Yo La Tengo
Compact disc sales are so scant anymore that it’s to Yo La Tengo‘s credit — and benefit — that the New Jersey trio’s live sets remain so chummy, engrossing and incendiary, especially when Ira Kaplan goes all medieval on a keyboard or furiously masturbates his guitar’s whammy bar. Kaplan, Georgia Hubley and James McNew have spent this decade cruising a cotton-candy-pop cul de sac with too-extended-for-airplay tuneage that’s alternately feedback-scorched and half-asleep. It’s the same record-collector-geeks-in-love mooniness that the band built its reputation on. But that’s the studio jive. Live, Yo La Tengo is a life-defining proposition.