No indie rockers have done more to transform noise from rebellious assault to domestic accoutrement than Yo La Tengo, and no Yo La Tengo album has been more conceptually upfront about this process. With feedback swelling and ebbing like the creaks you've grown to fondly expect in an old house, the trio collects sonic details, from distortion blasts to organ doodles to looped Bacharach snippets, the way other homebodies do Hummel figurines. As always, the action pivots around the two voices and their distinct grains: guitarist/husband Ira Kaplan and his comforting warmth, drummer/wife Georgia Hubley and her delicate chill. On the raving "Sugar Cube" Ira pledges devotion with near-adolescent yearning, on the hushed "Shadows" Georgia pledges devotion even if unrequited and on the light samba "Center of Gravity" the couple pledge devotion as a form of shared stability. Kaplan murmurs the Beach Boys '"Little Honda" so dreamily that no matter how recklessly overdriven his guitar or propulsive Hubley's beat, the promised trip clearly isn't cross country but through his record collection. In fact, the band so thoroughly depicts its small patch of emotional turf that Hubley's charmingly warbled coda, "My Little Corner of the World," almost seems redundant.
By Glenn Kenny on 01.14.14 in Icons
If ever there was a rock 'n' roll icon who needed no introduction, Bruce Springsteen — who got his nickname "The Boss" because, from very early on, he was the guy who made sure the band got paid — is surely that guy. As...
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By Andrew Parks on 10.21.14 in News
"Anyone who ever said they liked our older records more than Painful," Yo La Tengo frontman Ira Kaplan said at Ohio University last year, "I just told them they're wrong." He won't have to say much soon; not w...
By Eric Ducker on 09.29.14 in Features
"We figure, if people like rock 'n' roll music, they'll like this, 'cause it says 'rock 'n' roll' on it."