Yo La Tengo Rocks Fallon (video)

by Zach Schonfeld

17 January 2013

Hoboken band is joined by Fred Armisen on drums for "Ohm".
 

Hoboken legends Yo La Tengo appeared on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon this week to celebrate the release of Fade, their acclaimed 13th full-length album. Because two drummers is never enough, Portlandia star and former Trenchmouth drummer Fred Armisen joined the band for a blissfully noisy rendition of “Ohm”, Fade‘s shoegaze-goes-pop opening cut. Be sure to watch an ageless Ira Kaplan coaxing sweet feedback from his guitar around the four-minute mark and threatening to smash the whole thing altogether. It’s a joyous moment that hearkens back to classic YLT noise blasts like “Double Dare” or “Sugarcube”.
  
Ditching percussion altogether, the trio (sans Armisen) also performed the lovely “I’ll Be Around” for a web exclusive.

Somewhat more egotistically, the “Ohm” clip also marks my national television debut on Fallon‘s “band bench”. Witnessing the performance from a raised platform not far above James McNew’s head, I learned that seeing talk show tapings is mostly an opportunity to watch a largely random assortment of famous people interact in a room swarming with parasitic makeup assistants. There was one magical moment when Fred Armisen and house drummer Questlove took part in a drum battle while Jimmy Fallon looked on and a spirited Charlie Sheen nosed around somewhere backstage. Sadly, it didn’t make the episode.

But that’s me in the top left around the three-minute mark. You’ll have to squint kind of hard. I swear, it’s worth it.

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