On Friday night, Yo La Tengo hit the studios of WFMU 91.1 to lend their support to the station’s annual pledge drive. As they have every year for over a decade, the Hoboken trio spent three hours performing listener-requested cover songs. Listeners were encouraged to go obscure, requesting songs the band had never played before (though presumably there was some filter, since no Miley Cyrus deep cuts slipped through). Given that they already played 44 new covers just a couple months ago, that sometimes meant pretty obscure. We’ve got ‘em all below.
For the most part, the performances were endearingly rocky – there’s a reason WFMU’s comp of previous performances was titled Yo La Tengo Is Murdering the Classics (that’s the album art above). For that reason, we’ve posted the whole show as one long stream/download. These on-the-spot performances work best in context. While their lyrically-inept “Because the Night” may not be one you play many times, it’s a hoot hearing the band gamely struggle through the request. Others, though, kick ass in any circumstance. Georgia Hubley channels Keith Moon on “Happy Jack” and Ira Kaplan’s guitar on “Kick Out the Jams” absolutely wrecks the place.
Stream or download all 36 covers – including the closing medley of a dozen or so requests they wanted to squeeze in before time ran out – below. But first…
The show may be over, but WFMU’s pledge drive continues through the 13th! Show your support of the only station in America that brings you three new hours of Yo La Tengo covers every year.
Yo La Tengo on WFMU – March 4, 2011
Click the “Play” button to stream, click the down arrow to download.
Stream removed at band request.
Yo La Tengo on WMFU 2011 Setlist:
01. Here Comes the Sun (The Beatles)
02. Love and Happiness (Al Green)
03. Reach Out of the Darkness (Friend & Lover)
04. A Plea for Tenderness (The Modern Lovers)
05. I’m Going Home (Ten Years After)
06. The Weight (The Band)
07. Hey! Little Child (Alex Chilton)
08. Decora (original)
09. Because the Night (Patti Smith)
10. Kick Out the Jams (The MC5)
11. Love Minus Zero/No Limit -> Mr. Tambourine Man -> Like a Rolling Stone (Bob Dylan)
12. Astral Plane (The Modern Lovers)
13. Aliens in Our Midst (The Twinkeyz)
14. Drawing to a Whole (The Clean)
15. Brother Louie (Hot Chocolate)
16. I’m Sticking with You (The Velvet Underground)
17. To Love Someboyd (Bee Gees cover)
18. Slurf Song (Holy Modal Rounders)
19. The Spider and the Fly (The Rolling Stones)
20. Monkey Man (The Rolling Stones)
21. Totally Wired (The Fall)
22. Sh-Boom (The Chords)
23. I Put a Spell on You (Screamin’ Jay Hawkins)
24. Vicious (Lou Reed) [snippet]
25. Rock’n Me (Steve Miller Band)
26. We Can Work It Out (The Beatles)
27. Cinnamon Girl (Neil Young)
28. Be Thankful for What You Go (William DeVaughn)
29. He’s a Whore (Cheap Trick)
30. Bad, Bad Leroy Brown (Jim Croce)
31. Stay with Me (The Dictators)
32. Happy Jack (The Who)
33. Never My Love (The Association)
34. Everybody’s Talkin’ (Fred Neil)
35. Government Center (The Modern Lovers)
36. Closing Medley (incl. snippets of “Tomorrow Never Knows,” “Lightning Strikes,” “Cowgirl in the Sand,” “Killing Me Softly,” “She’s a Rainbow,” “Rich Girl,” “How Deep Is Your Love,” and more.)
Pledge your support at WFMU.org.