Yo La Tengo Live on WFMU -- 2011 All-Request Marathon
March 4, 2011 7:01 PM   Subscribe

Yo La Tengo are once again playing requests for pledges, right now on WFMU. Every year, Yo La Tengo perform requests live on-air in exchange for pledges, to help keep freeform noncommercial radio station WFMU (91.1 FM in Jersey City, NJ) on the air. This year is no exception. They are on-air right now, and will be playing listener requests for several more hours.
posted by trashflow (62 comments total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Here's what they've played so far (in the first two sets):

Beatles - Here Comes The Sun (George Harrison) (dedicated to people in Wisconsin)
Al Green - Love & Happiness (inaudible vocals by Georgia)
Friend and Lover - Reach Out In The Darkness
Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers - A Plea For Tenderness (my request)
Ten Years After - I'm Going Home

The Band - The Weight
Alex Chilton - Hey, Little Child
Yo La Tengo - Decora
Patti Smith/Bruce Springsteen - Because The Night
MC5 - Kick Out The Jams
posted by trashflow at 7:04 PM on March 4, 2011

Thank you for not making me post this annual thread!
posted by wheelieman at 7:07 PM on March 4, 2011

Hey, thanks for letting me know. Turned off the NPR stream of the new REM album and switched over to FMU.

posted by escabeche at 7:08 PM on March 4, 2011 [9 favorites]

My kingdom for the box set of the last decade of these shows. Seriously, like hundreds$$$$$
posted by tremspeed at 7:08 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

And why do you only pop up during this specific event trashflow? We are not that scary I swear
posted by wheelieman at 7:09 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Dammit, I missed all the good stuff. Which probably means I haven't missed the good stuff quite yet.
posted by ardgedee at 7:11 PM on March 4, 2011

In honor of Phil Collins announcing his retirement because "no one will miss me", I requested "In The Air Tonight." I realize that must be a stretch for them to learn on the spot; we'll see!

I'm so glad they did Like Flies On Sherbert-era Alex Chilton that I'll be happy either way.
posted by naju at 7:11 PM on March 4, 2011

They're in fine form tonight. I don't recall them being this good in the past couple years. It might be the gin that's believing this, but I'm much more certain that it's Yo La Tengo being very good.
posted by ardgedee at 7:21 PM on March 4, 2011

I will give WFMU negative dollars if they play any Phil Collins. I will, however, give them positive dollars if they play some Slayer or Impaled Nazarene.
posted by NoMich at 7:21 PM on March 4, 2011

Thanks! I tuned in just in time to hear a Clean cover. Fantastic stuff.
posted by whm at 7:22 PM on March 4, 2011

And by "they" I mean I Got It!
posted by NoMich at 7:22 PM on March 4, 2011

Yeah, they're really good so far this year. I really liked the Twinkeyz cover; I'd never heard that song before.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:23 PM on March 4, 2011

Wow, Yo La Tengo doing the Clean. Awesome. Like a big chunk of fudge slathered in warm caramel. Wish I'd caught all of it. Is it being archived anywhere?
posted by gompa at 7:24 PM on March 4, 2011

Previously: 2002 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010
posted by roll truck roll at 7:25 PM on March 4, 2011 [4 favorites]

Nope, the greedy bastards wont be archiving it just in case they want to release it on a upcoming release
posted by wheelieman at 7:25 PM on March 4, 2011

It's not a Yo La Tengo night without a VU cover, I guess.
posted by ardgedee at 7:26 PM on March 4, 2011

gompa: These are never archived on the WFMU site, I assume for licensing reasons. Someone from Metafilter emailed me the 2008 one as an mp3, but I've long lost it. I'd love to know if there's a torrent out there of all of them.
posted by roll truck roll at 7:26 PM on March 4, 2011

The main reasons they don't archive it are: (1) so that people will tune in (and actually pledge money to WFMU) while they're on-air, rather than listening (and not pledging) later; and (2) because some of the performances are embarrassing! They never release any of these recordings except on WFMU-premium CDs.

Anyhow, here's the third set:

Bob Dylan - Love Minus Zero/Like A Rolling Stone (medley)
Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers - Astral Plane
Stars Above Us Twinkle So many lightyears beneath It seems so very cold down here
The Twinkeyz - Aliens In Our Midst
The Clean - Drawing to a Whole
Hot Chocolate - Brother Louie
Velvet Underground - I'm Sticking With You
posted by trashflow at 7:29 PM on March 4, 2011

Various people archive the airchecks, but I don't know who or how you'd go about getting them. I'm not being disingenuous; I just see people saying they have the performances, but they don't post links, so they might be blowing smoke, but there's no reason why they wouldn't, so. Maybe it's good enough to know that posterity will be served in some form, even if it doesn't gratify your need to hear Yo La Tengo make an old song sound like poop at this very moment.
posted by ardgedee at 7:34 PM on March 4, 2011

C'mon "Scenes From An Italian Restaurant"
posted by Ad hominem at 7:34 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

For those interested in past performances, there is a compilation called "Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics." If you google that, I feel certain you'll find a way to get the music.

