Jesse Jarnow

Big Day Coming

Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock

Gotham Books 2012

New Books in American StudiesNew Books in Arts & LettersNew Books in MusicNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books Network December 20, 2012 Matt Smith Lehrman

From the ball fields and barrooms of Hoboken to your turntable, uh, CD player, uhm, MP3 player comes Yo La Tango, uh, Tengo, and...

From the ball fields and barrooms of Hoboken to your turntable, uh, CD player, uhm, MP3 player comes Yo La Tango, uh, Tengo, and with them alternative, uhm, indie rock. In Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock (Gotham, 2012) journalist Jesse Jarnow chronicles the three-decade career these seminal rock stalwarts. This is the story of Yo La Tengo, a band composed of husband and wife team Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan, James McNew, and a rotating casts of dozens of others that include musicians, writers, recording engineers, comedians, barbecue joints, baseball teams and, of course, fans. They are a band that sometimes plays Neil Young loud and sometimes Lamb Chop quiet, sometimes within the same measure. They have maintained a solid career, starting small within Hoboken, New Jersey’s indie scene, and growing, one step at a time, into a professional rock band that pays their bills and treats others with respect. They are musically and gastrointestinally adventurous, playing and eating what they want, not what is hip. Along the way, a structural scene and musical genre–“indie rock”–emerged with them. Jarnow captures the band and the scene at every turn, providing a richly detailed account of the songs, albums, bars, fanzines, studios and people who make up the world of Yo La Tengo.

Jesse Jarnow hosts the Frow Show on Jersey City freeform radio station WFMU. His work has appeared in the London Times, Rolling Stone, the Village Voice, and elsewhere. His next book, provisionally titled Heads: A Biography of Psychedelic America is due from Da Capo in 2015.

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