Hoboken is an unsightly small town in New Jersey that twilights on the Hudson River opposite Manhattan. She didn't give much to the world. Well, yes: Frank Sinatra was born here one hundred and three years ago, and two stylistically influential bands in recent American rock history come from here. One, Sonic Youth, is already history itself, the other, Yo La Tengo, is just reinventing itself on "There's A Riot Going On".
Yo La Tengo are one of the longest serving bands on the US Indian scene. Above all, they are one of the very few groups that have not separated and regrouped once in almost thirty-five years. With their mixture of folky songwriting, psychedelic guitar sounds trained on Velvet Underground and Krautrock, jazz improvisations and electronic experiments they have created their own niche. Since 1993 the couple Georgia Hubley (drums, vocals) and Ira Kaplan (guitar, vocals) play in a trio with bassist James McNew. With their last studio work "Stuff Like That There", reminiscent of Peter, Paul & Mary, the former underground pioneers had weakened a little, but with the sound stream "There's A Riot Going On" they return to proven form.
One of the secrets of their consistency is the fact that they prefer to make music rather than talk about it. "Our last record differed from everything we had done before," Kaplan admits hesitantly. "For this album we had a very clear sound idea. Normally we have no idea what a record should sound like. We'll make music together and be curious to see what happens. We've kept it that way on almost all our records, and that's exactly what happens on 'There's A Riot Going On'."