Yo La Tengo is an American alternative rock band formed in Hoboken, New Jersey in 1984. Since 1992, the lineup has consisted of Ira Kaplan (guitars, vocals), Georgia Hubley (drums, vocals), and James McNew (bass, vocals).
Despite achieving limited mainstream success, Yo La Tengo has been called “the quintessential critics’ band” and maintains a strong cult following. The band is renowned for its encyclopedic repertoire of cover songs both in live performance and on record.
In March 2008, Yo La Tengo performed under the alias “Condo Fucks” at Brooklyn’s Magnetic Field. As Condo Fucks, the band released an album of cover songs, Fuckbook, on Matador in March, 2009. On June 4, Matador announced a new Yo La Tengo album called Popular Songs.
Popular Songs, the band’s 12th album, was released on September 8, 2009. The album was recorded in the band’s rehearsal space in New Jersey and features two songs with elaborate string sections (composed by jazz composer Richard Evans). It entered the Billboard chart at #58, the highest entry of the band’s career thus far.
Yo La Tengo is also contributing to a tribute album for New Zealand rock and roll musician Chris Knox who suffered a stroke in June 2009. All proceeds from the album will go towards Knox’s recovery.