"There's this band, Yo Lo Tengo," I overheard him say in the classroom adjacent to my post at the receptionist desk.
"Um it's Yo LA Tengo," I interjected.
"So what about them?"
"I'm good friends with one of the guys, Ira. We went to high school together. Used to jam all the time. We just met up for drinks the other day."
Ok, so apparently one of the teachers at the music school/camp I do occasional temp work at is like BFF with Ira and can't even get his band's name right, ha! I told him how much I dig those guys and he quizzically asked me "why?". Um because they're the only band I know that can get away with playing little twee pop songs, 10+ minute psychedelic jams AND plaintive melancholy folk ballads. In any other band I'd call that an identity crisis, but in Yo La Tengo, they get away with doing it all because they do it all so well. He just sorta nodded.
But here's the most awesome part: he made me show YLT YouTube clips to his students, a gaggle of 8-12 year old boys armed with acoustic guitars bigger then their bodies. And they marveled at Ira's freakout solo halfway through "Stockholm Syndrome". The way he can riff and pluck and squeal his instrument and then return to the melody is bold and seamless. To quote the aforementioned teacher, "it's like there's no such thing as metronomes!" Which is to say on a technical classicist level there's no room to love YLT because of their blatant disregard for traditional structure. BUT that is precisely the reason so many people fall in love with them in the first place.
To quote one of my friends whom I thoroughly agree with "Stockholm Syndrome is "the platonic ideal of a perfect pop song". WORD.
Anyways it felt good to give the kids a real musical education, expand their minds a bit and score a goal for team indie rock.
The song (and video) at hand:
Stockholm Syndrome - Yo La Tengo
And here's a new track off their upcoming album out in September:
Periodically Double or Triple - Yo La Tengo