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Baker's Dozen

All The Glitter: Ira Kaplan Of Yo La Tengo's Favourite Albums
April Clare Welsh , March 14th, 2013 07:01

Yo La Tengo’s frontman leads April Clare Welsh through a selection of his most played LPs

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Albert Brooks – Comedy Minus One
This is a comedy record which I have probably memorised and which I put in a lot of time with when I was young. His comedy has always meant a lot to me and it's just the way certain phrases from this record have stuck with me on a daily basis in life. He has this whole running thing on the record about what it's like to be a comedian opening for rock bands, so there's some sort of connection – although I loved it well before I was ever in a rock band – and in the years since I have definitely recognised some parallels with my life. I don't really ever come back to it, I don't really listen to it anymore but I don't really have to. He's got his thing where he rewrites the national anthem which is the big number on this record. A couple of years ago I saw an appearance of him on TV via YouTube rewriting the national anthem and he did it a little bit differently than how he does it on the record – it's like an eight-minute piece – which I shared with my brother. He's also made a bunch of films where he's the writer, director and actor e.g. Real Life, Modern Romance and Lost in America. These are probably the three best ones but Defending Your Life is pretty great too. He's doesn't do much comedy these days and he hasn't made his own movie in a long time, but he was in Drive last year.

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Mar 14, 2013 2:43pm

And the obligatory velvet underground record?

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Mar 14, 2013 5:04pm

Excellent list-- and The Scene Is Now are still peerlessly rocking/not rocking... Chris Nelson for Pope for more Phil Dray keyboard solos, please!!

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Mar 14, 2013 6:23pm

how long til the perennially grumpy anonymous commenter shows up to tell us how he kinda respects YLT (when they're playing shows, mind you, not their albums) but thinks their john cale covers are the worst? because that guy's a fucking humorless broken record who really should be put out of his misery.

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Karin Christensen
Mar 14, 2013 7:40pm

Oh I just love the fact that he mentions adventure as one of his favourite records, such a great album, I have so many warm and sad memories listening to it, it's that kind of record, both sad and warm and lovely and beutifully sinister. I LOVE The dreams dream, it's one of their best songs, what a guitar solo //Karin Sweden

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Hedda Gabbler
Mar 15, 2013 4:00am

In reply to baconfat:

Hint: ALL Yo La Tengo covers suck, with the exception of Sun Ra "Nuclear War" and The Scene Is Now "Yellow Sarong," two tunes so indomitable yet elastic YTL's good intentions shine through.

Hilarious how their fanboys and girls are treat YLT so sacredly, however. None of three have written more than five excellent SONGS between them-- even at their early peak they were subcontracting lyrics to Phil Milstein... Phil Milstein?!

"Wake of the Flood" >>>> YLT's ** career **; maybe if Ira, James and Georgia watched less television and read more they'd have more to say but, alas... And they ain't jazz either, hoss!

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Cynthia Mask
Mar 15, 2013 11:24am

In reply to Hedda Gabbler:

Party's overs folks, the trolls have arrived!

Is there some kind of magic portal that directly links The Quietus to The Guardian's music section, 'cos it seems like the same bearded, overweight, sexually frustrated, socially illiterate mitherers constantly scurry between both nowadays?

p.s. Interesting list Ira - I had a "Kiwi epiphany" with that Clean cassette too. :)

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John Doran
Mar 15, 2013 12:03pm

In reply to Cynthia Mask:

Did someone call me?

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Cynthia Mask
Mar 15, 2013 8:14pm

In reply to John Doran:

Ha - you smelt it, you dealt it, etc. :)

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Chris Q.
Mar 15, 2013 10:46pm

Neat List. IK can say he likes "Riot" but isn't a huge Sly fan...from you tubers ok...from a guy in the safest band in the world, a little disingenuous...

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Mar 16, 2013 10:47am

In reply to Chris Q.:

But what's "safe" got to do with anything? Surely what matters is whether YLT's records are still worth listening to or not? Sly Stone certainly knocked out a few "safe" albums in his time...

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Mar 16, 2013 11:26pm

In reply to Rooksby:

Some people hold "There's a Riot Goin' On" in extremely high regard, and to make "Fresh" and "Small Talk" after losing Larry Graham - if it isn't dangerous its at least ballsy...maybe The Flaming Lips or Beck or YLT can try to do a cover album of "Fresh," that'd be hip as shit for guys in their mid-forties.

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Mar 17, 2013 1:16pm

In reply to :

I'd rather The Flaming Lips didn't record anything again ever if that's OK with thee? :)

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Ralf Jogerst
May 26, 2013 4:45pm

In reply to Karin Christensen :

Really one of the all time best adventure.The talking heads more songs, pylon gyrate, chills singles and bats daddy´s highway follow onlyin a short distance. Nice to read the yola biography.

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