Yo La Tengo La Tiene

Yo La Tengo No La Tiene

Dear Roi Tamkin–

Did you honestly think the Yo La Tengo show was good (see live review in last month’s Ink 19)? I rarely trash a band whose studio recordings (particularly I Can Hear Your Heart…) rank among my favorite, but I went to their show at First Avenue in Minneapolis and thought it was a dreadfully boring performance (as did my friends). I liked the past two albums, but c’mon, they put on an awful live show. I noticed you gave only vague details on the actual show, rather concentrating on a description of their latest album and a small write-up on their playlist. Your comparison to Hendrix is unfounded.

• •

Roi Tamkin responds: My review of the Cotton Club performance was strictly my opinion. I am not a big Yo La Tengo fan – this was my first time seeing them live. My review was based on the few songs I was already familiar with, the reaction of the audience, stage presence, and stage show. I enjoyed every song, including the slow songs Georgia sang. Ira played guitar with an intensity and concentration that brought him wiggling down to his knees during his solos. The mostly male crowd listened to each song respectively and attentively, then shouted out requests between songs. Obviously, they were larger fans that came to hear every note played. Also, YLT personalized the show by dressing up in John Rocker’s uniform, which brought cheers and a good laugh to the audience. Yes, I thought it was a good show. I would even like to see Happy Flowers again. Sorry you had it so rough in MN.

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