Ultimately, yes, it’s pointless to guess who will be opening for and performing with Yo La Tengo during their Hanukkah residency at Maxwell’s, from tonight through December 8th. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun. Below are eight guesses, based on precedents set in previous years, for who will appear with Ira, Georgia, and James during this year’s Festival of Hoboken Lights.
A Jewish Comedian
In the past: David Cross (2002, 2007, 2008), Sarah Silverman (2002), Todd Barry (2002, 2005, 2007, 2008)
In 2010: Jenny Slate
Why? Yo La Tengo has booked SNL cast members in the past (Fred Armisen in 2005 and 2008, for instance), and although she didn’t last very long on the show (sigh), Slate is hilarious and could do a Hanukkah version of Marcel the Shell With Shoes On.
Matador Records Labelmate
In the past: Times New Viking (2007)
In 2010: Kurt Vilc
Why? Presumably, Vile and YLT hung out and played Craps together during their recent gig in Las Vegas. Or, if not Vile, what about Fucked Up? We already know Pink Eyes can sing some Christmas carols; how about some Hanukkah love?
A Member of Superchunk
In the past: Mac McCaughan (2007), Jon Wurster (2007, 2008)
In 2010: We’ll say Jon Wurster, but really it could be any of them.
Why? If YLT had a Facebook page, they’d be in a relationship with Superchunk
Critically Loved, Commercially Unsuccessful Band
In the past: The Clean (2005, 2007), the dB’s (2007)
In 2010: The Feelies
Why? One word: Jersey. Speaking of which…
Another Jersey Band
In the past: Marc Ribot (2008)
In 2010: Titus Andronicus
Why? We’re still upset about their short set during October’s Brooklyn Vegan Showcase at Public Assembly—upset not because it stunk, but because they were only allowed to play 15 minutes, roughly half the time of other bands. Titus has had a great year, and playing with YLT would be a fantastic finish to 2010
Frontman From a Great Band
In the past: Ray Davies (2002), David Byrne (2002), Alex Chilton (2007)
In 2010: Ted Leo
Why? He’ll be in town, as the Pharmacists are opening for the New Pornographers on December 6, and they’ve got a day off the night before. Also? Jersey.
Band Yo La Tengo Has Covered on WMFU
In the past: Ronnie Spector (2002)
In 2010: Mission of Burma
Why? Earlier this year, YLT and WMFU teamed up for the annual WMFU Marathon, during which the band played cover song requests from listeners. Sadly, it’s not online anymore (although you can see the set list here), but one of the best performances was their version of Mission of Burma’s “That’s When I Reach For My Revolver.” Another good cover: Bob Seger’s “Old Time Rock ‘N’ Roll,” but I don’t think they can get him. Which brings us to…