Yo La Tengo - what's best?

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Jake
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Yo La Tengo - what's best?

Postby Jake » Mon Aug 14, 2006 11:25 pm

My favorite set at the Fork Fest a couple weeks ago was Yo La Tengo. I don't have any of their stuff but they really impressed me. Where to begin?

SlangKing
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Postby SlangKing » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:08 am

I'd pop for either "Painless" or "I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One". Both are always vying for the spot as my favorite YLT album. "Painless" is a more concise/ focused album with a consistent feel and flow. "ICHTHBAO" is sort of their White Album- they try on just about every style under the sun and almost all of it works. I'm a big fan, but I'll stick by the rule that you can't go wrong with just about any album after "Fakebook". One thing though, I would avoid the greates hits thingy- "Prisoners of Love". YLT are an album band- each one has it's own specific feel and presence, and that doesn't make for decent comps.

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Postby worpswede » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:31 am

Second "I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One" and "Painful" too.
I'd stay away from "Summer Sun" which isn't that good.
I'd give you permission to start with the comp "Prisoners Of Love" because, well, you're catching up with a band that's been around for a while; a lot of their best songs are on that thing.
Or you can wait for the upcoming "I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass" for the title alone.

andy
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Postby andy » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:08 am

You may want to wait for the new one to come out. I heard they played a lot of their new material at that show. And if you get it on LP you're supposed to get some digital extras.

But I also agree that Painful and Heart Beating as One are their best efforts and you'd probably enjoy the hell out of either one. My personal favorite is Electro-Pura.

I enjoyed Summer Sun, but I'm willing to admit that it had more clunkers than any other YLT album in the last ten years.

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Postby Barabajagal » Tue Aug 15, 2006 8:57 am

I liked Yo La Tengo but it was when I saw them live that I really fell for them. Didn't realize how much fire they had. Or do you now say "how 'fire' they were?"

I'm with andy: Electr-o-pura is probably my favorite, with Painful next, and I Can Hear Heart Beating as One, third. I like rocked-out Yo La Tengo more than mellow Yo La Tengo (which is still good Yo La Tengo).

booker
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Postby booker » Tue Aug 15, 2006 9:08 am

I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One is a masterpiece. You cannot go wrong with it.

LionIndex
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Postby LionIndex » Tue Aug 15, 2006 10:23 am

worpswede wrote:Second "I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One" and "Painful" too.
I'd stay away from "Summer Sun" which isn't that good.
I'd give you permission to start with the comp "Prisoners Of Love" because, well, you're catching up with a band that's been around for a while; a lot of their best songs are on that thing.

I'll respectfully disagree with worp on two points: One, I like Summer Sun quite a bit, although there are a couple songs I skip every time I listen to it. It's not representative of the rest of their catalog either--they're starting to move in a more "jazz" direction (see also their "Nuclear War" single), so a lot of Summer Sun sounds like bossa nova instead of indie rock.

Two, my favorite YLT songs are hardly ever the singles, which are mostly collected on Prisoners of Love. YLT has a lot of sides to them, and they'll usually put one or two total pop songs on an album, but I generally go for the more ponderous drony stuff.

I'll chime in with everyone else on recommending Painful and I Can Hear the Heart, but I'll also say that even though I'm a huge fan of YLT and I've got just about all their albums, there's not a single album of theirs that I can sit all the way through without skipping any songs, and I'd with those two because they have fewer duds than anything else. Also, if you like the gnarly guitar stuff, you might want to start with May I Sing With Me. I also like President Yo La Tengo, but it's currently packaged along with New Wave Hot Dogs, which is almost worthless.

Batchy
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Postby Batchy » Tue Aug 15, 2006 12:20 pm

My first introduction to them was through "And then nothing turned itself inside out." I really love that album although it's very quiet, melancholy and only has one balls to the wall blow your ass out your mouth tune (Cherry Chapstick).

I'd recommend the Prisoners of Love Best of. Don't know if you can get the 3 x CD edition. It's got a great selection of their stuff and it was ridiculously cheap when it was released and thus good value for money.

Barabajagal
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Postby Barabajagal » Tue Aug 15, 2006 2:07 pm

I didn't even know they had a 'best-of' out. It looks really good. They're totally a band that would benefit from that sort of thing. Though it would take separate volumes for the types of stuff you prefer. That's a really cool thing about Yo La Tengo.

On one hand I admire bands that develop a strong sense of single sonic identity, but on the other there's bands like YLT, GBV, BLT, BBQ and PDQ Bach that, when you hear something from their latest record, you might say "What band is that?"

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Postby blackshoestring » Tue Aug 15, 2006 3:58 pm

Batchy wrote:"And then nothing turned itself inside out." I really love that album although it's very quiet, melancholy and only has one balls to the wall blow your ass out your mouth tune (Cherry Chapstick).

But if you play "You Can Have It All" after C.C, all your parts will be put back in place and all will be right wih the world.


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