Twenty-six years after their formation, I'm just becoming acquainted with rock band Yo La Tengo. Sure, I remember watching their videos on MTV's 120 Minutes in the '90s, but aside from these fleeting moments, I never knew much about them.
So when I was recently invited to check them out on their upcoming tour--a 3 day stint at the Fillmore--I decided to go into their back catalog and brush up.
That Reminds Me . . .
The moment "Tom Courtenay" came on my stereo, I instantly remembered its opening lines: "Julie Christie / The rumors are true!" This lovely pop song, with its great melody, layered vocals and overall cheerfulness instantly put a smile on my face.
As I listened to more of their music, I noticed the variety of sounds they explored--hints of My Bloody Valentine, the Velvet Underground, Pavement, Stereolab, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Teenage Fanclub--while still maintaining an edge that makes Yo La Tengo musical heroes in their own right.
Love for the Library
Another reason to love 'em: they support libraries! After their San Francisco shows, they're playing a fundraiser for Big Sur's Henry Miller Library.
April 22 at the Fillmore with Camera Obscura
April 23 at the Fillmore with Thee Oh Sees
April 24 at the Fillmore with Sic Alps
April 30 at the Henry Miller Library (Big Sur)
"Tom Courtenay" by Yo La Tengo
Photo Credit: Yo La Tengo @ Webster Hall by Barry Yanowitz
Karen Choy, the Youth Services Librarian in Half Moon Bay, is tall and laughs a lot. She enjoys horror stories, road movies, giraffes and rock shows.