You couldn't help but be charmed...
Oddly hip trio [a]Yo La Tengo[/a] have the knack for welcoming you into their coterie while simultaneously creating that distance superior musicians produce simply by being so much better than the rest of us. They could be the most gracious act in rock. They are certainly under appreciated. With unglamorous looks and a set requiring patience and intelligence of the listener, they are of course destined to indie martyrdom forever.
Ten minutes in and [a]Yo La Tengo[/a] are only two-thirds of the way through their first number. ‘Night
Falls On Hoboken’ is softly sprawling and blue-grey built on a clipped drum beat and simple bass loop. It whispers “self indulgent” but is easily forgiven as lovely, tender ‘Tears Are In Your
Eyes’ presents YLT as a band whose deft use of pathos is absorbing. The YLT, however, that plays amp blowing, raucous guitar pop like ‘Sugarcube’ and youth lust memory ‘Cherry Chapstick’ are
equally adept at bleeding the most out of their instruments. Every suppressed urge in the quiet ones seems to express itself as storms of feedback in the loud ones. The balance is unique.
Despite his ability to conjure hellish noise at will and thrash a guitar like few others can, Ira Kaplan never allows songs to be overcome. The noise complements the peace. The melody and ingenuous vocals always win out. Therein lies the YLT secret.
They once played a Salvation Army band in a Hal Hartley flick. Tonight they cover Hot Chocolate‘s ‘You Sexy Thing’ with just a trace of irony. ‘You Can Have It All’ appears as a choreographed tribute to karaoke. Appropriately, YLT don’t take themselves too seriously then
To end, Georgia Hubley gently entreats us over and over to, “take care of ourselves,” above a
subtle accompaniment. This wasn’t a concert to spark revolutions though you couldn’t help but be charmed.