Yo La Tengo has lit up the indie scene for three decades, part of an underground revolution that defied corporate music conglomerates, eschewed pop radio, and found a third way.Read more...
Yo La Tengo has lit up the indie scene for three decades, part of an underground revolution that defied corporate music conglomerates, eschewed pop radio, and found a third way. Going behind the scenes of one of the most remarkable eras in American music history, "Big Day Coming "traces the patient rise of husband-and-wife team Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, who over three decades helped forge a spandex-and-hairspray-free path to the global stage, selling millions of records along the way and influencing countless bands.
Using the continuously vital Yo La Tengo as a springboard, "Big Day Coming "uncovers the history of the legendary clubs, bands, zines, labels, record stores, college radio stations, fans, and pivotal figures that built the infrastructure of the now-prevalent indie rock world. Journalist and freeform radio DJ Jesse Jarnow draws on all-access interviews and archives for mesmerizing trip through contemporary music history told through one of its most creative and singular acts.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-06-11
- Reviewer: Staff
Yo La Tengo, the influential rock band formed in the post-punk fervor of the early 1980s and still going strong today, receives its due in this fascinating if sprawling biography by music journalist Jarnow. He focuses primarily on the band’s founders, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley, and their efforts to make a quirky, eclectic sound out of their many influences and their “equally intense love of art-noise bands like Mission of Burma alongside perennial favorites NRBQ, the Kinks, and others.” Jarnow is clearly an unabashed fan of the band and its creators, who he describes as “a nearly ageless rock-and-roll couple in loving bohemian matrimony.” But he is also out for bigger game: an attempt to use Yo La Tengo to chart the rise of alternative or “indie” rock. He details the early days of rising and soon-to-be influential bands such as Black Flag and the Replacements experimenting in Maxwell’s, Yo La Tengo’s favorite bar in its home base of Hoboken, N.J. He excels at following the intricate rise and fall of indie labels such as Gerard Cosloy’s Homestead Records. And he captures the all-encompassing spirit of the current post-indie scene, a “continuum between the Velvet Underground at Max’s Kansas City and the eternal now of live music.” (July)