrics:  “And if you care to stay in my little corner of the world/We could hide away in my little corner of the world/I always knew that I'd find someone like you/So welcome to my little corner of the world.”

May we respectfully but firmly state on record that the only Corner we wholeheartedly endorse is Bullwinkle's, and that the National Review Online's is to put it gently, not in second place.   What's the legal term for Cease and Desist?

Matador Technical Support Notice: YLT Digital Booklets

matador technical support

By way of a couple level-headed emails (and one not-so…the same guy who didn't like this), it's come to our attention that the QuickTime booklets that we gave our Season Pass holders and that came for free with your iTunes purchase of "I Am Not…." are not working.  After ten minutes of blaming ourselves incessantly and moping around guilt-ridden, we were relieved to discover that the problem is not our fault.  It seems like Apple – in a spat of anti-competitive, techno-poo-poo-ery – has disabled Flash support as a default in their latest release of QuickTime 7.  So try this:   1.  Open up QuickTime.  2. Go to "QuickTime" preferences.  3.  Under "Advanced", check "enable flash support".  4.  Open the booklet.  5. Revel in multi-media glory. 

Yo La Tengo at The Times BFI London Film Festival Oct 31

I think my ears are still ringing from the incredible loudness of the New Jersey Yo La Tengo show and I can still taste the buttery yumminess of the ‘Ass’ cookies (or should I say ‘arse’) baked by a friend of the band presented to Ira after the show. No, they certainly didn’t taste like ass. The Loewes Theatre was resplendent in it’s shabby chic, I especially liked the display of old candy wrappers they had discovered during the renovations, perhaps we should shove some ass cookies or Yo La Tengo flyers behind the seats to be unearthed in another hundred years.

Speaking of asses, has anyone seen the new John Cameron Mitchell movie “Shortbus”? I hear there’s a lot of ass in that one, although it has received several very positive reviews so I’m rather looking forward to seeing it, not least because the ass-kickers themselves, Yo La Tengo, scored it. Of course it hasn’t come out here in the UK yet but it is being debuted at The Times BFI London Film Festival later this month. As it happens to nearly coincide with Yo La Tengo’s extensive European tour the band have been invited to participate in a special event at the Film Festival where they discuss their contribution and composition for movies on October 31st. The focus will be on both “Shortbus” and the new Kelly Reichardt film starring Will Oldham, “Old Joy” also screening at the festival, whilst showing clips of other movie projects including the soundtracks for “Game 6” and “Junebug” as well as their cameos in “I Shot Andy Warhol” and “The Book Of Life”. A must for all Yo La Tengo-fan-cinefiles and burgeoning film composers. Perhaps we can get some ‘Ass’ cupcakes for that one…

More info here:

Let’s not forget, of course, the upcoming dates:

NOVEMBER

Tue 7 – Cardiff – Point

Wed 8 – Gateshead – Sage

Thu 9 – Cambridge – Junction

Sat 11 – London – Forum

Does This Helicopter Make My Ass Look Big? (Stereogum Winners)

Stereogum Ass
(photo courtesy Stereogum.com)

You get to work on a Monday and you’re greated by dozens of IMs and emails that your ass is on the home page of one of the world’s largest music blogs. You immediately go to the blog and realize that you were a t-shirt tuck away from blog-infamy. But that ass road in a helicopter on Friday around Manhattan with four lucky contest winners and Scott. After circling the Statue of Liberty and dive-bombing the Hudson River, I’m sold and would recommend the whirly-bird treatment to anyone who can swing it (that excludes most of us). It feels like flying in a bubble and when your pilot says “okay, we’re gonna dive down now”, he really means “we’re going Apollo 13 for the next 10 seconds, hold on to your lunch.” Full personal accounts are below.

Stereogum: I Am Not Afraid To Partake In Those Spoils
Contest Winner: Ira Gave Me Cookies!

