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774: Presidents of the United States of America
773: Keith
767: Tony Williams Lifetime Tribute
764: Kaiser Chiefs
760: Tim and Puma Mimi
759: Ice Cube
758: Vinyl Soul
757: Bajofondo
755: The Troubadours
752: Spiritualized at Summer Sonic
749: Cajun Dance Party
744: Heat and Noise
739: The Checks
737: Blue King Brown
735: Asian Dub Foundation
734: Scouting For Girls
732: Buzzcocks
730: Old Man River
728: The Kills
726: KT Tunstall
725: Jason Collett
722: Brotherís Sisterís Daughter
720: Sufjan Stevens
716: Gossip
714: The Go! Team
713: Cafť Tacvba
711: Celtic Woman
709: Jack PeŮate
706: Soulive
703: Animal Collective
703: Reverend and The Makers
702: Battles
700: Dinosaur Jr
696: The Polyphonic Spree
695: Clap Your Hands Say Yeah
692: Golden Age of Rock
691: One Fine Day
688: Rhombus
687: Corneille
685: The Cinematic Orchestra
683: 747s
680: Pete Murray
679: Mice Parade
678: Enter Shikari
676: The View
674: !!!
671: Donavon Frankenreiter
670: Herbie Hancock
669: Krystal Meyers
668: The Roots
666: Lily Allen
664: Two for Christmas
663: The Datsuns
661: Peaches
660: Tapes ín Tapes
658: Mystery Jets
656: Shayne Ward
654: The Beat
653: Eumir Deodato
652: Mt. Fuji Calling
650: Juno Reactor
649: Yo La Tengo
648: Hyde Park Music Festival
647: Juana Molina
646: Sierra Leoneís Refugee All Stars
645: Tool
644: Juan Formell y Los Van Van
643: The Benevento-Russo Duo
641: TV On The Radio
639: Summer Music Festival Guide 2006
638: ESG
636: Editors
634: Greenroom
632: Ben Harper
630: Matmos
627: Arctic Monkeys
626: Erykah Badu
624: Cake
622: Bent Left
620: Mogwai
618: Deerhoof
617: The Album Leaf
616: Tristan Prettyman
614-615: 10, 9, 8....
613: Madonna
612: John Tropea and Incognito
610: Boy
608: Underworld
607: Niyaz
606: The Beautiful Girls
605: Miho Hatori
604: Doves
600: Bang Gang
598: Feist
596: Fantomas
595: Hyde Park Music Festival
593: Little Barrie
591: Juliette Lewis
589: James Chance & The Contortions
588: Carnival: Vice Bongo 1st Anniversary Party
585: Stereophonics
583: Little Joe Washington
581: Caetano Veloso
579: Maximo Park
578: Moe
577: Death From Above 1979
576: Destiny’s Child
575: Megadeth
574: Bandstand
572: Ozomatli
570: The Dirty Dozen Brass Band
568: Prefuse 73
566: Pat Metheny
565: Rachel Yamagata
564: The Shins
563: The Music
561-562: Metropolis music survey 2004
559: Blues Explosion
557: The Libertines
555: G. Love
554: Dropkick Murphys
553: Kasabian
552: Fertile Ground
551: Recliner
550: Jah Shaka
548: Faithless
547: Tokyo Rotation
546: Yokosuka Reggae Super Bash
545: The Roots
544: True People's Celebration
543: Trans Europe Fes
542: Matthew Sweet
541: Heaven Artists
540: Manolito y su Trabuco
539: Rabble rouser
537: The Offspring
535: Janet Kay with Omar and Thriller U
533: Critters Buggin’
532: Cyndi Lauper
531: Cat Power
530: Standing in the shadows
528: Missy Elliott
527: Stereolab
526: Organic Groove
525: Questions of the day
523: Tough Cookie
521: Conversion
520: Iggy's inner artist
519: Control freak chic
518: Down to the Wire
517: Incubus
516: Kraftwerk
515: Black Eyed Peas
514: Pretenders
513: Sonicmania
511: Suburban funk boys
509/10: Incognito
508: Celtic Xmas 2003
507: Limp Bizkit
506: Robert Randolph and the Family Band
505: Out on a limb
503: Electraglide
501: Super Furry Animals
499: Geezer's groove
498: Ashanti
497: Syn city
496: Slacker rock rules!
495: Television
494: Lou Reed
493: Joao Gilberto
492: The Used
491: Gypsy Summer 2003
490: The Lucksmiths
489: Maxi Priest & Shaggy
488: Chuck Berry
487: Summer Sonic
486: The redheaded stepchild makes good