It's definitely not comprehensive, but it's a fun thing to have on your hard drive.
posted by thebergfather at 7:36 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Kickassedly sloppy version of "To Love Somebody" just finishing up. Damn, I'd *buy* this album if it was out there somewhere. Give me that in exchange for a pledge, WFMU!

On preview: gracias, bergfather.
posted by gompa at 7:42 PM on March 4, 2011

Here's the stanza from "The Slurf Song" that YLT couldn't sing on-air:

We fill up our guts
We turn it into shit and we get rid of it -
Turn it into shit
We get rid of it
posted by trashflow at 7:45 PM on March 4, 2011

Why am I not getting this in Queens I mean come on really what the hell airwaves and cheap radio I got for 50 bucks. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
posted by thecaddy at 7:47 PM on March 4, 2011

Jesus, and now "Monkey Man" by the Stones. Paging Card Cheat. Attention Card Cheat, Yo La Tengo is channeling your subconscious in Aisle 101199.
posted by gompa at 7:48 PM on March 4, 2011

Rad, thanks for this! II just saw them in Eugene, they were fantastic. They had a big wheel that they spun to decide what set to play for the first half of the show. I was really impressed that they had so many different songs worked up & ready to go, there were like 15 different sets on the wheel. We got a full set of songs from James' solo project (called Dump).
posted by dialetheia at 7:49 PM on March 4, 2011

I've found at least some of the older performances on various torrent sites/soulseek (not just Murdering the Classics). I actually bought Murdering the Classics from Ira at a show. He looked at it and then said, "You know what this is, right?" I'm still not sure how to take that.
posted by HSWilson at 7:49 PM on March 4, 2011

I want to be the new best friend of whoever requested "Totally Wired".
posted by multics at 7:50 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

Set four:

Bee Gees - To Love Somebody
Unholy Modal Rounders (Michael Hurley) - The Slurf Song
Rolling Stones - The Spider and the Fly
Rolling Stones - Monkey Man
The Fall - Totally Wired
posted by trashflow at 7:51 PM on March 4, 2011

Ah yeah, they spun the wheel of fortune in Chicago too.

We ended up getting a reenactment of a complete episode of Seinfeld.
posted by naju at 7:53 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

You guys are lucky I'm broke. Having talented people play crappy pop songs is what is best in life.
posted by mccarty.tim at 7:55 PM on March 4, 2011

That they would even attempt all these covers on such short notice makes me feel like a fraud as a musician.
posted by triceryclops at 7:56 PM on March 4, 2011

posted by Sailormom at 7:59 PM on March 4, 2011

posted by clvrmnky at 8:04 PM on March 4, 2011

This part is terrible.
posted by muddgirl at 8:08 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

This part is terrible perfect.
posted by multics at 8:11 PM on March 4, 2011

"We Can Work It Out" is pretty much the theme of the evening.
posted by lisa g at 8:13 PM on March 4, 2011

I'm on a bit of a delay, so my terrible might be your awesome. For example, this part is awesome.
posted by muddgirl at 8:14 PM on March 4, 2011

William DeVaughn! Awesome. This is the first year that I've been online to listen live. Great stuff.
posted by p3t3 at 8:18 PM on March 4, 2011

Set five:

The Crew Cuts - Sh-Boom (Life Could Be A Dream)
Screamin' Jay Hawkins - I Put A Spell On You
Lou Reed - Vicious
Steve Miller Band - Rock'n Me
Beatles - We Can Work It Out
Neil Young - Cinnamon Girl
MSFB (William DeVaughn) / Arthur Lee & Love - Be Thankful For What You Got
posted by trashflow at 8:23 PM on March 4, 2011 [1 favorite]

Set six:

Cheap Trick - He's A Whore
Jim Croce - Bad Bad Leroy Brown
Dictators - Stay With Me
The Who - Happy Jack
posted by trashflow at 8:46 PM on March 4, 2011

That last set was absurdly good.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:50 PM on March 4, 2011

Cant wait for the final medly!
posted by wheelieman at 8:53 PM on March 4, 2011

I missed The Fall cover? I MISSED THE FALL COVER? The universe hates me.