New Yo La Tengo Dates

As Yo La Tengo’s North American tour is well underway (with a gala performance taking place just a stone’s throw from the old Tube Bar just an hour or two away), the following shows have just been confirmed :

October 1 – Babylon Club, Ottawa, Canada
October 11 – Belly Up Aspen, Aspen, CO
October 12 – In The Venue, Salt Lake City, UT

In honor of this exciting announcement, I thought about posting a YouTube clip of Ira and Georgia performing at Waterfront Records in 1988, but you’re probably gonna get plenty of that sort of thing in Jersey City tonight.

So instead, here’s Dr. Gene Scott.  Have a wild weekend!

I Am Not Afraid Of The Billboard Top 200 : Yo La Tengo, #66 With A Bullet

Rarely do we break into regular programming around here to toot our own horn when it comes to something as crass as actual-record-sales, but this is kind of a special occasion. The new Yo La Tengo CD / 2 X LP / digital wacky-pack ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’ enters this week’s Billboard Top 200 at no. 66, making it the highest chart entry and best first-week seller of the band’s illustrious career.

Though I’d like congratulate Ira, Georgia and James on this commercial achievement, clearly, a big share of the credit is due to Matador’s hard working street team.

If you had any difficulty finding copies of Mastodon’s excellent ‘Blood Mountain’ last week, I sincerely apologize. We’re just doing our job.

If you’d like to join the celebration from the comfort of your own lonely hovel, we’re accepting video submissions at iamnotafraidofyouandiwillbeatyourass.com. This could be your big chance to become as big a global internet sensation as these guys.

We Get Your Letters

Mr. Tough

Sure. We get some letters. A lot of letters. Like this classic one. But, this latest might take the cake. Why? Because it’s not restraining order worthy nor is it demanding money back in exchange for returning some downloads. No, the stars have aligned for this Mr. Tough and this one band (who he seems to own more than one album from):

Dear (Matador)
Hi. I am a citizen of Glagow in Scotland, and my name (as you may see) is Michael Tough. Interestingly, Yo La Tengo’s latest single release in the UK is entitled Mr. Tough. I have been aware of Yo La Tengo since I bought their single Danelectro (version 2 of which is on the playlist for my funeral – when it comes), and have purchased a couple of albums since, namely Prisoners Of Love and the current I Am Not Afraid Of You….
I tried to purchase the single Mr. Tough, but none of the major or independent stores in Glasgow had it listed, leading me to believe it is only available as a download. Would this be correct?

The point I am trying to get round to, though, is this; would there be any promotional material available for the current single? It is not every day that a record is realeased with one’s name as its title, and this ‘novelty’ holds an appeal. I saw some cover art for the single on a couple of download sites, but am reluctant to print and copy it on to a t-shirt, for example, for copyright reasons. As I now have the song on hard copy twice (once on the album and once, ironically, from a free new-release compilation CD given away by HMV when I bought the album) I see less need to buy the single if indeed it is available on hard copy.

If there might be any promo items with the Mr. Tough text and imagery that are lying around the office and looking for a home with a real Mr. Tough (by name only, and not so much by nature to be honest) then I would be happy to provide that home and very appreciative. In the offchance that you could please help me in my quest, may I provide a postal address upon request at a later time? Thankyou for taking the time to read this essentially begging letter, and I hope it doesn’t bother you .

Yours

Mr. Michael Tough

We have since learned he has a cousin Ronnie. Can someone get this guy onto that helicopter?

Related: Yo La Tengo do Mr. Tough (YouTube)

Learning Something New Every Day

Yo La Tengo’s Ira Kaplan is being interviewed on WNYC’s “Soundcheck” at this very moment by John Schaefer.

Earlier in the program, a researcher from the University of Leicester was asked to characterize the typical Yo La Tengo fan.  He presumed that he or she would be highly educated, not particuarly highly-paid, and most curiously, not a pet owner.

With all due respect, what the fuck?

