Yo La Tengo/Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci
“Sundays ruin the weekend, they’re a complete waste of space and time.” I consider my friend’s mutterings as I make my way to Leicester. He could have a point. Monday’s sharp teeth can tear at the already ragged week’s end. The looming 9-5 cog compresses time and renders the oncoming advent of clean-cut reality a test of spatial awareness. Lucky for me I have the balancing prospect of anti-reality-musical-adventures peeking round the corner.
Leicester’s De Montfort Hall is busy without troubling the girth of Saturday-excess. The space generates enough time to consider the inter-sonic, galactic journey that’s about to commence. Gorky’s career spans 13 years of genre-defying prowess. Twitching journalists have shoehorned the band into indie-rock-abilly, psych-country-pop categories without really grasping their core. A mere seven years older, Yo La Tengo have similarly suffered at the squidgy hands of narrow minds – a Velvet Underground with wit and minus the egos? Really?
Gorky’s saunter onstage and start at the tip of an acoustic atmosphere, gently picking a melodic highway to your heart. Euros Childs’ stardust vocals slip through the ether, tenderly augmented by susurrous guitars and violin. Ladies and gentlemen, we are… no longer floating. The psychotic cacophony that launches Poodle Rockin’ flatlines and then furiously pumps at startled emotions. The spasmodic leg of Childs provides the sole point of uniform motion as sound waves are sent sprawling by Gorky’s orchestrated melee. After this gloriously-rude awakening the band continue to deliver breathtaking harmonies and delicately crafted layers of sound that take you to the sun-lit dark side of the moon and back.
Half the size of six-pack Gorky’s, Yo La Tengo have a wealth of space to play with. And they know how to use it. On Little Eyes Georgia Hubley’s expansively-restrained drumming and hushed vocal delivery beautifully melts the edges of her husband’s wire-phased fretwork. Ira Kaplan is a six string, solar genius, weaving reverb-soaked pulses around the resonant bass playing of James McNew. The band’s humour is evident on Saturday as shoop-shoop dance and vocals from the smirking McNew and Hubley support Kaplan’s affected-angst voice. And Cherry Chapstick fuzzes and explodes as Yo La Tengo illustrate their dynamic understanding of interplay and improvisation. During a brief encore they caress a surprisingly faithful rendition of Massive Attack’s Be Thankful For What You’ve Got. And there you have it. The indie-rock-abilly-pop-psych-velvet-anti-reality-sonic-Sunday-show. Otherwise known as stellar use of space and time. Lovely.
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- May 6, 2006 / 5:17 pm