Sunday, December 19, 2004

The Hubleys, or Georgia On My Mind

Yo La Tengo's Fakebook, from 1990, is one of my favorite albums of covers. It contains, in mostly acoustic arrangements, relative obscurities like:

  • "Here Comes My Baby" (Cat Stevens; later resurrected by Wes Anderson in Rushmore)
  • "Tried So Hard" (The Byrds)
  • "Andalucia" (John Cale)
  • "Yellow Sarong" (The Scene Is Now)
  • "Speeding Motorcycle" (Daniel Johnston)
  • "Oklahoma, USA" (The Kinks)

My favorite track on the album is its closer, NRBQ's "What Can I Say", sung by the band's drummer Georgia Hubley. I wish Yo La Tengo would record an album of all jazz vocal standards (with no string arrangements!) and have Georgia sing them.

Talk about art running in the family.
Georgia's parents John and Faith Hubley were Oscar-winning independent animation filmmakers. John refused to "name names" at the House Un-American Activities Committee in the 1950s, and left Disney to do something very rare in those days--form his own animation studio. Georgia's sister Emily Hubley is also an artist, having created the animation sequences in Hedwig and the Angry Inch.

Yo La Tengo features in the blogosphere debut of my precocious pal Nick Meyer, who goes to Syracuse University. When he was barely a teenager, I remember making him mix-tapes (with, among others things, Yo La Tengo on them) that he received with patience and large, open ears.

And here's Darren with an entertaining account of an eventful Yo La Tengo show in Knoxville, Tennessee.