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February 09, 2009


Ken Katkin

So right at 8pm on Friday March 13, 2009, I asked my two kids what song we should request from Yo La Tengo in 2009. My son replied: “Punx In The Beerlight” by The Silver Jews. My daughter countered: “Popcorn” by Hot Butter. I broke the tie by requesting “Punx” as our family selection, with “Popcorn” as our alternate. We received a hint that Hot Butter would triumph when we heard Ira working out the (invented) guitar part of “Popcorn” while Gaylord and Sue were still welcoming listeners to the broadcast. And indeed, our family request was the very first song performed this year (albeit minus the guitar riffage that we had heard Ira rehearsing scant moments earlier).

I tried to keep score at home. Except for the Stevie Wonder guess in the second set and a few fleeting lyrics in the medly, I’m reasonably confident about these song IDs. (Thanks to metafilter poster Kowalski for assisting with the Can ID and to metafilter poster ocherdraco for making the Abba ID). Here’s what I got:

1. Popcorn (Hot Butter) (my request)
2. Little Willy (The Sweet)
3. Help You Ann (Lyres)

4. Up With The People (Lambchop)
5. I’m A Boy (The Who)
6. I’m Wondering (Stevie Wonder) (?)
7. Crimson & Clover (Tommy James & The Shondells)

8. Waterloo Sunset (The Kinks)
9. David Watts (The Kinks)
10. The Village Green Preservation Society (The Kinks)
11. Kokomo (Beach Boys)

12. Motor Away (Guided By Voices)
13. Victoria (The Kinks) (in Mark E Smith accent)
14. Jimmy Carter Says "Yes" (Gene Marshall) (American Song-Poem Anthology)

15. Twentieth Century Fox (The Doors)
16. Call Me (Blondie)
17. Season of the Witch (Donovan)
18. God Save The Queen (Sex Pistols)

19. One Bad Apple (Osmonds) (written by George Jackson)
20. Rockin’ Robin (Bobby Day/Michael Jackson)
21. Getting Older (The Clean) (dedicated to Richard Davies of The Moles & Cardinal)
22. What Goes On (Velvet Underground) (Freddy "Boom Boom" Cannon version, according to Gaylord)

23. Rock Lobster (B52s)
24. Stir It Up (Bob Marley)
25. This Must Be The Place (Naïve Melody) (Talking Heads)
26. Glad All Over (Dave Clark Five)

27. Ticket To Ride (Beatles)
28. Night Moves (Bob Seger)
29. Mother Sky (Can)

30. Another Girl, Another Planet (Only Ones)
31. One (Is The Loneliest Number) (Nilsson/Three Dog Night) (Medley, featuring quotes from:
Three Times One Minus One (T.T.O.M.O) (a/k/a David Cross and Bob Odenkirk)
Just A Little Loving (Early In The Morning) (Barry Mann/Cynthia Weill) (performed by Dusty Springfield & Sarah Vaughan)
Raspberry Beret (Prince)
Private Affair (The Saints)
I’m Stranded (The Saints)
Driver’s Seat (Sniff & the Tears)
Paper Planes (MIA)
Fernando (Abba)
Unnamed Pixies Request

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