Yo La Tengo Is Still Murdering the Classics
March 13, 2021 8:28 AM   Subscribe

Today at 3pm Eastern is the annual Yo La Tengo request show. If you donate $100 to the great independent radio station WFMU, Yo La Tengo will try to play any song you request. (check your timezone here).

The YLT request show has become a low-key Metafilter tradition over the years, with Mefites getting their favorite songs in and sharing commentary. Unlike nearly everything else on WFMU, you can't listen to the request show in the archive later. When it's done, it's done.

Unfortunately, there won't be a video stream this year, but you can still join the party at at WFMU.org.

If you do put in a request, be sure to use this link (with the pledge earmarked for Todd-a-phonic Todd's show). Otherwise, the request may not make it to the band.

Previously: 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2002
posted by roll truck roll (32 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
 
My main advice to anyone making a request: it's not Stump the Chumps. Think of a song it would be fun to hear YLT mess around with, not the most obscure thing you can think of.
posted by roll truck roll at 8:30 AM on March 13 [15 favorites]


Africa
posted by supermedusa at 8:41 AM on March 13


David Essex - rock on

I saw Yo La Tengo a couple of times way back when. Their better set by far was when they were first of two bands warming up My Bloody Valentine. 1992, I think. I'd describe them as restrained, cool, entirely focused on sustaining a spooky, not particularly explosive mood. Kind of like Rock On.

Later when MBV hit, I fully understood why. Nothing was going to compete with their firestorm of a set, not even God. So in choosing to go other way absolutely -- Yo La Tengo delivered something I still fondly remember. Unlike the middle band Buffalo Tom. Current sort of indie new cool contenders. They tried to rock things up ... and got annihilated for it. Though I do notice they're still around, so I guess they survived.
posted by philip-random at 9:23 AM on March 13 [5 favorites]


Darude - Sandstorm
posted by cmfletcher at 9:42 AM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Thinking on it just now, I’d love to hear them essay “Pulling Mussels from the Shell” by Squeeze. Unfortunately, one of my cats is currently incurring $8000 in emergency fees, so I don’t think I can spare the scratch this morning.
posted by mykescipark at 9:59 AM on March 13 [3 favorites]


Unlike the middle band Buffalo Tom. Current sort of indie new cool contenders. They tried to rock things up ... and got annihilated for it. Though I do notice they're still around, so I guess they survived.

later featured on what my phd adviser, one of the last of the U of Chicago Monetarists, described as his favorite episode of My So Called Life, which raised more questions than it answered.
posted by dismas at 10:11 AM on March 13 [2 favorites]


@mykescipark, I put in a request for it for you. Best wishes to you and the cat.
posted by Candleman at 10:14 AM on March 13 [20 favorites]


Thanks Roll Truck Roll for doing the legwork this year so I can tend to other business. Glad you are on it! Thanks also to Candleman for being an awesome human!
posted by wheelieman at 10:54 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


No problem! The marathon this year has been a great opportunity for me to start listening to WFMU again. I actually won a prize last night (this CD I'd never heard of).
posted by roll truck roll at 11:10 AM on March 13 [1 favorite]


The thought of Yo La Tengo continuing to be a particular sort of cultural constant for over 30 years is one of the things that has brought me solace in these dark times.
posted by ardgedee at 11:33 AM on March 13 [7 favorites]




lol "That's Amore"
posted by roll truck roll at 12:39 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


"Bela Lugosi's Dead" came out kinda amazing.
posted by ardgedee at 12:47 PM on March 13 [4 favorites]


Holy crap, burying the lede:

This is the 25th anniversary of Yo La Tengo's request shows on WFMU.
posted by ardgedee at 12:51 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Yeah, that's amazing. I thought about looking it up when I made the post, but I forgot.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:53 PM on March 13


James knows the lyrics better than Michael Stipe does.
posted by 1970s Antihero at 1:04 PM on March 13 [3 favorites]


I think "Sugar Sugar" definitely came up in a past year.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:05 PM on March 13


Admittedly I haven't taken a lot of time to search, but I'm a little surprised that I haven't found a canonical playlist of all of YLT's request shows.

