Yo La Tengo

Little Honda [EP]

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Yo La Tengo released a mostly-covers album called Fakebook in 1990. By 1998, Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley had worked out a few more, so they decided to record an EP that acts as a sort of supplement to Fakebook. The CD single for the Beach Boys cover "Little Honda" features six additional covers that are, yes, for lack of a better term, quirky. Most amusing is the breezy, carefree slant placed on William DeVaughn's soul jam "Be Thankful for What You've Got." Hearing Ira and Georgia sing "diggin' the scene with a gangster lean" is truly classic. There's an obligatory obscure Kinks cover ("No Return"), but a less-obligatory, entirely obscure cover of Sandy Denny's "By the Time It Gets Dark." Add in a Gram Parsons tune and a drunken live sing-along of Queen's "We Are the Champions" and you've got an oddly-rewarding mini-album that invites further inquiry into the covered artists' catalogs. Even more remarkable is the way Yo La Tengo make such a wide variety of influences come together so seamlessly.

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