Yo La Tengo
The Debut and Demise of the Yo La Tengo Five Minute Song Theory
The Minutemen version – the best Yo La Tengo songs are over five minutes long.
The Yes version – I’ve never tested this theory. It came to me when I opened Fade for the first time. As I looked at the times of the songs I wanted to fast forward to the gold, to the songs that were going to stick, the tunes I’d be going back to over and over again. I always like songs on Yo La Tengo records. I seldom listen to Yo La Tengo records from start to finish. My favorite songs are the long ones, the ones with a kaleidoscopic mix of guitar feedback and organ and hypnotic drum beats, vocals squished into the background somewhere. I’m thinking of “Sunsquashed” and the best tunes from Elect-O-Pura (1996) and I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One (1997).
I was confident Fade would yield wonderful material. I also assumed there would be songs best skipped. Could I use the lengths of the songs to predict the former from the latter?