Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Happy Hanukkah | Yo La Tengo

Now that Christmas has passed and we are in the midst of Hanukkah, it's time to wish everyone a Happy Hanukkah. And it's also time to start reading about Yo La Tengo's Eight Nights of Hanukkah at Maxwell's in Hoboken.

For the last few years, the Hoboken-based band has raised money for charity by playing Maxwell's each night of Hanukkah. The bonus this year is that Hanukkah runs through New Year's so fans get the confluence of their Hanukkah shows with their New Year's show. To commemorate this event (and play along with the technology of the times), YLT is blogging about their eight day event.

For past stints at Maxwell's, YLT have taken the stage wearing gorilla costumes. However, this year, Ira came on as Santa, James as a Rabbi and, just to retain their claim to the moniker of "art-rock", Georgia was dressed as Robin the Boy Wonder.

The other highlight of the first night seemed to be a version of "My Little Corner of the World" featuring Hamish Kilgour (formerly of The Clean) and Lisa Siegel of The Mad Scene. YLT's version of "My Little Corner of the World" was my wife and mine's wedding song so it's always good to hear that it's still making it's way into the set lists.

I just realized that the fans at the first night also got to hear the acoustic version of "Big Day Coming". Sounds like it was a damn fine show.

Last night, the show was capped with a cover of Blue Oyster Cult's "Burning For You" with James on vocals.

I've never been to any of the Hanukkah shows but I've been to a pair of their New Year's shows at Maxwell's. The concerts are just incredibly fun. With the relaxed nature of the performances, lots of covers and a large number of YLT's friends joining them on stage, the shows feel more like a house party than a traditional concert. Plus, they often featured a large number of new tunes.

By the way, if reading the blog entries isn't enough for you to get your fill of YLT, check out their online video game. It's basically Breakout but with "video game like" versions of their tunes and amusing titles for the different boards like "Save the Acetone" or "Save WFMU".

Yo La Tengo - It's Christmas Time (courtesy of In House Radio)
Yo La Tengo - Sheena Is a Punk Rocker (live) (courtesy of Illicit Noise)

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