(FOR INTERNAL USE ONLY : Gerard, do NOT PUT THIS ON THE BLOG)
Strong first day numbers for Yo La Tengo’s ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’, as expected, what with that fucking whirly-bird contest and all the good press we paid for. But before you dislocate your shoulders patting yourselvess on the fucking back, keep in mind that we’re still fighting a losing battle at the big boxes, where this album is still pretty hard to find.
I’m expecting a progress report no later than 3pm today about what sort of mischief our regional kids have been up to in the past 24 hours. I thought we’d made the point that hiding the new John Mayer, Black Keys and Mars Volta CD’s wasn’t merely some kind of rock biz sabotage mission, but could in fact, be framed as an “us vs. them” schism. Indie vs. major. Indie vs. other indie. Me vs. you. You vs. not having a fucking job. Please don’t make me spell this out for you any further.
I’m also told there is no stock at the Borders on Church Street. Enough with the excuses, already, it’s been five fucking years.
OK. I’m off to lift weights. You can reach me on the Fuckberry. I want digital pix of those Black Keys and Mars Volta discs hidden in the country section, I’m not kidding around.
You should be very afraid of me and I will kick your ass.
That was a joke, by the way. You’d better fucking laugh.
eMusic has posted a horrifyingly astute review of “I Am Not….”. Having seemingly lost touch with this discerning audience, we are now moving to promo plan B on this album – which includes a guest appearance on the upcoming season of American Idol.
‘We know that ‘quiet’ isn’t the preferred volume of the Electric Picnic festival, but….we’re gonna do these songs anyway’ – Ira, onstage.
Quite a gauntlet to throw down, made a little more palatable by the fact that Yo La Tengo had just opened their set with the ramalama-organ garage bluster of ‘Never Saw It Coming’ and the kraut-psych noise jam of ‘Pass The Hatchet’ to a mostly agog audience. The aforementioned quiet songs, all of which were from ‘I Am Not Afraid..’ ran the risk of being drowned out by two adjoining stages, but then they dropped ‘Tom Courtenay’ and ‘Little Honda’ to all the rapturous response that indiekind can muster before adding layer of noise to noise for closer ‘The Story of Yo La Tango’. When it finished, it felt like I hadn’t breathed for 20 minutes – but then some dude had hit me pretty hard in the chest with excitement when those first chords of ‘Tom Courtenay’ started up. The same dude went mental with delight when they came back on for an encore of ‘Sugarcube’ (insert your own superlative here). It’s kinda difficult to gauge audience reaction when you’re up front, but YLT seemed to have kept a largely drunken-end-of-the-evening-waiting-for-2manydjs type crowd happy, which is quite a feat. With quiet introspection and noise drones, no less.
(photograph by Michael Lavine)
Matador is providing exclusive bonus material along with pre-orders of Yo La Tengo’s upcoming ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’ (ole-692).
When you pre-order the album from a participating retailer’s web site, you’ll receive a follow up email with directions for accessing the Season Pass web site via a unique coupon code. Every few weeks, the site will be updated with exclusive bonus material including:
– A player streaming the full album
– A digital booklet with album artwork, photos, liner notes and YLT
– Exclusive mp3s available only to Season Pass members
– Advance notice on all ticket sales for the fall tour.
The full scoop can be found here.
In an unrelated story, Yo La Tengo’s upcoming Asbury Park show at the Stone Pony (9/25)…is no longer upcoming. I cannot stress strongly enough that this cancellation has nothing to do with the alleged feud between James McNew and Southside Johnny, much of which was blown way out of proportion by the irresponsible rock press. The whole thing is water under the bridge, and we’re hopeful that someday, someway, Johnny will invite Yo La Tengo to appear on his IFC chat show. I’ve not actually seen the program, but friends at the label have nothing but good things to say about it.
