I’m sure most of you know about Yo La Tengo, so I’m not going to pretend otherwise. The husband and wife team of Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley started playing with various other like-minded independent and underground artists way back in the mid-eighties, composing improvisational and often wandering art-rock. They’re kind of like New Jersey’s version of Of Montreal.
But my favorite thing YLT does is covers. In 1990, the band made Fakebook, featuring covers of songs by artists like Gene Clark, Cat Stevens, The Flamin’ Groovies, The Kinks, and Daniel Johnston. The great thing about a Yo cover is that it is truly different from the original . . . They put their stamp on everything they do.
Right after Fakebook, the band made May I Sing with Me, on which they were joined by bassist James McNew. Thanks to a reader, I’ve managed to get a hold of a copy of Dump’s classic That Skinny Motherfucker With the High Voice, an album of nothing but Prince covers named after a lyric from the Purple One’s Black Album. It’s a great record that has supposedly been reissued, but I haven’t been able to find a reissued copy in any of the on-line stores I go to.
In honor of that listener, and because I’ve been intending to do this for a while, I’m throwing up some YLT covers–including a few Dump tracks. And because Hype Machine is so fucked up now I’m doing it over the course of a few posts–Hype won’t pick up more than three songs a post now. Why did they have to take the greatest internet aggregator and fuck with it?
Heroes (David Bowie)-YLT
I Wanna Be Your Boyfriend (Ramones)-YLT
The Beautiful Ones (Prince)-Dump
Good Lovin’ (Rascals cover)-Yo La Tengo