Yo La Tengo

Yo La Tengo are in many respects the quintessential critics' band: in addition to their adventurous eclecticism, defiant independence, and restless creative ambition -- three qualities that virtually guarantee music press acclaim -- the group's frontman, Ira Kaplan, even tenured as a rock scribe prior to finding success as a performer. So frequently compared to the Velvet Underground that they even portrayed the legendary group in the 1996 film I Shot Andy Warhol, the Hoboken, New Jersey-based Yo La Tengo have explored the extremes of feedback-driven noise rock and sweetly melodic pop, shading their work with equal parts scholarly composure and fannish enthusiasm. Prolific and mercurial, they have ultimately transcended their myriad influences to ensconce themselves as a beloved institution of the indie community.