15 September 2006

i ain't got nothing to be scared of

i remember when the last yo la tengo album came out. rabi and i had just broken up for the first time, and i bought it for her. i had a promo copy which i'd been listening to a lot, and it was doing me some good. i wanted to burn her a copy but she said she'd end up buying it anyway so i just bought it for her instead, at spaceboy records (which has since moved down the street, and which is closing shop for good tomorrow), the night it came out, when i was on south street, with liza, to see the reunited joe jackson band at the TLA. i never purchased a full-art copy for myself, because i preferred the artwork that i made out of a magazine ad for the album plus the throwaway outer cover of rabi's copy (with a construction paper beach ball under the cd on the tray card.) anyway, summer sun's comforting glowy warmth notwithstanding, rabi and i were both so miserable that we were back together within a week.

critical consensus to the contrary, i think it's just as lovely as anything (or possibly everything) else they've done. which is a lot of albums, many of which i've picked up used here or there over the years (my first encounter with them was and then nothing... which i ordered from BMG my freshman year.) i'm pretty sure that makes this the first YLT album i've ever bought new, full-price: i am not afraid of you and i will beat your ass.

i didn't buy it right away. well-documented fandom notwithstanding, the first time i saw it on the counter at a.k.a. i balked at the cover image. (audibly.) yeah, it's really ugly. and the title is, well, very silly, at best. at worst, they're at least sending a clear message.

which is not about the music. obviously they care about the music. now i'm listening to it.....well, it's good. it's not like i had any worries that it wouldn't be good. not really any illusions that it would be incredible. (though i'd be happy to be proven wrong.) yo la don't really do incredible, they just do always, consistently, very, very, unimpeachably good. i can't say much more about this album: it will take time to sink in, and i plan to listen to it a lot in the background as i make my way through war and peace. if that doesn't work maybe i'll try the tortoise box set. (i need a good excuse to pick that up - maybe it can be the reward if i finish w+p in a month.)

YO. what is going to be my favorite album this year? i don't know. there's nothing obvious, nothing that's grabbed me like think tank or the sunset tree, or funeral. or satanic panic even. (or oh inverted world or figure 8, but obv.) it's not that i haven't really gotten into any albums. as previously mentioned, many of those have been discoveries of records from a year or two ago. (ashlee, rachel, robyn.) but no one album has stuck with me all that strongly - i have no idea what my most listened-to albums from this year would be, for instance.

condensed listening report - recent favorites and strong contenders: Girl Talk, Paris Hilton, Matmos. the Junior Boys album i picked up today as well (was going to buy it new but spotted a used copy - a promo, but with most of the art), and it is excellent, much better than their concert last week...but i'll need to spend some time with it of course. I've been listening to the Pet Shop Boys album a good deal, actually. and the Daedelus, which didn't do much initially, is growing on me. from earlier in the year, the Veronicas and the Strokes still command soft places in my heart, and i'm going to need to revisit the Neko Case and Howe Gelb and Cat Power records. James Hunter is still a cool dood. i watched the two Camera Obscura videos on YouTube today, and the songs sounded better than ever. i still want to hear the Rihanna, Justin, Beyonce, Christina, and Lily albums, though i don't expect to especially love any of them as albums. the Lupe Fiasco toons i've dled sound quite nice. to beef up the selection pool, i've ordered, largely unheard, albums by the Ark and Scanners, both of which come highly recommended from friends. so we'll keep seeing. as for Get Lonely... it's nice too.

and Yo La Tengo? whoa, they're kicking it in now! time for bed, eh?

1 comment:

Dave said...

Any thoughts on Marit Larsen? Still my #1 of the year at this point. I think the MSTRKRFT album is somewhat underrated...really like new Phoenix, Sonic Youth, and Man Man, too. For some reason I've had a hankerin' for the new Cyann and Ben album. Still searching Persephone's Bees, several you've mentioned, a few others. Year's looking up somewhat, but without Marit I'd have no clear contender for #1.