Yo La Tengo
with The Chuckleberries (feat. Russell Quan of The Mummies)
Yo La Tengos new album Theres a Riot Going On was released on March 16th, 2018 on Matador Records. This is a warm, ambitious record, a striking self-produced creation from one of the most celebrated and adventurous bands in rock history, whose dynamic range touches on pure noise and serene beauty and everything in between.Theres a riot going on. You dont need me, or Yo La Tengo, to tell you that. These are dark times, in our heads as much as in the streets. Its easy to lose contact with the ground, flying through endless banks of storm clouds day after day. Confusion and anxiety intrude into daily life and cause you to lose your compass. There are times that call for anthems, something to lift you out of your slump and put fire in your feet. And then there are times when what is indicated is a balm, a sound that will wrap around you and work out the knots in your neck.While theres a riot going on, Yo La Tengo will remind you what its like to dream. The sound burbles and washes and flows and billows. If records were dedicated to the cardinal elements, this one would be water. There are shimmery hazes, spectral rumbles, a flash of backward masking, ghostly flamingos calling shoo-bop shoo-bop. You are there. And even if your mind is not uncloudedshaken, misdirected, out of words and out of timeyou can still float, ride the waves of an ocean deeper than your worries, above the sound and above the Sound.For Yo La Tengo this is a slow-motion action painting, and Georgia Hubley, Ira Kaplan and James McNew did it all themselves, in their rehearsal studio, with no outside engineer (John McEntire later did the mix). They did not rehearse or jam together beforehand; they turned on the recorder and let things coalesce. Songs came together over long stretches, sometimes as much as a year going by between parts. Youd never guess this, since the layers are finessed with such a liquid brush. Youd imagine most of the songs had sprung forth whole, since they will enter your head that way. Within two listens you will be powerless to resist the magnetic draw of Shades of Blue, will involuntarily hear She May, She Might on your internal jukebox first thing in the morning and Lets Do It Wrong late at night. While theres a riot going on you will feel capable of bobbing through like a cork.In 1971, when the nation appeared to be on the brink of violently coming apart, Sly and the Family Stone released Theres a Riot Goin On, an album of dark, brooding energy. Now, under similar circumstances, Yo La Tengo have issued a record with the same name but with a different force, an album that proposes an alternative to anger and despair. Their first proper full-length since 2013s Fade, Theres a Riot Going On is an expression of freedom and sanity and emotional expansion, a declaration of common humanity as liberating as it is soft-spoken.- Luc Sante, December 2017
Cost: $45 adv / $50 door
777 Valencia St.
San Francisco, CA 94110