On tour in support of their 15th full-length record, There’s A Riot Going On, seminal indie rock outfit and critical darlings Yo La Tengo are set to return to Nashville this weekend for an intimate two-night run at The Basement East on April 13 & 14. While any YLT show is a not-to-miss affair, we’re even more excited as they return to their New Jersey beginnings by scaling down their Nashville appearance for two full shows in a club at least half the size of most of their other stops on this tour. Tickets are still available for both nights, but we wouldn’t expect that to last. You can snag tickets here for Friday (4/13) or here for Saturday (4/14). Head below to read more about the band.
Founding members Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley began their journey as Yo La Tengo over 30 years ago in Hoboken, NJ, and despite some lineup changes early on, have operated largely as a trio with bassist James McNew for all of those years. YLT first began to garner critical acclaim with their Coyote released third full-length President Yo La Tengo in 1989, and, while the fan fare was a few years down the road, it did capture the attention of, at the time buzzy up and coming, tastemaking label Matador Records. The new partnership also brought producer Roger Moutenot into the fold for what would become a very long and fruitful relationship, as was heard on their label debut Painful and followup Electr-O-Pura. They really began to flesh out the eclectic sound that the band has since become famous for with their, partly recorded in Nashville, 1997 release, I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One, and that mix of folk, punk, shoegaze, and electronic noise rock catapulted the band into the public eye, and landed on numerous best of lists not only for that year, but for the decade!
In the years since their breakout, Yo La Tengo have lent their talents to new records, film scores, tributes, and cover albums, all helping the band to evolve into the fiercely unique and brave artists that we see today. This was as evident in the music as in the title of their 2006 LP I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass, and the 2009 followup Popular Songs, which saw the band incorporate more string and horn arrangements into their sound. After several more years of recording tracks for benefits, covers, and releasing high-profile remixes of their hits, they took a detour with their 2013 John McEntire produced album Fade. All of which led up to the release of their latest, self-produced (though McEntire was tabbed for the mixing) record, There’s A Riot Going On, which just released on March 16. The band borrowed the name for the new record from the politically charged 1970s Sly & The Family Stone record, and, while the lyrics aren’t overtly political, it’s is an act of quiet resistance to the divisive and troubling political climate in our country again today.
There’s A Riot Going On is a lovely amalgamation of all your favorite Yo La Tengo phases. It’s a growth process that almost 30 years of the same trio can accomplish, and effortlessly blends sounds from their soundtrack work with the same varying guitar styles, slurry bass lines, and melt-in-your-ears tender vocals that fans and critics alike have grown to love about the group/. Head below to check out new single “For You Too” to get a taste, and then wander back through the decades of memories in their catalogue to wax nostalgic in anticipation of two very special nights coming up in Nashville.