The word 'seminal' is bandied about a lot in music, often thrown indiscriminately at any band who has aged enough to grow a paunch. But pre-The Shins et al, light-as-a-feather alternative pop-rock was the domain of Yo La Tengo. Because of this lightness their songs sound just as fresh now as they did twenty-five years ago, and their live covers are something not to be missed. Who could say no to a Spanish-guitar instrumental version of Blitzkrieg Bop? They are popularly known as 'the quintessential critics' band', but thankfully have none of the self-importance this usually entails.
The husband, wife, and bassist trio is one of the many bands playing at the set-to-be-splendid My Bloody Valentine ATP this December - if you're strapped for cash or time, you can catch them here for a fraction of the price. Expect an evening of melodic vocals, instrumental ditties, a bit of artful feedback, and probably quite a lot of plaid shirts. All the ingredients for the perfect Sunday night event, to recover from the Guy Fawkes festivities in style.
Yo La Tengo play The Roundhouse on Sunday 8 November 2009. Tickets £17