485: Positive punk mom
484: Duran Duran
483: Unapologetically acoustic
482: Break and Remake
481: Ron Sexmith
480: Folk Implosion
479: The Brand New Heavies
478: The Blood Brothers
477: Eminem
476: The Kills
475: Jackson Browne
474: N.E.R.D.
473: Shred a tabloid, make music
472: Garage Redux
471: Bringing the jams east
470: Asian Dub Foundation
469: Badly Drawn Boy
468: Massive Attack
467: Teenage Fanclub
466: The All Wave Grrls
465: J. Mascis + the Fog
464: Catching up with Sonic Youth
463: Deep Forest
462: Magic Rockout
461: Jurassic 5
460: Snuff
459: Queens of the Stone Age
457/8: On the phone: The Jeevas
456: K-Ci & JoJo and The Roots
455: Sleater-Kinney
454: Beast Feast
453: Contrasts in young UK rock
452: Tahiti 80
451: Pink
450: The Artist (no longer) formerly known as..
449: Paul McCartney Previewed
447: Jamiroquai
446: On the phone: Taxiride
445: Bad Religion
444: Jennifer Love Hewitt
443: Camp in Asagiri Jam
442: The Cinematic Orchestra
441: On the phone: Moby
440: True People's Celebration
439: Roots Revival
438: The politics of sampling
437: Summer Sonic sampler
436: The Jazz Mandolin Project
435: Indie icons
434: Cato Salsa Experience
433: Get's Bossa Nova 2002
432: Janet Kay with Omar
431: Kottonmouth Kings
430: Bowes & Morley
429: Christina Milian
428: Elvis Costello
427: Space Kelly
426: Diana Krall
425: Jay-Z
424: The Jon Spencer Blues Explosion
423: The Brian Setzer Orchestra
422: Weezer
421: The Music
420: Lenny Kravitz
419: Speech
418: Tool
417: Green Day
416: Chuck Berry & James Brown
415: Ozomatli
414: Britney Spears
413: Music Mary J. Blige
412: Incubus
411: The Chemical Brothers
410: David Byrne
409: The Prodigy
408: Roger Walters
407: Ozzy Osbourne
406: Lisa Loeb
405: Aerosmith
404: Garbage
403: Sloan
402: Jamiriquoi
401: Park Tower Blues Festival
400: Mercury Rev
399: Bjork
398: The Isley Brothers
397: Janet Jackson
396: Ian Brown
395: Tortoise Orchestra
394: Regurgitator
393: Art Garfunkel
392: Belle and Sebastian
391: Super Furry Animals
390: Ben Folds
389: Elton John
388: Dido
387: Papa Roach
386: Beast Feast 2001
385: Summersonic
384: David Sylvian
383: Maxi Priest & Big Mountain
382: Fuji Rock Festival 01
381: Roxy Music
380: Bo Diddley
379: John McLaughlin & Zakir Hussain in Remember Shakti
378: Paul Weller
377: Coolio
376: Backyard Babies
375: Marcus Miller
374: Black Crowes
373: Megadeath
372: Dionne Warwick
371: Arrested Development
370: Mouse on Mars
369: Duran Duran
368: Linkin Park
367: Maceo Parker
366: Japan Blues Carnival 2001
365: Ben Harper
364: Cheap Trick
363: Stephen Malkmus
362: Mogwai
361: Weezer
360: Marilyn Manson
359: Green Day
358: AC/DC
357: Richard Thompson
356: Bob Dylan
355: J. Mascis
354: Leigh Stephen Kenny
352/3: Limp Bizkit
351: Boyz II Men
350: Reef
349: Park Tower Blues Festival
348: Roni Size
347: Compay Segundo
346: Incognito
345: Jimmy Page and The Black Crowes
344: Bad Religion
343: Japan Soul Festival 2000
342: Rocktober 2000
341: Richard Ashcroft
340: Motorhead
339: Festival Halou
338: Ricky Martin
337: Taj Mahal
336: Asian Dub Foundation
335: Lou Reed
334: Earth, Wind & Fire
333: Sting
332: No Doubt
331: Camel
330: Fuji Rock: Smash Talks
329: Summer Sonic
328: Mt. Fuju Aid 2000
327: Salif Keita
326: Buena Vista Social Club
325: Bill Frisell
324: Maxi Priest
323: Lenine
322: Rage Against the Machine
321: Tommy Flanagan Trio
320: Smashing Pumpkins
319: Pet Shop Boys
318: Japan Blues Carnival
317: Gipsy Kings
316: Steely Dan
315: Pshish
314: Big Night Out
313: Femi Kuti and the Positive Force
312: Harry Connick Jr.
311: Sonny Rollins
310: Speech
309: Santana