An Open Letter To The Matador Street Team

(FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY : Gerard, do NOT PUT THIS ON THE BLOG)

Dear Team,

Strong first day numbers for Yo La Tengo’s ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’, as expected, what with that fucking whirly-bird contest and all the good press we paid for. But before you dislocate your shoulders patting yourselvess on the fucking back, keep in mind that we’re still fighting a losing battle at the big boxes, where this album is still pretty hard to find.

I’m expecting a progress report no later than 3pm today about what sort of mischief our regional kids have been up to in the past 24 hours. I thought we’d made the point that hiding the new John Mayer, Black Keys and Mars Volta CD’s wasn’t merely some kind of rock biz sabotage mission, but could in fact, be framed as an “us vs. them” schism. Indie vs. major. Indie vs. other indie. Me vs. you. You vs. not having a fucking job. Please don’t make me spell this out for you any further.

I’m also told there is no stock at the Borders on Church Street. Enough with the excuses, already, it’s been five fucking years.

OK. I’m off to lift weights. You can reach me on the Fuckberry. I want digital pix of those Black Keys and Mars Volta discs hidden in the country section, I’m not kidding around.

You should be very afraid of me and I will kick your ass.

That was a joke, by the way. You’d better fucking laugh.

Tony Matador

Yo La Tengo live @ Electric Picnic, Ireland

‘We know that ‘quiet’ isn’t the preferred volume of the Electric Picnic festival, but….we’re gonna do these songs anyway’ – Ira, onstage.

Quite a gauntlet to throw down, made a little more palatable by the fact that Yo La Tengo had just opened their set with the ramalama-organ garage bluster of ‘Never Saw It Coming’ and the kraut-psych noise jam of ‘Pass The Hatchet’ to a mostly agog audience. The aforementioned quiet songs, all of which were from ‘I Am Not Afraid..’ ran the risk of being drowned out by two adjoining stages, but then they dropped ‘Tom Courtenay’ and ‘Little Honda’ to all the rapturous response that indiekind can muster before adding layer of noise to noise for closer ‘The Story of Yo La Tango’. When it finished, it felt like I hadn’t breathed for 20 minutes – but then some dude had hit me pretty hard in the chest with excitement when those first chords of ‘Tom Courtenay’ started up. The same dude went mental with delight when they came back on for an encore of ‘Sugarcube’ (insert your own superlative here). It’s kinda difficult to gauge audience reaction when you’re up front, but YLT seemed to have kept a largely drunken-end-of-the-evening-waiting-for-2manydjs type crowd happy, which is quite a feat. With quiet introspection and noise drones, no less.

Season Pass, Beat Your Ass, Give Us Your Cash, Etc.

The Beat Your Ass Season Pass

(photograph by Michael Lavine)
Matador is providing exclusive bonus material along with pre-orders of Yo La Tengo’s upcoming ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’ (ole-692).

When you pre-order the album from a participating retailer’s web site, you’ll receive a follow up email with directions for accessing the Season Pass web site via a unique coupon code. Every few weeks, the site will be updated with exclusive bonus material including:

– A player streaming the full album
– A digital booklet with album artwork, photos, liner notes and YLT
discography
– Exclusive mp3s available only to Season Pass members
– Advance notice on all ticket sales for the fall tour.
The full scoop can be found here.

In an unrelated story, Yo La Tengo’s upcoming Asbury Park show at the Stone Pony (9/25)…is no longer upcoming. I cannot stress strongly enough that this cancellation has nothing to do with the alleged feud between James McNew and Southside Johnny, much of which was blown way out of proportion by the irresponsible rock press. The whole thing is water under the bridge, and we’re hopeful that someday, someway, Johnny will invite Yo La Tengo to appear on his IFC chat show. I’ve not actually seen the program, but friends at the label have nothing but good things to say about it.

