Yo La Tengo and Stephen Malkmus and America - Oh My Rockness

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Yo La Tengo and Stephen Malkmus and America

June 30, 2005
Hey, hey, it's Independence Day. And what better way to celebrate America's freedom than a free indie rock show just a hipster's throw from Lady Liberty. You know Yo La Tengo and Stephen Malkmus (not to mention the Jicks) will bring plenty of fireworks to this show, since they'll have to compete with the real thing.

Hoboken's critical darlings Yo La Tengo have been crafting bedroom pop/noise rock/dream music since the Chicago Bears won the Super Bowl. When the greatest fat man ever, William "Refrigerator" Perry, was rumbling into the end zone, Yo La Tengo were preparing their debut Ride the Tiger and they haven't stopped since.

Yo La Tengo have put out over a dozen albums with no end in site. The band's strength is adaptability. From folk to garage to post-punk to shoegazer, they refuse to be pigeonholed. In later years they seem to have turned towards the sunny side of life (see Summer Sun). Maybe as you get older you get tired of being cynical and ironic, or perhaps you see the world with a different slant. But maybe they just want to express their contentment at being at the top of their game for almost 20 years now.

Speaking of ironic, also playing is Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks. Malkmus, of course, is most famous for leading The Crust Brothers to international acclaim (seriously). Malkmus is on his third album with his boys, The Jicks, and appears to finally be hitting his solo stride. On his latest, Face the Truth, Malkmus downplays the guitar wizardry and plays up his vocals and intricate instrumental arrangements. One thing is for sure; the new Malkmus is worlds better than the one who did Pig Lib. He throws in some country with his pop, some disco with his jazz, and plenty of stage persona to keep you interested while you sit in the sun. Be careful, it'll be hot out there. Bring sunscreen, water, and some eggs to fry on the sizzling pavement.

Yo La Tengo, plus Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, play Battery Park this Monday, July 4th.


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