by Dan Grunebaum

Out on a limb

Don't expect to hear your favorite hits when New York indie-rock icons Yo La Tengo tour Japan next week.

James McNew, Georgia Hubley and Ira Kaplan

With all the bands getting together at the Fuji Rock Festival, you'd think that the opportunity for impromptu jam sessions wouldn't be wasted. You'd be wrong. Tight schedules don't permit groups to hang out and join each other onstage.

So it was a great pleasure when, in the middle of Yo La Tengo's show at this past summer's Fuji Rock, they invited members of the legendary Sun Ra Arkestra to join them for a few songs. The juxtaposition of guitar-driven, indie-rock feedback with the voice-like squeals of jazz saxophones made the set one of the more memorable of the festival.

This sort of restless experimentation has made Yo La Tengo a critic's choice in their two-decade career, but it turns out there was more to their Sun Ra jam than a chance meeting of bands. In fact, Yo La Tengo (Spanish for "I've got it") had recorded a cover of the Sun Ra anti-war epic "Nuclear War" in 2002 as a response to the events of September 11.

"Around October 2001 we started thinking about how we were going to play," recalls frontman Ira Kaplan by phone from his home in Hoboken, New Jersey, across the Hudson River from New York City. "It was a time when you couldn't make a move without measuring it against the events of September 11… We were thinking about how to acknowledge it, if to acknowledge it, just what form it should take. I don't remember just whose idea it was to cover that song, but it appealed to everybody."

While Yo La Tengo had in fact previously jammed with members of the Arkestra, the Fuji Rock session was more a result of good timing and a flexible approach to performing than a preconceived plan. Says Kaplan, "I was looking at the Fuji Rock website and noticed they were playing, but it didn't even give a day. So I contacted their agent to find out when they were playing, and it was the same day as us… We just made them an open invitation."

The loose, open-ended jam made up in inspiration for what it lacked in structure. "I was pretty pleased, but you know a lot of that stuff is just, you see what happens, it's not like perfection is being sought," says a reflective Kaplan. "The thing I was most pleased about conceptually was that we approached it like any other show. The temptation is to approach it a little safer and just do your best-known songs... To invite the members of the Arkestra to join us and shake things up-I was proud that we did-and I thought it worked to a varying degree."

Some bands rave about the Fuji Rock Festival, but Yo La Tengo prefer to headline their own gigs. "FRF for me is an exceptional music festival, but festivals are not my favorite," Kaplan says. "Bands come and go straight back to Tokyo… I had a great time playing and it was certainly great to play for that many enthusiastic people, but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't looking forward to our tour in December."

The upcoming tour looks to be their largest yet in Japan, as Yo La Tengo's last three albums, 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One, 2000's And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out, and this spring's moody Summer Sun, have brought them increased acclaim. Kaplan says that Japanese fans have even made the trip to New York just to catch the unusual, eight-day "Hanukkahpalooza" shows that the band have put on at their homeground venue, Maxwell's in Hoboken, for the past two years.

"It's so great," he enthuses. "The times we've been there before-we do hear from people. I was mentioning these Hanukkah shows, and last time people came over from Japan to attend some of them. I can't think of a place we look forward to traveling to more."

Like another pillar of the New York rock aristocracy, Sonic Youth, Yo La Tengo also center on a husband-and-wife creative team. Frontman Kaplan is backed by wife Georgia Hubley on drums, with James McNew filling out the lineup on bass. But this is not a husband-and-wife songwriting partnership in the traditional sense. "The band has pretty resolutely, since Electr-o-pura, written songs as a group," he explains. "With any band, there is always a dynamic based on the relationships between the people in the band-that's just a fact of people working together… You know the marriage certainly affects the band, but we've been playing together, the three of us, 11-12 years now… I don't think we could have kept it going as long if it wasn't working."

Two decades on, Kaplan sees no end in sight for Yo La Tengo. "Rock bands are right up there with boxers in not knowing when it's time to quit-I'll probably be the last person to know," he says with a laugh. "I'll have to get knocked out in the ring a few times."

He also says to expect the unexpected for the upcoming Japan tour. "When I go to a show I'd much rather see a band that is out on a limb. If I don't hear my favorite song, that's OK as long as the group is putting forth an effort to create something."

Summer Sun is available on Matador/P-Vine Records. Yo La Tengo play Club Quattro on December 3-4. See concert listings for details.

credit: Phil Morrison

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