Q&A: Big Day Coming Author Jesse Jarnow Gets Personal With Yo La Tengo

Matthew Salacuse
WFMU DJ, music journalist and frequent Voice contributor Jesse Jarnow has just released Big Day Coming: Yo La Tengo and the Rise of Indie Rock (Gotham), a voluminous tome that dissects Hoboken's finest Amerindie pioneers' journey from their childhood beginnings all the way to their current place as ageless innovators.

Big Day Coming isn't just distinguished from the rest of the rock-bio pack by Jarnow's bottomless pit of Yo La Tengo expertise; his book also delves into a comprehensive history of the beloved Hoboken rock club/restaurant Maxwell's. YLT's husband/wife team, guitarist Ira Kaplan and drummer Georgia Hubley, played their very first show there, and the venue plays host to their storied Hanukkah shows.

Sound of the City caught up with Jarnow to talk about how he came to discover his favorite band and, eventually, to write Big Day Coming.

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Download Christopher Weingarten's Hipster Puppies Cassette Release Party Podcast, Filled With NYC Bands

Next Wednesday, SOTC pal Christopher R. Weingarten will celebrate the release of the cassette companion to his canines-and-coolness tome Hipster Puppies—a tape stuffed with a roster of 18 local bands that includes Das Racist, Yvette, and Liturgy—with a party at Public Assembly. The party will host sets by Zs, Mountains, Burning Star Core, and Dinowalrus, all of whom contributed to the tape. In advance of the party, Chris has prepared a 71-minute podcast with songs by and interviews with all four bands—think of it as your chance to hear four Yes In My Backyard columns come together live. (Or, well, live to tape, anyway.) Link and track listing below.

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Das Racist, Liturgy, And 18 More New York Bands Are On Christopher R. Weingarten's Hipster Puppies Mix Tape

Categories: Friends, Synergies


SOTC pal Christopher R. Weingarten's Hipster Puppies, filled with pictures of bohemian canines and razor-sharp captions from the man himself, is out, and later this month there will be two events honoring its release: A pageant for pups at PowerHouse Arena on August 25, and a dog-friendly in-store at Sound Fix on August 27. Buy a book at one of those events and you can score yourself a copy of the Hipster Puppies mix tape, which Chris calls "a love letter to New York, as it features a meticulously curated selection of 20 of my favorite local bands." Given that he's tipping us off to new local acts every week as our Yes In My Backyard columnist, you know that he didn't just search "New York" in his iTunes library and call it a day. Full track listing below.

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Five New York-Inspired Dogs From Christopher Weingarten's Hipster Puppies, Which Is Out Today

Today marks the publication of SOTC local-music/lousy-music enthusiast Christopher Weingarten's Hipster Puppies, the blog-gone-book that pairs adorable photos of dogs with withering critiques of American youth culture circa, well, now. (Here are some online merchants selling it, or you can just head to your local bookstore and pick up a copy.) Chris was inspired by his daily life as a freelance writer/rabblerouser to write more than a few of the book's captions, and here he shares with us five of the captions spurred by his time in New York City.

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Five Questions To Ask At Ben Westhoff's Dirty South Reading

Tonight, Voice contributor and hip-hop sommelier Ben Westhoff will read from Dirty South, his look at the populist rise of rap music from the southern states, at Williamsburg's Book Thug Nation. The book focuses on the bigger names to have emerged from the south, with chapters based around Big Boi and Andre 3000's creative tensions, Lil Wayne's sensational ascent to stardom, the Geto Boys' early days, and Soulja Boy's ability to use a laptop and two cellphones while eating McDonalds (page 237, rap scholars). Here are five prompts for the post-reading Q&A segment, should you want to start a dialogue with Westhoff.

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NYU's Class On Punk Is Open To The Public

Categories: Friends

This summer, NYU's Clive Davis Institute for Recorded Music is offering a class on punk taught by Voice contributor (and decorated journalist), founding Flying Lizard, and all-around brilliant lady Vivien Goldman. The class will be open to anyone who wants to pay the tuition (anyone in the city, that means) and here's a taste of the supplemental readings/screenings: "Music we'll listen to may include The Sex Pistols, the Clash, and the Slits; film screenings may include The Great Rock 'n Roll Swindle and Rude Boy; and readings may be culled from books by Steve Blush and others." (Disclosure: I teach in this particular department as well, but after seeing the zines that she's had her class make, I've wanted to take it myself.) Registration closes tomorrow; more information is at NYU's website.

Tonight: Smart People Read About Music In Brooklyn And Manhattan

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Tonight is a fine night for staying indoors and listening to people chat about music, and New York has two fine options: Friend of SotC Daphne Carr is throwing a party for her 33 1/3 series entry on Nine Inch Nails' Pretty Hate Machine at The Sackett (661 Sackett Street, Brooklyn); there will be "periodic readings and remarks," and Christopher "Whiney G." Weingarten and Laylo will spin hip-hop and darkwave/industrial, respectively. Also, the best "1989 look" will win a prize! And the folks at Rolling Stone have teamed up with the "read more Internet" site Longreads to host a Night Of Long-Form Journalism at Housing Works Bookstore Cafe (126 Crosby Street, Manhattan); Rob Sheffield, Jeff Goodell, Brian Hiatt, and Mark Binelli will be on the panel, which will be led by Will Dana. Both events start at 7 p.m.

Watch Mr. Dream Get Robbed in the Video For "Crime"

It's one of our great regrets we were out of town the weekend SOTC pals Mr. Dream invited a bunch of people to put on ski masks and come rob their practice space while they were playing in it, but at least now we have the video evidence--shot in 1:1 security cam verité, no less. The song is "Crime," the handsome face above belongs to drummer Nick Sylvester, and you can watch the whole thing right here, via Stereogum:

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Excerpt: Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, And The Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop, Wherein Scarface Recalls His Mental-Health-Ward Days

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Also-beloved friend-of-SOTC Ben Westhoff's new book, Dirty South: OutKast, Lil Wayne, Soulja Boy, and the Southern Rappers Who Reinvented Hip-Hop, will be available on May 1st from Chicago Review Press. This excerpt focuses on Southern pioneers Geto Boys and particularly beloved rapper Scarface, with whom Westhoff spoke not long before the emcee was incarcerated for failure to pay child support.

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Excerpt: The 33 1/3 Book On Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, Featuring A Lot Of Money, A Lot Of Cocaine, And A Lot Of Band Bed-Hopping

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Recently, beloved friend-of-SOTC Rob Trucks (last seen chatting with the Big Star tribute crew and exploring Bob Dylan-centric Greenwich Village landmarks) published a book on Fleetwood Mac's Tusk, adding to the venerable 33 1/3 series the tale of the fraught, outrageously expensive, doggedly uncommercial follow-up to Rumours, one of the best-selling albums of all time. Trucks spoke extensively with FM boss Lindsey Buckingham, and also grilled Tusk fans who now make up such bands as Animal Collective, Camper Van Beethoven, the New Pornographers, Wolf Parade, and the USC Trojan marching band. Pick up the book here; below, please find an excerpt that at least begins to explore how much Tusk cost to make, and who was sleeping with who while they were making it.

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