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Music Is a Sanctuary From Chaos on Yo La Tengo’s ‘There’s a Riot Going On’

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Silk Screen Via Virgil Thrasher
Silk Screen Via Virgil Thrasher…

Hmmm, minus the Beach Boys, that sounds a lot like what the core of my music library consists of1 Probably why I have most of Yo La Tengo’s albums already.

The band’s general canon, defined through its own songs and countless cover versions, is clear and broad: the 1960s of the Velvet Underground, the Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, the British Invasion and psychedelia; the 1970s of Los Angeles folk-pop, krautrock and punk; the 1980s of new wave, post-punk and indie rock, not to mention select Top 10 pop from every era.

(click here to continue reading Music Is a Sanctuary From Chaos on Yo La Tengo’s ‘There’s a Riot Going On’ – The New York Times.)

Not to mention that Sly & The Family Stone’s “There’s A Riot Goin’ On” is of my favorite Sly LPs…

Sam Adams adds

The title of There’s a Riot Going On, the 15th album by Yo La Tengo, seems to promise a confrontation of the sort laid down by their fellow indie rockers Superchunk, whose What a Time to Be Alive is full of galvanizing anti-Trump broadsides. But instead of a blast of supercharged guitars, the first thing you hear on Riot is a wave of undulating organ that goes on for the better part of a minute before being joined by a three-note bass loop and the sound of sleigh bells. Ira Kaplan’s guitar enters the swirl, tracing a path through the hypnotic, head-nodding pulse of James McNew’s bass and Georgia Hubley’s drums. The song, an instrumental, is called “You Are Here,” but the feeling is more like being swept along than rooted in place. You are everywhere.

 

There’s a Riot borrows its title from Sly and the Family Stone’s 1971 masterpiece There’s a Riot Goin’ On, trading the modified American flag on its cover for a hazy phosphene. It’s a puzzling choice that comes off somewhere between sincere homage and record-collector in-joke. (The band once fused the titles of an R&B instrumental, a one-off album by a Los Angeles punk band, and the surname of a fantasy novelist to come up with a song called “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind,” which has nothing to do with either of the three.) But the original album’s title was also a misdirection, with a nonexistent “title track” running zero minutes and zero seconds. Faced with a turbulent world, Sly Stone turned inward, and so does Yo La Tengo on an album that, if hardly riotous, is one of their best.

 

 

(click here to continue reading Yo La Tengo’s new album There’s a Riot Going On, reviewed..)

I’ll let you know if it is any good in about a month2

Footnotes:
  1. well, with some additions of course, Miles Davis, Fela Kuti, etc. []
  2. after I hear the album at least 4 times []

Written by Seth Anderson

March 16th, 2018 at 3:00 pm

Posted in Music

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