Yo La Tengo [rank: 15] based on users subscribed
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The undisputed grandparents of indie rock, Yo La Tengo released their first album before some current indie rock band members were even born (1986). And yet, as the title of one of their more recent albums clearly demonstrates ("I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass"), they're not exactly fading quietly into the night.
Perhaps paving the way structurally for slow-core pioneers Low, Yo La Tengo is made up of a husband and wife team plus one (Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew, respectively). Their music is difficult to pin down because they have created so many different sounds over the past 20+ years.
Their creations have been at times: rough, swirls of dissonance ("Big Day Coming" off of "Painful"), melodic and melancholy ballads ("Tears Are In Your Eyes" off of "And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out"), bouncy pop tunes ("Season of the Shark" off of "Summer Sun") and epic electronic voyages ("Autumn Sweater" off of "I Can Hear the Heart Beating as One") .
This breadth of styles could be the reason they've had such a significant impact on so many bands that followed. Like Velvet Underground before them, Yo La Tengo achieved cult status by constantly creating different sounds, pushing forward into a new identity just when they were in danger of becoming radio-friendly. And somehow, they continue to produce great music, releasing album after album alongside their progeny, challenging them to resist the status quo.
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