Tuesday, September 29, 2009

More Fun with Music and Art

Hanukkah it was not, but between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, Yo La Tengo played a big ol' show at the Roseland Ballroom. Bigger venue than they usually play (in my experience, anyway) and it was packed with 3,000 of us. We got there too late to enjoy the musical stylings of the Susquehanna Industrial Tool & Die Co., but I hear they did a fun set in the lobby area. We did catch most of the Black Lips set, which was good for some good-n-loud.

Then came the main event: Yo La Tengo themselves, rocking in their own inimitable way. They gave us a healthy dose of the best material from their newest, Popular Songs. They rocked their classics (ok to call them 'classics' right?) including taking "Blue Line Swinger" to heights only dreamt of in your mythology.

They were introduced by the Daily Show's John Oliver, who had his work cut out for him trying to focus that many hipsters. They had visual stimulation provided by the Joshua White and Gary Panter Light Show.

The light show was a show of its own. Joshua and Gary are visual artists from the original psychedelic rock era. Nary a computer in evidence. Just some guys with projectors, colored oils, spinners and slides working a visual counterpoint to the music.

A microcosm of the reactions of our little group to this phenomenon:
Sherin: I love how old-school this light show is - analog everything!

Cory: You can see the hand of the artist, like with Jackson Pollock.

Frank: I feel like I'm at Iron Butterfly.

Amanda: Why isn't anybody dancing?

I don't know who shot this video (though I think it probably was Qbertplaya) and it seems possible that it'll be pulled down off the internets at some point. But for now, enjoy - string section and all.