It’s not very often that a group as legendary as Yo La Tengo roll into town. It’s even rarer to catch them on a tour of such oddball uniqueness as their current ‘Reinventing The Wheel’ tour. Well, tomorrow night (Friday 10th June), YLT bring their bizarre concept show to the O2 Academy Oxford.
The best thing to come out of Hoboken since Old Blues Eyes, Yo La Tengo have been New Jersey’s finest exponent of experimental indie-rock since the mid-1980s. Heavily influenced by the work of The Velvet Underground, YLT have built up an avid, almost cult following and an even more impressive back catalogue of work (I can’t think of a better Sunday morning album than And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out). The Onion wrote an infamous piece on the band, parodying their apparent musical exclusivity with the story “37 Record-Store Clerks Feared Dead In Yo La Tengo Concert Disaster“.
This particular tour, however, represents a peak in the band’s creativity and wit. If you haven’t heard about YLT’s Reinventing The Wheel Tour already, let us enlighten you. The band will be forgoing a support slot, opting instead to bring out a huge spinning wheel. Wheel Of Fortune style, the band will give it a whirl, and whatever section it lands on determines how the audience will be entertained prior to their main set. Let’s run through some of those options:
- Condo Fucks – a set by their noise-rock alter egos.
- Dump – Bassist Jame McNew’s solo project.
- The Freewheeling Yo La Tengo – Audience Q&A session in which is answer is followed by a song.
- The Name Game – The band only play songs with peoples names in it.
- Sitcom Theatre – The band act out a classic sitcom
- Songs Starting With S – pretty self explanatory
- The Sounds Of Science Part 1 – the first half of the instrumental soundtrack which accompanied the film Sound Of Science
- The Sound Of Science Part 2 – or maybe the second half of that same soundtrack
Sounds mental. And don’t forget, after potentially watching a, presumably poorly acted episode of Seinfeld, you’ll get to see a more conventional (if the band even know the meaning of this word) set from one of the most intriguing and important bands of the past 20 years.
Tickets cost £16 and can be purchased here, courtesy of WeGotTickets: http://www.wegottickets.com/event/114016