Sunday, October 11, 2015

Recording: Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm

Artist: Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Automatic Doom

Songs: Automatic Doom [The Special Pillow cover] + Season of the Shark + Today is the Day + Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind

Recorded at Queen Elizabeth Theatre, September 30, 2015.

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Automatic Doom

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Season of the Shark

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Today is the Day

Yo La Tengo with Dave Schramm - Pass the Hatchet, I Think I'm Goodkind

Echoing 1990's band-pivoting Fakebook, Yo La Tengo's new Stuff Like That There strips things down with its mix of covers, acoustic reinterpretation of the band's older songs and a handful of new tunes. Tying this tour even closer to the Fakebook concept, the band has invited former guitarist Dave Scramm out on tour with them, playing lead on electric (and some scintillating lap steel) while Ira Kaplan packed away his pyrotechnics, sticking to an acoustic as James McNew played an upright bass and Georgia Hubley used mostly brushes on her stand-up drumkit. So, while the band did play an acoustic set while touring Fade a couple years ago, in the hushed space of a soft-seat theatre this felt like an entirely quieter phenomenon.

Besides presenting a healthy dose of material from the new album, over two sets the group applied its aesthetic both to their usual dazzling range of covers (from The Parliaments to The Kinks to Devo) and to some new Fakebook-ed back catalogue excavations — whether taming rock excursions like "Pass the Hatchet" into a quietly-sizzlin' waterslide ride or or a digging out quieter deep catalogue gems like I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One's "One PM Again". The band also took their pains to make the show place-specific, not just in a heartily-received dedication to the Blue Jays, who had clinched the AL East that afternoon ("Not pandering," joked Kaplan) but also in dedicating songs to The Sadies and Shadowy Men on a Shadowy Planet's Reid Diamond.

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