...aw boogers. I missed the Pere Ubu number.
posted by ardgedee at 1:33 PM on March 13


Ooh, I love the idea of rewriting "Sweet Soul Music" to be about the WFMU DJ lineup.
posted by roll truck roll at 2:05 PM on March 13


Oh HELLS yes! "Lately I Keep Scissors". That's not my request, it's just a very happy coincidence that somebody else likes the song as much as I do.
posted by ardgedee at 2:43 PM on March 13 [2 favorites]


Man I read this way too late but I definitely would have asked for
Everything Counts.

I think they would have nailed it
posted by markbrendanawitzmissesus at 3:02 PM on March 13


Well, I tried at least. I got a shout out but no luck with the song. But at least the money went to a good cause.
posted by Candleman at 3:20 PM on March 13


I kind of love it when they get into this "apology" section every year.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:24 PM on March 13




Well, I tried at least. I got a shout out but no luck with the song. But at least the money went to a good cause.

Candleman, I'm honored and humbled by the gesture. My little boy (who I must assume, being my child, also enjoys Squeeze) thanks you from his hospital bed.
posted by mykescipark at 3:34 PM on March 13 [7 favorites]


That was great fun.
posted by roll truck roll at 3:42 PM on March 13


I just learned that there's a new Holy Modal Rounders documentary too, for all those random canyon fans.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 6:00 PM on March 13 [1 favorite]


As great as ever. I especially loved Suspicious Minds, and then them forgetting that they'd played it already.
posted by Capt. Renault at 6:34 PM on March 13


Such an amazing team of extrahumans.
posted by rhizome at 9:50 PM on March 13


First time listener. Such a great treat! I enjoyed it immensely and immediately came up with songs I'd love for them to cover. (I guess I'll have to look through 20 years of set lists to see if they already done them...)
posted by Rabarberofficer at 10:35 AM on March 14


later featured on what my phd adviser, one of the last of the U of Chicago Monetarists, described as his favorite episode of My So Called Life, which raised more questions than it answered.

I've always felt Yo La Tengo was way better than MBV -who where more interesting when they were goth-rockers kind of like the Misfits. Loveless is probably one of my least listened to cds, and covers of the only actual songs When You Sleep and Blown a Wish are way better than the originals. In concert, they probably literally blew you away just by being louder than the others.

My So Called Life = Buffalo Tom It's a well done scene, with a relatively long song and nearly wordless scene that cements the relationship with the cool girl (Claire Danes) her on again/off again boyfriend, and her nerdy close friend who wants more. The scene ends the show with her making her choice. This was high teen drama in the 1990s. There was almost nothing better, which is a low bar compared to now. The show also used contemporary music really well.
posted by The_Vegetables at 9:12 AM on March 15


Buffalo Tom's early albums had a psychedelic/shoegazy component to their sound (which I guess in hindsight can be attributed to J Mascis's contributions). They settled into a kind of generic alt-rock that got them into the charts and made them one in the horde of generic alt-rock bands taking turns on the charts of the early and mid-90s. So yeah I can understand how billing them between YLT and MBV might've made sense on paper at the time yet not work well for them.

> I've always felt Yo La Tengo was way better than MBV -who where more interesting when they were goth-rockers kind of like the Misfits. Loveless is probably one of my least listened to cds, and covers of the only actual songs When You Sleep and Blown a Wish are way better than the originals. In concert, they probably literally blew you away just by being louder than the others.

I've never seen MBV in concert (and probably never will, I've already developed all the hearing problems I care to have, tyvm), but "Loveless" was absolutely a staple of my '90s listening, it's one of the few albums for which I could tell you exactly when and where I was when I first heard it -- having never heard MBV before that moment, it was the shock of the new for me. Yo La Tengo has had a blessedly long career together and I will love every one of their albums until I die, but they've never made anything that absolutely blew my mind in the way that first spin of "Loveless" did.
posted by ardgedee at 6:30 AM on March 16


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