Hoboken, NJ, Summer 1990- The album in question is Fakebook, Yo La Tengo's fourth, and it was made right here in Hoboken this past spring. It's also their Bar/None debut and we couldn't be more pleased. Why? Because over the past half-decade, Yo La Tengo has been creating music that has the ability to stir you up deep down inside, giving voice to the magic and the rage of everyday living.
Yo La Tengo is the musical love-child of two folks who live in Hoboken, dig the Mets, eat red meat, sleep late, and whose lives were saved by rock and roll. Ira Kaplan used to write about the latter topic for various renowned New York publications before he met drummer Georgia Hubley who used her rhythmic charms to lure his guitar out of the closet. The band has been a quartet, a trio, or just the two of 'em. They've recorded a 10-minute guitar feedback freakout and they've covered Pete Seeger. Collaborators have included Dave Rick (Bongwater, Phantom Tollbooth), Chris Stamey, and some Swiss guy named Stephan. Their last album, President Yo La Tengo, approached nirvana from the guitar-loop dirge of "Barnaby, Hardly Working" (re-tooled here on Fakebook) to the garage lifting glory of Antietam's "Orange Song" (whose brand new album, Burgoo, was produced by Georgia and Ira).
Using their occasional acoustic concerts as a jumping-off point, and exploiting Georgia's newfound willingness to sing, Fakebook is made up mostly of cover songs, built on Ira's acoustic strumming, Georgia's brushwork, and the pair's harmonizing (as previously heard on Fakebook's obvious antecedent, "Alyda" from President Yo La Tengo). Dave Schramm, who left Yo La Tengo after the Ride the Tiger album to form the Schramms, returns to the lead guitar chair, and the Schramms' Al Greller contributes bass. Periodic bassist and frequent producer Gene Holder is once again at the reins, and there are animated guest vocals from Peter Stampfel and the Pussywillows.
There you have it. Fakebook is what Yo La Tengo spent the first portion of 1990 creating; now you can spend the rest of the year feeling the results.
Reviews"A mostly acoustic album containing 11 covers and only five own songs. Among the cover material on this collection are some obvious choices and critic's favourites, such as Gene Clark (Tried So Hard from the Flying Burrito Bros' title-less third album). An absolute album highlight is their cover of The Flamin' Groovies You Tore Me Down, which is of an almost unparalleled beauty because of the great vocal delivery of both Hubley and Kaplan (and it was already a fabulous song to start with, of course) and the effective musicianship that's definitely vintage-YLT, but that also shows respect to the original. Fakebook is an immensely consistent album, that despite the variety of the covers, sounds as one coherent and convincing whole." “ Guy Peters