At a show I attended a couple of years ago, in which Yo La Tengo opened for Wilco, Jeff Tweedy predicted that "Yo La Tengo will be the last band on the planet." That statement sums up quite a bit about the New Jersey-based trio. And I hope he's right.
Georgia, Ira and James create music that has a certain permanence, that seems removed from the world around them. Through the jangly late-'80s into the grungy '90s and on into the indie-flavor-of-the-month '00s, Yo La Tengo's music has remained beautifully oblivious to the world outside. And despite the heroic heights and colorful corners that they often reach, they still come off as disturbingly normal folks. They probe our emotions as casually as they eat a bowl of cornflakes in the morning.
So in honor of the band's recently-released 13th studio album, "Fade," and its impending visit to St. Louis -- on January 31 at the Pageant with Calexico -- I present to you what I currently hold to be Yo La Tengo's 10 best songs.
10. "Tom Courtenay"
9. "Avalon or Someone Very Similar"
8. "Well You Better"
7. "Barnaby, Hardly Working"
6. "Black Flowers"
5. "From a Motel 6"
4. "Autumn Sweater"
3. "I Heard You Looking"
2. "Our Way to Fall"
1. "More Stars Than There Are in Heaven"
88.1 KDHX welcomes Yo La Tengo and Calexico to the Pageant on January 31, 2013.