You Cannot Be Serious!!! – Yo La Tengo Confirmed U.S. Dates

Johnny Mac’s chat show career lasted slightly longer than Magic Johnson’s.  Only the former had the good taste to let Yo La Tengo perform “Today Is The Day” on his program.

Yo La Tengo, coming to a comfortable concert auditorium near you.

9/26 – Washington DC, 9:30 Club
9/28 – Boston, Avalon
9/29 – Jersey City, Loews Theatre
9/30 – Montreal,  La Tulipe
10/2 – Toronto, the Phoenix
10/4 – Ann Arbor, Michigan Theater
10/5 – Chicago, the Vic
10/6 – Milwaukee, the Rave
10/8 – Omaha, Sokol Underground
10/14 – Vancouver, Richard’s on Richards
10/15 – Seattle, Showbox
10/16 – Portland, Crystal Ballroom
10/19 – San Francisco, Fillmore
10/20 – San Francisco, Fillmore
10/21 – San Francisco,  Fillmore
10/23 – Los Angeles, Henry Fonda Theater

Yo La Tengo – Confirmed European Dates

(snazzy image swiped from here. due to severe label budget cuts, that’s the vehicle they’ll be traveling in, by the way)

Wed 1 Nov SWEDEN STOCKHOLM DEBASER MEDIS
Thu 2 Nov NORWAY OSLO JOHN DEE
Fri 3 Nov SWEDEN GOTEBORG STICKY FINGERS
Sat 4 Nov SWEDEN MALMO KB
Sun 5 Nov DENMARK COPENHAGEN VEGA
Tue 7 Nov UK CARDIFF POINT
Wed 8 Nov UK GATESHEAD SAGE
Thu 9 Nov UK CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION
Sat 11 Nov UK LONDON FORUM
Sun 12 Nov FRANCE PARIS CAFÉ DE LA DANSE
Mon 13 Nov FRANCE TOURCOING/LILLE GRAND MIX
Wed 15 Nov FRANCE STRASBOURG LA LATERIE
Thu 16 Nov NETHERLANDS UTRECHT TIVOLI
Fri 17 Nov NETHERLANDS GRONINGEN VERA
Sat 18 Nov BELGIUM BRUSSELS AB
Sun 19 Nov GERMANY BERLIN POSTBAHNHOF
Tue 21 Nov GERMANY HAMBURG MARKTHALLE
Wed 22 Nov GERMANY DUSSELDORF ZAKK
Thu 23 Nov GERMANY MUNCHEN MUFFATHALLE
Fri 24 Nov GERMANY HEIDELBERG KARLSTORBAHNOF
Sat 25 Nov SWITZERLAND FRIBOURG FRISON
Mon 27 Nov ITALY MILAN RAINBOW
Wed 29 Nov FRANCE TOULOUSE MANGE DISQUE
Thu 30 Nov SPAIN BARCELONA APOLO
Fri 1 Dec SPAIN VITORIA AZKENA
Sat 2 Dec SPAIN MADRID LA RIVIERA
Sun 3 Dec PORTUGAL LISBON AUG

Mojo Critic Nails It..

…and now I need to get my head bandaged after falling off my chair. If writers are going to insist on actually listening to the CD’s we send them rather than merely paraphrasing the press release (or looking to see what someone else said) we might have to re-think our plans to blow up 625 Broadway for the insurance loot.

Calling Yo La Tengo’s forthcoming ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’, “a return to the giddy, sticky-fingered eclecticism of 1997’s ‘I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One’, Mojo’s Steve Chick calls the album,

A wonderful, intimate love letter to pop (and its many subterranean offshoots), bookended by two hefty space-rock jams, the album ricochets from atmospheric piano vignette to gonzo garage fuzz to murky new wave disco to xylophone-scored waltz , the riot of styles bound together by warmth and wit, halcyon vocals and harmolodic guitar explosions. (4 stars)

So what if he misspelled the name of the album’s final song? We’ve done worse. And we’ll do so again!

“Pass The Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” (mp3)