Tuned in now -- thanks!
posted by maudlin at 8:56 PM on March 4, 2011

posted by maudlin at 9:03 PM on March 4, 2011

[this is goodhilarious]
posted by ardgedee at 9:07 PM on March 4, 2011

Oh, how I love a little Hall and Oates in my psychedelic freak-out.
posted by phooky at 9:14 PM on March 4, 2011

I just got name-checked during The Gift and I didn't even pledge. Awesome!
posted by maudlin at 9:16 PM on March 4, 2011

Has anybody managed to sneak in a shout-out to Metafilter yet during a WFMU pledge?
posted by ardgedee at 9:17 PM on March 4, 2011

Boy now I wish they would archive that, I would listen to that final medley every week.
posted by wheelieman at 9:18 PM on March 4, 2011

I did my best on the medley but missed a few. Set seven:

The Association - Never My Love
Harry Nilsson - Everybody's Talking At Me (Midnight Cowboy)
Jonathan Richman & the Modern Lovers - Government Center

Beatles - Tomorrow Never Knows (Medley)
Lou Christie - Nature's Taking Over My One-Track Mind
Lou Christie - Lightning's Striking Again
Neil Young - Cowgirl in the Sand
Roberta Flack (Charles Fox & Norman Gimbel) - Killing Me Softly With His Song
Neil Young - Powderfinger
Rolling Stones - She's A Rainbow
Foreigner - Feels Like the First Time
Hall & Oates - Rich Girl
Yo La Tengo - Magnet
Heart - Magic Man
Elton John - Goodbye Yellow Brick Road
Bee Gees - How Deep Is Your Love
Television - Venus de Milo
Fugs (Tuli Kupferberg) - Nothing (WFMU Version)
Velvet Underground - The Gift
Kinks - When I Turn Off The Living Room Light
posted by trashflow at 9:19 PM on March 4, 2011

ardgedee: "Has anybody managed to sneak in a shout-out to Metafilter yet during a WFMU pledge?"

Yup, ocherdraco. And she won a prize too.
posted by roll truck roll at 9:19 PM on March 4, 2011

I tried to sneak in the shout-out to MeFi, too. Put that in the comments on the pledge I gave on the website. They did read my name and location (Brisbane, QLD), mentioned the floods and the Christchurch earthquake, but no Metafilter. Where are their priorities?

(That was fun. Glad I saw this post and got in to listen.)
posted by GamblingBlues at 9:24 PM on March 4, 2011

I also feel like a fraud musician, and am considering smashing my guitar.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 9:49 PM on March 4, 2011

Yo La Tengo on the radio (streaming, in my case) makes for a great friday night.
posted by Jan Coztas at 9:57 PM on March 4, 2011

Wait, so maudlin's real name is "Waldo Jeffers"? Cool.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:32 PM on March 4, 2011 [2 favorites]

I'm so sad that I missed this. I will gladly donate $20 in your honor if you hook me up with an mp3 of the evening.
posted by DigDoug at 5:43 AM on March 5, 2011

I love these, because of the random smattering of awesome and unashamedly godawful covers that they perform. It's usually pretty amusing to hear them attempt to flub their way through a song that they clearly don't know, and laugh about it afterwards.

I've only seen Yo La Tengo once live, which is a shame now that I think about it, given their long and excellent career. On a hot summer night a few years ago, I got dragged out to see them play a show at the last minute in Brooklyn. After we got there, we quickly realized that it wasn't a "real" YLT show -- instead of their usual indie rock fare, they performed The Sounds of the Sounds of Science in its entirety, accompanied by authentic (film!) projections of the circa-1920s films that the album scored. Despite the fact that I was completely unaware of the films or the score prior to the concert, the entire experience was sublimely awesome, and the minimalist post-rock score was a damn near perfect accompaniment to the rather remarkable films. Every once in a blue moon, they repeat this performance, and I'd highly recommend any YLT or post-rock fan to check it out if you have the means to see the show.
posted by schmod at 10:40 AM on March 5, 2011

If you go to one of the main torent sites and type in WFMU, you'll never know WHAT you'll find.
posted by SPUTNIK at 10:51 AM on March 5, 2011

Hey p3t3 (and others) - YLT actually recorded a cover of "Be Thankful For What You Got" a while ago: see here.
posted by lisa g at 11:06 AM on March 5, 2011

I saw Yo La Tengo last year in the gardens of a stately home in England, and that was really a great experience. It's hard to think of a way to disapprove of a story involving Yo La Tengo doing voluntary work for WFMU. It's like kittens joining an otter rescue patrol.
posted by DNye at 11:20 AM on March 5, 2011

One of MeFi's favorite music blogs Cover Me has the show available as a stream or a download if you like.
posted by Sailormom at 6:47 AM on March 8, 2011

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