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Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Yo La Tengo's Six Best Cover Songs

Posted By on Tue, Jan 29, 2013 at 5:00 AM

Yo La Tengo
  • Yo La Tengo

Legendary Hoboken, New Jersey indie rock trio Yo La Tengo is gracing the Pageant with its presence this Thursday, January 31. The band is notoriously unpredictable live, in part thanks to its virtual encyclopedia of cover songs. Here is a list of Yo La Tengo's six best cover songs. Let us know your favorites in the comments, or better yet, send your comment to Yo La Tengo and see if the band will reinterpret it for you.

[Hey, want to win tickets to Thursday's show? Click here for details.]

6. "Here Comes My Baby" (originally by Cat Stevens)

Yo La Tengo stacked its 1990 album Fakebook with covers of tracks by Daniel Johnston, John Cale, and Flamin' Groovies. By far, the album's best cut is the Cat Stevens tune "Here Comes My Baby." Drummer Georgia Hubley (who may be recognized by Nitpick Six diehards [aka my mother] as the sixth best sloppy drummer of all time) gives the song a bounce not unlike Simon & Garfunkel's "Me & Julio Down By The Schoolyard," and her low-key harmonized melody with guitarist/singer/husband Ira Kaplan gives it that signature Yo La Tengo gentle touch.

5. "Dreams" (originally by Fleetwood Mac)

"Dreams" actually seems like the perfect song for Yo La Tengo. Much like many of the band's originals (including the fantastic recent single "Ohm"), this Fleetwood Mac classic rides an unchanging rhythm as a vehicle for melodic interest. The band could have done a gorgeous droning version that would have fit perfectly on its Summer Sun album, but the trio made "Dreams" a grungy dirge with Lou Reed-meets-Mick Jagger vocal delivery. Yo La Tengo actually un-Yo La Tengo-fied the track. Brilliant.

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