yo la tengo
December 28, 2005, Yo La Tengo performed at 'Maxwell's' in Hoboken, New Jersey, as part of the Hanukah concert series.
The band invited Arkestra members Fred Adams (trumpet), Michael Ray (trumpet), Dave Davis (trombone) and Tyrone Hill (trombone) on the stage and performed Sun Ra material with them.
2005/12/28 Yo La Tengo & The Sun Ra Arkestra - concert 'Maxwell's', Hoboken, New Jersey, usa
Yo La Tengo: Ira Kaplan Georgia Hubley and James McNew
Sun Ra Arkestra [partial] with Fred Adams, trumpet ; Michael Ray, trumpet ; Dave Davis trombone ; Tyrone Hill, trombone
Party Tonight*, Georgia vs. Yo La Tengo*, Don't Have To Be So Sad*,
Out The Window*, Double Dare*, Tears Are In Your Eyes, Stockholm
Syndrome, Walking Away From You, Can't Forget, Clumsy Grandmother
Serves Delicious Dessert by Mistake*, Deeper Into Movies*, Big Day
Coming (fast)*, Little Honda (Beach Boys)*, Nuclear War (Sun Ra)*
I Dream of Jeannie (Hypnolovewheel, with Stephen Hunking on guitar and vocals), (I Live For) Cars and Girls (The Dictators, with Todd Abramson of Maxwell's on vocals), Dreaming (Sun Ra)
members of the Sun Ra Arkestra.
Tengo & The Sun Ra Arkestra
Live at Maxwell's: Hanukah, Night 4
Live at Maxwell's in Hoboken, New Jersey, December 28, 2005
In appearance, Yo La Tengo are the epitome of ordinariness. So to have them next to the extroverted space explorers, The Sun Ra Arkestra, is to watch an odd coupling mutate into something else.
When the Arkestra is in overdrive as on Big Day Coming, it is in full free jazz flight, dissonant and insouciant. There is a wail throughout the tune like a police car hot on their tail. Not to be left behind, Yo La Tengo throw in a punk-Clash rhythm that revs up the space ship, a vector or two.
Yo La Tengo's Hanukah Nights are a regular affair every December. Ira Kaplan of the band uses every occasion to link back pop music to its roots and branches. You would be as likely to catch them performing The Monkees as well as The Beach Boys [catch them with Little Honda accelerated by The Arkestra]. Guests are also a regular feature. The next night's was Half-Japanese. Tonight it's the Arkestra plus surprise guest Dick Manitoba of The Dictators [I Live For Cars and Girls]. Yo La Tengo are that inclusive. Nevermind if you've never heard of them, it's meant to be a surprise.
The highlight of the evening are the two Sun Ra compositions - Nuclear War with its provocative chorus "nuclear war, it's a motherfucker. If they push that button, your ass gotta go". It's good to know Yo La Tengo are not afraid to perform a good song despite Nuclear War's controversial lyrics. Then there's the totally different Sun Ra ballad Dreamin' sung so tenderly by Ira's wife Georgia Hubley.
Hanukah Nights are a delight for their diversity - ballads [Tears Are In Your Eyes, Can't Forget]; pop [Stockholm Syndrome]; punk, rock and free jazz in a single evening with no worries of upsetting your "target" audience.