They are one of those groups that we never imagined we would have the chance to film. First, because, as they explained in New York magazine, they feel “very comfortable with each other, and much less so with other people;” in the past they have politely refused to do a Take Away show. Also, Yo la Tengo fly above the rest; they are the best of the best, they possess an almost fleeting mystery we’re not really sure we want to display.
Then the date arrived. For their last disc, it seemed that the Hoboken trio had decided to make an effort to communicate with the media after years of no interviews, sessions, barely any public presence at all. And to our great surprise, they decided to take part in a Take Away show. Perhaps some would not have dared to attempt to document such an epic band, but we could not refuse Yo la Tengo. I would not have slept for eighteen days…
We knew that they would not be chatty. But the neighborhood was beautiful, the light soft and superb, and we had found, as usual, a gang of kids to ensure animation. One little girl swinging her legs during “With a girl like You,” another holding Moon’s leg for fifteen minutes, while older girls played petanque, all of them making the band more relaxed.
Twenty five years into their career, Yo la Tengo know how to do it all: electrify a shed without electricity, softly accompany the end of the afternoon, play an impressive guitar solo walking down a tree-lined street. They barely spoke, but we couldn’t care less.