Ira Kaplan of Yo La Tengo discusses their controversial 'Wheel of Fortune' concerts

July 13, 2011

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(Flickr/Ross Grady)
Yo La Tengo's Ira Kaplan on stage with the band's 'Wheel of Fortune.'

Indie rock legends Yo La Tengo are known for their unusual approach to concerts. For example, their famously controversial "Wheel of Fortune" shows, during which the band spun a wheel to determine what they would perform that night. Options ranged from a normal, hit-filled Yo La Tengo set to a whole set of covers. Sometimes the wheel landed on "sitcom," which prompted the band to reenact an entire episode of a TV show. Past reenactments have included Spongebob Squarepants and Seinfeld.

The band's unorthodox set-list planning style has sparked outrage amongs some fans, but the band has retained the gimmick. Vocalo's MusicVox host Jesse Menendez got a chance to ask guitarist/vocalist Ira Kaplan how this Wheel of Fortune idea came to be, whether its purpose is to keep the band entertained after so many years of touring, or if it somehow serves Yo La Tengo's fans.