Tuesday, December 11, 2007

last night: Yo La Tengo & Friends

"First Gear, It's All Rright"

We knew going to see Yo La Tengo during their semi-annual Hanukkah run at Maxwell's would be fun, but not even the most optimistic person in the world would've predicted what a blast last night was. Pre-show I read that Monday nights special guest opener was going to be The New Pornographers. "Shut up!" And when we entered Maxwell's cozy interior it was written in bold on the door. "w/ The New Pornographers." So we had that going for us. Which was nice. Needless to say the Porno's (minus Dan Bejar and Neko Case) were tight, rocking out "My Rights Versus Yours", "Twin Cinemas" and other gems from their fine catalog. While AC Newman kept the power pop alive, I couldn't help but get lost starring at keyboardist and singer Kathryn Calder. The young ivory tickler, who sings many of Neko's parts, was dead on and boy is she a sight for sore eyes. Which reminds me that I really need to pick up her band the Immaculate Machine's latest record ASAP.

While Todd Barry was in the house again, Monday night's mid-show comedy act was Peanut Butter, who came on and did the most bizarre set of beleaguered torture humor I've ever heard. Some of it was unbearable. However, his Mandy Patinkin jokes were pure bliss.

As if that wasn't enough, we still had an entire set of Yo La Tengo to go. Needless to say they crushed it, getting droney and doing the fuzzy Yo La jam-shit and then breaking down into effervescent pop gems like "Mr. Tough" and "Beanbag Chair", both from 2006's wonderful I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass. I forgot to mention how stunning Georgia sounded on "I Feel Like Going Home", which is surely my second favorite Georgia song behind "My Little Corner of the World." To finish off the night the band brought on Roy A. Loney, singer of the legendary cult band the Flaming Groovies.

From 12/9/07 at Maxwell's. Night 6 of Hanukkah.

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