ROCK YO LA TENGO Liguid Room. Edinburgt . Mo" K j..

‘We’re jamming, we‘re jamming, we’re jamming, we’re jamming - and I hope you like jamming too’.

That‘s all very well, Mr Marley, but these days jamming is a dirty word. It carries associations and implications that are very definitely frowned upon. Because jamming implies self-indulgent noodling, musicians putting themselves ahead of their music, and an artist just generally being a bit of a wank.

Well not anymore, because Yo La Tengo are back, and they’re once more reclaiming the jam as a valid (and, in their case, brilliant) songwriting tool, so stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

‘I know,‘ says Ira Kaplan, one third of the Hoboken trio, the line- up being completed by his wife, Georgia Hubley, and friend, James McNew. ‘It seems such an imprecise word, you know? Jamming. It‘s not like we‘re dropping acid and lying down on the floor, playing. The word carries with it all these connotations that don’t really represent what we’re doing, but that‘s all right. Many famous musicians have spent a lot

of time jamming, so I guess it‘s a noble tradition.‘

You shouldn’t labour under the impression that Yo La Tengo are some self-aggrandising mass of Hendrix licks and drum solos, though. Their newest album, the amazing Summer Sun, does have a seamlessness about it, a flow, if you will, that can only come from deep, musicianly understanding. But it’s also snazzy and poppy and jazzy and summery and cool and funny,

.Wm ' a i . ‘34..‘”‘


Yo . . . bumrush the show

Always unashamedly experimental, Yo La Tengo now seem a more focussed entity, but that doesn’t stop them dicking around with their tunes, and producing plenty of surprises on their rare live

‘It has happened that we‘ll hear one of our records being played, and it takes time to even recognise the song because it‘s different from the way we play it

Surface noise

All the whines. fines and landmine throwbacks in the wonderful world of muSIC

AN EVENT THAT WILL undoubtedly be one of the highlights of August is the return to Edinburgh of Super Furry Animals, who will play the Queen‘s Hall as part of T on the Fringe on 7 August. Singer/songwriter Tom McCrae has also confirmed for the same venue on 4 August. Elsewhere, Michael Franti (28 Aug), Blackalicious (27 Aug) and the most excellent Warp jazz‘n'bass loon Squarepusher (18 Aug) have all been confirmed to appear at the Liquid Room and All American Rejects play the Venue on 25 August.

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Iive,’ says Kaplan.

While this wilfully independent attitude continues to delight fans, it has perhaps resulted in the band receiving less than their fair share of attention. Kaplan

and it has great pop hooks that most chart acts would give their badly choreographed dance routines for.

A logical progression from 2000‘s acclaimed And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside Out, Summer Sun is

Yo La Tengo’s eleventh album in the past 15 years, a period that has seen them embrace everything from wall-of-guitar wig-out punk art noise to avant garde


doesn‘t mind. ‘lt’s not like I feel that we‘ve got to fly the flag of rebellion,’ he says. ‘We‘re just happy to be in our band, and if our band is out of the mainstream,

that’s OK.’ (Doug Johnstone)

hile most musiCians wait until the twilight of their careers to play Las Vegas.

we. in an abswd b0ut of cue jumping. waited until the height oi Summer to visit this palace of dementia. It's not the kind of place that people shoLild inhabit: it's far too hot for humans and those who do dwell there have been driven silly by heat. Also. it battles me that people can be fooled into believing that gambling is a profitable pastime while being confronted by the grotesquely wanton lavishness of the buildings that have been paid for by people with similar notions. There are even booths for gamblers to pawn their jewellery when they rm Out of cash. Mugs. Anyway. as ycu can


Being in the middle of nowhere isn’t a problem, it’s what you do when you get there that counts

fathom. everyone who comes to Vegas does so to gamble or tinker with prostitutes. not see indie bands. EspeCiaIIy pasty Scottish indie bands. Damn. The highlight for us was Our opening act Cex (the world's number one entertainer) and his indie kid baiting. He asked the (impeccany sparse) audience if they'd heard the new Beyonce Single. When this was met With muted grunts he asked if they'd heard the new Beyonce remixed by Godspeed You Black Emperor! More muted grunts. Higth

amusing, I guess you had to be there.

Playing to no bugger in the desert is hardly the best preparation for the main stage at Glastonbury but

beggars can't be choosers. That said.

choosei's can be beggars. Anyone can be a beggar, just ask Lois Lane.

Playing Glastonbury to tens of thousands is literally and metaphorically thousands of miles away from Nevada. and to say we were nervous would be an untlerstatement to rank alongside “Hitler wasn't too keen on those Jews‘. That said, it p. ssed without incident and we played in the presence of a flag with "Henrik is goo. hail hail' emblazoned across it. So we played. got drunk with our friends in an area packed with D-Iist celebs. got slung an incredible rubber ear from Michael Stipe and got the hell out of there. As I‘m writing this I'm also watching Moby murder Radiohead's Creep in a Sub- metal style with a guy scratching over the top. I think we left just in the nick Of time.

On a slight tangent. I hear that Scotland is getting another radio station. I for one. think that is good news. But more of that another time'

Finley gets intimate

FINLEY QUAYE IS MAKING A comeback with a handful of intimate Scottish dates this month. He plays King Tut‘s in Glasgow on 22 July and Edinburgh's Liquid Room on 23 July, as well as dates around lnverness, Aberdeen Orkney and more. He will be playing a selection of new and old songs and previewing tracks from his forthcoming album due out in the Autumn. His website www.finley is worth a visit to download his unreleased covers of the Beatles ‘Think for Yourself’ and Black Sabbath’s ‘The Wizard‘. Tickets for all the above shows are on sale now from the usual outlets.

' .1. 222’: THE LIST 49