(snazzy image swiped from here. due to severe label budget cuts, that’s the vehicle they’ll be traveling in, by the way)
Wed 1 Nov SWEDEN STOCKHOLM DEBASER MEDIS
Thu 2 Nov NORWAY OSLO JOHN DEE
Fri 3 Nov SWEDEN GOTEBORG STICKY FINGERS
Sat 4 Nov SWEDEN MALMO KB
Sun 5 Nov DENMARK COPENHAGEN VEGA
Tue 7 Nov UK CARDIFF POINT
Wed 8 Nov UK GATESHEAD SAGE
Thu 9 Nov UK CAMBRIDGE JUNCTION
Sat 11 Nov UK LONDON FORUM
Sun 12 Nov FRANCE PARIS CAFÉ DE LA DANSE
Mon 13 Nov FRANCE TOURCOING/LILLE GRAND MIX
Wed 15 Nov FRANCE STRASBOURG LA LATERIE
Thu 16 Nov NETHERLANDS UTRECHT TIVOLI
Fri 17 Nov NETHERLANDS GRONINGEN VERA
Sat 18 Nov BELGIUM BRUSSELS AB
Sun 19 Nov GERMANY BERLIN POSTBAHNHOF
Tue 21 Nov GERMANY HAMBURG MARKTHALLE
Wed 22 Nov GERMANY DUSSELDORF ZAKK
Thu 23 Nov GERMANY MUNCHEN MUFFATHALLE
Fri 24 Nov GERMANY HEIDELBERG KARLSTORBAHNOF
Sat 25 Nov SWITZERLAND FRIBOURG FRISON
Mon 27 Nov ITALY MILAN RAINBOW
Wed 29 Nov FRANCE TOULOUSE MANGE DISQUE
Thu 30 Nov SPAIN BARCELONA APOLO
Fri 1 Dec SPAIN VITORIA AZKENA
Sat 2 Dec SPAIN MADRID LA RIVIERA
Sun 3 Dec PORTUGAL LISBON AUG
…and now I need to get my head bandaged after falling off my chair. If writers are going to insist on actually listening to the CD’s we send them rather than merely paraphrasing the press release (or looking to see what someone else said) we might have to re-think our plans to blow up 625 Broadway for the insurance loot.
Calling Yo La Tengo’s forthcoming ‘I Am Not Afraid Of You And I Will Beat Your Ass’, “a return to the giddy, sticky-fingered eclecticism of 1997’s ‘I Can Hear The Heart Beating As One’, Mojo’s Steve Chick calls the album,
A wonderful, intimate love letter to pop (and its many subterranean offshoots), bookended by two hefty space-rock jams, the album ricochets from atmospheric piano vignette to gonzo garage fuzz to murky new wave disco to xylophone-scored waltz , the riot of styles bound together by warmth and wit, halcyon vocals and harmolodic guitar explosions. (4 stars)
So what if he misspelled the name of the album’s final song? We’ve done worse. And we’ll do so again!
Jennifer O’Connor has far better photos of Yo La Tengo at the Pitchfork Fest (Union Park, Chicago) but if I can’t pull rank every now and then, where’s the fun in this job?
Even by the usual zero-attention span standards, the claim by one local jackass that Yo La Tengo were “so quiet ’til the last song I did not know they were playing” is kinda off the charts. Never again is the word “quiet” likely to be employed when describing songs like “Pass The Hatchet” or “Watch Out For Me Ronnie”, though I can’t deny even the loudest of bands come off as somewhat muted for someone whose head is up their ass.
Special recognition for the weekend goes out to the straw hat-wearing, backpack-wielding, hygiene averse dude (and when I say “dude”, I really mean “fuckface”) who put his paws upon me while trying to prevent entry backstage. You’d think this city would’ve learned a valuable lesson from the Democratic National Convention of 1968, but alas, how quickly they forget.
That said, the psychic blow delivered from spotting SS Decontrol’s Springa onstage during Mission Of Burma’s set is not one I’ll soon recover from. Time constraints (if not straw hat-wearing, backpack-wielding assholes) prevented an encore of “How Much Art (Can You Take)?”, but there’s always Coachella next year, right?