This Is Where I Belong: Yo La Tengo at Maxwell’s, 1986-2013
As you know, Maxwell’s, the Hoboken club that’s been Yo La Tengo’s home away from home for three decades, is closing its doors … any minute now? There have been many great, bittersweet tributes posted over the past month or so. Here’s ours: The Sunsquashed Archives’ 21-gun salute to YLT’s nights at Maxwell’s, presented in conjunction with Big Day Coming, Jesse Jarnow’s highly recommended bio of the band (which could also work as a bio of Maxwell’s come to think of it).
What you’ve got here is a wild and wooly collection of Yo La Tengo live recordings, chock full of everything that makes the band great — epic jams, hushed pop songs, covers both predictable (Kinks, Feelies, etc) and unpredictable (Don McLean, Black Flag), and guest stars galore. It’s a blast, and I think it fully demonstrates how comfortable YLT was at Maxwell’s. This was a place where they could experiment, relax, and fully enjoy themselves. The warm vibes are plentiful. This was clearly where they belonged.
Thanks as always to the intrepid fans who took the trouble to bring their tape recorders to these shows over the years. And thanks to Yo La Tengo and Maxwell’s for being so awesome. Obviously, you should be buying everything YLT puts out.
1. American Pie (Don McLean) - Dec. 31, 1996
2. The Last Time (Rolling Stones) - Dec. 31, 1996
3. Sad (unreleased original) - Oct. 13, 1989
4. Barnaby, Hardly Working - Oct. 28, 1988
5. Days (The Kinks) - Oct. 28, 1988
6. You’re Gonna Miss Me (Roky Erickson) - Oct. 6, 1990
7. Sunsquashed - Jan. 4, 1992
8. We’re Gonna Love (Sir Winston and the Commons) - Oct. 13, 1989
9. Monica (Antietam) - Nov. 11, 1990
10. Artificial Heart - March 21, 1992
11. Next Big Thing (The Dictators) (with Gaylord Fields) - Dec. 31, 1996
12. Abbada-Dabba-Doo Dance (T. Lance and Coctails) (with Todd Abramson) - Dec. 31, 1996
13. Big Day Coming - March 2, 1991
1. Now 2000 - Sept. 14, 1998
2. It’s Only Life [Feelies] (with Glenn Mercer) - March 23, 2011*
3. Fa-Ce-La (The Feelies) (with Glenn Mercer and Dave Weckerman) - Dec. 31, 1996
4. He’s Frank (The Monochrome Set) - Sept. 14, 1998
5. A Day In the Life Of A Tree (Wilson, Riley) - Sept. 17, 1998
6. See My Friends (The Kinks) - Dec. 31, 1999
7. TV Party (Black Flag) - July 24, 2000
8. Thank You For Sending Me An Angel [Talking Heads] (with David Byrne) - March 23, 2011*
9. A Plea For Dump - March 23, 2011*
10. Bad News Beat (Neil Young) - Sept. 20, 1986
11. Ohm - June 15, 2013
12. Are You A Boy or a Girl? (The Troggs) (with Dave Schramm) - June 29, 2011
13. Paul Is Dead - June 29, 2011
14. Outrage [Booker T] - June 15, 2013
15. Did I Tell You? - Dec. 31, 1996
16. This Is Where I Belong (The Kinks) - Sept. 14, 1998
17. Borstal Breakout (Sham 69) - Dec. 31, 1996
*These recordings come from NYC Taper’s recording of YLT’s benefit for the victims of the Japan Tsunami of 2011. Donate to a good cause and get the full show here.
Note: Some of you may notice that there are no recordings from Yo La’s famed Hanukkah gigs at Maxwell’s. Fear not! That’ll be a whole other (eight volume?) compilation.