Latin Music Week

'Prisoners' No More: Yo La Tengo Raids Vaults

A career-spanning compilation of material by veteran indie rockers Yo La Tengo will arrive March 22 via Matador.

A career-spanning compilation of material by veteran indie rockers Yo La Tengo will arrive March 22 via Matador. "Prisoners of Love: A Smattering of Scintillating Senescent Songs, 1985-2003" will be available as both a specially priced double CD and limited edition triple-disc set.

"It was Matador's suggestion," guitarist/vocalist Ira Kaplan tells with a chuckle. "And we were amenable. My personal feeling was I didn't want that much to do with it, but Georgia [Hubley, Yo La Tengo's drummer/vocalist and Kaplan's wife] was involved in the project quite a bit. Basically, Matador gave us a list of songs they wanted and from there we couldn't really stay uninvolved. So Georgia got deeply involved in things like sequencing and in changing out a few of the songs."

"The third disc was all our suggestion," Kaplan says of the 16-track bonus CD of outtakes and rarities. "On one hand we thought about not doing it at all, because we didn't want to make people buy stuff they already have. But on the other hand we got to thinking about collections we have like the [Flaming] Groovies' 'Greatest Grooves' and 'Time Peace' by the Rascals, and even though we have all the other records by those bands, sometimes the collection seems a better fit. So our fans might actually enjoy it more than they think. Plus the unreleased stuff and the obscurities and the fact that the whole package is pretty inexpensive should help."

As for mining Yo La Tengo's rarities, Kaplan says, "That was pretty fun. I even wrote some liner notes for the third disc. 'Decora' [recorded acoustically for a 1995 KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic session] was the most interesting thing we found, because we were looking for something else and we came upon it. The same thing goes for the demo of 'Big Day Coming,' which Georgia stumbled upon. The whole process was pretty memorable."

In other YLT news, the group has just completed two soundtracks, although Kaplan is uncertain if the material will ever see the light of day. "We were just out at Sundance to support the movies, which are called 'Game 6' and 'Junebug,'" he reveals. "But I don't know whether those soundtracks will even get released -- certainly not immediately. Our next project is to get together a record of new songs, which we're slowly at work on."

The trio also has a DVD tentatively planned for sometime this year. "It's in the works," Kaplan continues. "It's kind of on the backburner. The goal is to have it out before the next record. I think what's slowing it down is our desire for it to be more than just videos and live footage. We plan to make it a little more interesting, but I'm not really in a position to elaborate yet. You know, last year we promised a collection of the stuff we've done for WFMU and that's already a year late, so we don't want to make any more grand pronouncements."