Dear Henry Rollins…

Dear Hank,

The lumpy lil men (and lady) of Yo La Tengo have a not so new album as I’m sure you know. I am Not Afraid of You and I will Beat Your Ass. I figure most readers of this blog already have it or heard it, but hey i figured i’d put it up. In case you like to stream dope audio and haven’t hit this one up yet…

Radio Indie Pop

They got hot channels such as an all Ramones channel, Unsigned Channel, Alt-Country Channel, and an album of the month (currently YLT’s IANAOFAIWBYA).

Hank, you know I dig these guys, and I have found it an enjoyable listen. But it did trail off a bit for me towards the last third of the album. The opener “Pass the Hatchet, I think I’m Good!”… smacks of that nice bridge the Hoboken three oft pull off between the fuzzed out pulsing energy of a track like “I, Bartleby” and something a bit more straight forward or, egad, dare I say, poppy.

The second jam, “Beanbag”, however, sets the tone for where the album as a whole seems to be going… right into the “Season of the Shark”. Good stuff no doubt, but definitely more on their melodic, gentler side… accented by very light and delicate vocal stylings of Ira, Georgia, and James, and their, and with a couple of those jams that drip off their love of Fakebook influences.

Georgia brings down the landslide in “I feel like going home”. One thing this trio quite often pulls off is some feeling of sincerity. They don’t appear to be dialing it in, and they definitely aren’t a afraid to move their styles around or borrow from influences… They may have traded in some of their “do wop do bops” from Summer Sun’s “Nothing But You and Me”, but quickly picked up some Burt Bacharach meets Chicago Horns on “Hey, Mr. Tough” (I think they are talking about you, Henry… don’t be mad.)

Not to harsh on James vocal joint, but “Black Flowers” left me a lil cold. The strings were just a lil too syrupee and came off a bit as bad Elanor Rigby.

To bring it all home though I did rather enjoy the Fender Rhodes on the psychedelic rave-up… “I Should have Known Better”.

So in conclusion, Hank, I give it ten out of twelve inches.


ps – thanks for ruining black flag.

3 thoughts on “Dear Henry Rollins…

  1. Interesting you make the Henry Rollins-YLT connection, because I remember seeing a clip somewhere out there of a Yo La Tengo show a few years back where James performed a dramatic reading from Henry Rollins’ autobiography. It was hillarious, and included a passage where Rollins recounts meeting YLT on tour and basically calling them pussies. So maybe your theory is correct. Actually, that show was in Austin as I recall–were you there? I was thinking this song was more about the Bush administration, but your idea may be just as plausible. Has anybody figured out all the lyrics to this song? My two year old is obsessed by it and is now trying to learn the words. I am unable to help her with a few lines, especially the part right after, “and we’ll forget about our problems if only for a little while.”

  2. The show was in Austin and it was pretty fuckin funny – yours truly accompanied Topple to the gig at Emo’s. Something about James looking like a bag of lumpy oatmeal Rollins writing shit like, “Those pussies can’t rock. And I wanted to rock. We got on stage, and we rocked. We rocked hard.” Or something like that — what a butthole.

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