Jesse Jarnow

night falls on bourgwick (ylt, night 3)

Splendid night in Hoboken, and kinda the reason I keep going back to Maxwell’s. Seeing Tortoise on a tiny stage was a treat, and their additions to Yo La Tengo’s set were exactly what guest appearances should be. Switching off on various basses, guitars, and drums, Messrs. Hendon, McCombs, and Parker strengthened the songs in all kinds of subliminal, unpredictable ways, from McCombs and Parker’s spine-like guitar/bass groove underneath “Autumn Sweater,” to McCombs’ one-chord drone below “Last Days of Disco,” to McCombs putting down his guitar altogether after seemingly deciding that “Barnaby, Hardly Working” was working just fine with the core YLT trio (and it was), to Herndon returning to help guide the song through a magnificent coda.

The appearance of Patti Smith Group mastermind and legendary rock scribe Lenny Kaye (on his 59th birthday, no less) was also glorious. The curator of Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era — the punk-era equivalent of Harry Smith’s Anthology of American Folk Music — led by example, running the Tengos through a handful of, er, nuggets with passion and graceful humor. Happy birthday, dude.

Yo La Tengo at Maxwell’s
27 December 2005
*(Hanukah, night 3)*
Tortoise and Demitri Martin opened.

Mix disc by El-P.

(First three-quarters of the set with various members of Tortoise.)

Bad Politics
Green Arrow
Everyday
False Alarm
Autumn Sweater
The Last Days of Disco
Barnaby, Hardly Working
How To Make A Baby Elephant Float
Madeline (false start)
Sugarcube
Artificial Heart
Decora
Tom Courtenay
I Heard You Looking

*(encore)* with Lenny Kaye on guitar and vocals
Night Time (Strangeloves)
No Time Like The Right Time (Blues Project)
Shock Me (Lenny Kaye)
Pushin’ Too Hard (The Seeds)
Moulty (The Barbarians)

1 Comment

  1. Randy Ray says: - reply

    The coffee was taking a little too long to jump start the rmr engine this morning(even after re-listening to my 2005 Best Album again after a six month hiatus).
    I saw your great comment about guest appearance “subliminal, unpredictable ways” and then read the twin names of GOLD in our house ‘Lenny Kaye’ and ‘Harry Smith’.
    Energy level crashed through the roof. Hope we have insurance.
    Thanks for the updates, Jesse!