I just got back from

I just got back from their concert in Propect Park (Brooklyn) with a few friends. I’ve seen the band a few times before but this time was somewhat if not incredibly underwhelming. Some quick observations:
1. The place was packed with exactly my demographic and scarily so. I’ve never seen so many mid-30s folks on their way to 40 in my life packed on blankets drinking beer and having one last concert before they will no longer be admitted.
2. The band members of Yo La Tengo, who I generally love, should actually be shot for doing a really stupid (and apparenty new) song that went some thing like this (and I kid you not): “They’re talkin’ ’bout nuclear war / nuclear war / nuclear war / Those motherfuckers, got their finger on the button, are talkin’ nuclear war / they’re gonna blow your ass / blow your ass / nuclear war / nuclear war.” Extremely naive at best, but really and truly unethical if you ask me — singing a song, with or without irony, about our large fears writ large. It was like anti-art — misanthropist and grotesque. It shadowed the rest of the night. It was a pathetic display of something that, as my friend said, maybe plays in Hoboken, but it doesn’t work in New York.
2a. For some reason, they decided to sing this song in a fake African-American folk tune. So not only was it unethical but it was racist. As penance, a friend said, they should be forced to play the song at the Apollo.
3. On my way out I passed two cops that looked extremely chagrined at having to guard a bunch of middle class white kids from nuclear war.
4. Most of their songs are quite beautiful, filled with the light and verve of other great bands like Velvet Underground, Wire, Sonic Youth, and Neil Young’s Crazy Horse. Gifted in music does not equal gifted in thought.

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