Yo La Tengo - Live at the Trocadero - 108 min.

Recorded live in Philadelphia, PA 9/15/00


CSB->Sony M1 DAT (master)->CDR. My first successful attempt taping YLT (I'd rather just forget about my bungled attempt in February, thanks).

A few weeks before this show I wrote the following note to the band:

Dear YLT,

Long-time listener, first-time caller...
I'm looking forward to seeing you again on 9/15 at the Trocadero in
Philadelphia.  I was wondering if you might entertain a few
long-distance requests, specifically --

    Looney Tunes
    Palisades Park
    How Many Bells?
    Swing for Life (slow)
    Let's Compromise (slow)

Also, I'd really like to tape your show, do you mind?  The Troc really
hassles tapers, could you mention it to the guys at the door, or maybe
sign this "permission slip" so I don't get stomped?


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

It's fine with us if Michael tapes our show on 9/15 at the Troc.

   ___________     __________          ____________
   Ira             Georgia     and/or  James

The day of the show what should I find in my mailbox but this note back from Ira:
Dear Michael,

Don't know if the permission slip would have much use, but we'll let
the Trocadero know we don't mind tapers (_not_ through the board)
Will keep some of the requests in mind, or try to.  First night...
could go either way.
See you soon.

Ira + YLT

As incredibly cool as this was, the best was yet to come: during the show Ira went into this whole thing onstage about how requests that night were nice and all, but someone had sent them a letter requesting a song for that night, and so all the other requests kind of had to go after that one. Then they played one of the songs I had asked for: the slow version of "Let's Compromise" (Georgia singing), which was just lovely. Needless to say, I just stood there amazed; it totally made my day.

Sound is quite good. I was standing about 10' from the right stack for about the first third of the show, then moved closer to about 6' away to avoid chatty members of the audience. There is occasional minor chatter in the beginning of the show, but the last two thirds are almost completely free of it. Everything up until the first encore fits onto one CDR, the remainder on a second. I can provide three versions of this show:

  1. "as-is" except for volume normalization (channels locked). Sounds great on headphones but is probably too bassy for most stereos ("Too Late", etc). For the purist.
  2. digitally equalized: light bass roll-off and tiny treble boost. Sounds more balanced to my ears.
  3. same as above, but run through light compression as well. Compression brings the volume of the quiet songs closer to that of the louder ones. While harsh when overapplied (most FM and TV broadcasts are heavily compressed), I think it can be a plus when applied lightly. Not for the purist, but I like this version best for everyday listening: you don't have to crank up the volume to make out quiet songs, and turn it back down later when a loud one comes along.

Several other fine requests played, e.g. "Too Late" and "From a Motel 6" (Ira finally took pity on the pleas of a guy in the front row: "'Motel 6', for the love of God!"). I prefer the louder numbers in this show, which seemed particularly enthusiastic (boisterous "Tom Courtenay", especially over-the-top "Big Day Coming"). Interesting feedback/noise intro begins the show. James sings "You Sexy Thing". Spastic new intro to "Sugarcube". "Deeper Into Movies" has has a new middle section after a sudden stop and a new outro that merges nicely into "Big Day Coming". "Little Honda" has some new fills and a long outro which transitions into "Our Way to Fall" (some mood swing!). Coming on for the second encore, Ira laughs when he sees a guy holding up a two-sided "Yo La Tengo 2000" / "Yo La Tengo for President" sign, and snickers when some joker requests Miami Sound Machine.

Some idiot (ahem) can be heard yelling for "Palisades Park."

Michael Edmonson (edmonson@sdf.lonestar.org)