The Rise of Indie Rock

A new biography of Yo La Tengo by Jessie Jarnow parallels the band’s evolution with the emergence of indie rock over the past thirty years. In a recent Pitchfork interview, Jarnow discusses the relationship between the band and its cultural context:

The more I learned about them as a band and as people, it seemed like understanding all that other stuff, like how the history of Matador traced back to Gerard Cosloy’s Conflict zine, who covered some of the first Yo La Tengo shows in 1985, or how the history of WFMU provides a context for college radio, was essential to understanding their story. These are the things that allowed them to develop as slowly as they did, because they existed in this self-sufficient world. Ira and Georgia were both pretty nervous about the idea of being musicians, but they were both enormous music fans, and being part of this little local world gave them a chance to be themselves, go to shows, and then eventually play shows.

Published on 28 June 2012

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