Sunday afternoons, there are just nothing like them. Get a little brunch, listen to some music, and simply relax, forgetting about the worries of your previous week. Well this Sunday should be no different, except well if you’re in San Francisco because then you can also spend it with Yo La Tengo. Yep you read that right, drop by Aquarius Records this Sunday for an intimate, brunch-style in-store appearance by Yo La Tengo. Aquarius Records have been long time supporters of the band, look no further than their recent Record of the Week review (below) of Popular Songs as evidence. Yo La Tengo have equally supported independent record stores throughout the years too. So to us this really sounds like a perfect match, the likes of a bagel and cream cheese or a donut and coffee, and from what we hear, arrive early enough and you’ll have dibs on both. Most important you’ll also get a chance to see Yo La Tengo perform a special, intimate set at Aquarius, and well we can’t imagine anything better than that on a Sunday afternoon!
1055 Valencia St, SF 94110
Sun, Oct 18 / 1-2pm
Aquarius Records / Record of the Week
They never ever disappoint, in fact more often than not, they totally blow us away. And with Popular Songs, Yo La Tengo remind us once again why they are one of the best bands of the last quarter century. From start to finish this is an album with so many different sounds, styles, moods and motifs, yet it’s all so deliciously Yo La Tengo! Like their best albums, the first time you hear this record you know it’s going to be an album that you’ll listen to for the rest of your life. And in this day and age of disposable culture it’s so incredibly refreshing to have YLT, whose music has such a timeless element, and sounds so personal and passionate, and will undoubtedly stand the test of time. YLT never aspired to be the hippest or trendiest or coolest band around. Simply stated, slow and steady wins the race! They’ve definitely won, and continue to win, and in turn so have we. They’ve made their indelible mark by just being themselves, and when it comes to pure substance it just doesn’t get more richly rewarding than YLT.
Popular Songs is like an album that represent the best friend we all wish we could have. Someone you can turn to when it’s time to get deep or vent some bittersweet sadness, someone you can also have fun sleepover parties with and let loose and experience total joy together. These are a set of songs that really do hit at almost the entire spectrum of emotion, and the pacing/sequencing of the album just couldn’t be more perfect. Whether being melted away by one of Georgia Hubley’s beautifully aching drift-away numbers or being swept up in a Motown like fury or rocked by a straight ahead burner, there is such immaculate skill in the crafting of each song.
The album features wonderfully lush string arrangements provided by Richard Evans, the legendary soul pioneer who contributed so much to the amazing ’60s Chicago/Cadet soul scene, who many of you might know and love for his work on the great Afro-Harping album by Dorothy Ashby. So awesome, and yet after taking so many wonderful twist and turns, it is the ending of the album that really leaves us so stunned and in awe.
The last two tracks are very long and mostly instrumental. “The Fireside” is eleven minutes of total shoegaze bliss, that puts most actual ‘shoegaze’ bands to shame, letting the listener get lost in a slow glowing haze. And then the album’s closer “And The Glitter Is Gone”, an almost sixteen minute sonic smolder brimming with a droning and triumphant psychedelic spirit that we could listen to forever.
One of those rare records that is all ‘favorite songs’, every listen, a new song gets stuck in your head and fills your heart, only to be supplanted by another the next time, and on it goes, favorite after favorite after favorite. We think it’s fair to say this is a total masterpiece from one of our favorite groups!