Listen-Along: “I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One”

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1) Return to Hot Chicken



Michael Frett: Oh how I missed me some hot chicken.

Tucker Phillips: It never really left though. This is one Ira Kaplan-ass Ira Kaplan riff right here.

Jackson Scott: Slow burn.

MF: This is a pretty easy-going song you got going on here, Yo La Tengo.

JS: Patience is a hot chicken. As they say.

TP They keep it pretty chill over in Hoboken.

MF: Has me expecting some pretty easy-going music.

JS: Hoboken no jokin’.

2) Moby Octopad



MF: Bass guitars for days.

TP This is one of the only bass riffs I know.

JS: Like…ever? Or how to play on bass?

TP I can only bust out a few licks. These licks get licked.

MF: I’m loving that feedback intro, though.

TP Boy, if you like feedback….

MF: Feedback is one of my favorite things. Like, a top 5 thing.

JS: I like the slow buildup.

MF: So, Yo La Tengo likes 60s music, eh?

TP They take all comers.

JS: This sounds more like 70s.

TP Music and baseball, the Yo La Tengo ying and yang.

JS: Homerun!

MF: Hotdogs! This is totally a 60s thing, though. The harmonies and that drum shuffle is so Beatles-y.

TP IT IS ALL TIMES. FOREVER.

JS: Yo! La Tengo does a good job making this drone sound not vampy.

TP That piano.

MF: Bring out the air-pianos, y’all.

JS: Everything seems purposeful, but nothing is pushed.

TP The lights are on at Shea, y’all.

MF: I like the vocal harmonies.

TP This is my favorite Yo La Tengo encore pick. Such a great summer evening atmosphere. Windows open. Living room lamps on.

MF: I could see that being a thing. A nice, easy-going thing. Like that song.

3) Sugarcube



TP Your feedback order is here, sir.

MF: Looks like we stumbled into a garage jam session, guys.

JS: #rockmusic

TP Can we stay for a little bit? The natives seem kind.

MF: Feedback is still like a top 5 thing for me, guys.

TP I’m partial to organs m’self.

MF: Listen to those amps purr. Listen to that solo purr.

TP Ira’s my favorite non-soloist.

JS: Guys, if you bring the guitar close to the amp it makes a noise.

MF: When did that become the case?!

TP Fire the roadies. They should have accounted for this.

MF: I’m ok with it. I really like this song, guys. What’s going on in that outro?

TP Hearing loss.

JS: And thus feedback as an instrument was invented!

4) Damage



TP Storm’s over. Now, son, this here’s what we call a “lope”.

JS: Wowie!

TP The guitars are doing that thing again. Somebody really should have said something.

MF: So, the background vocals sounding like Enya are cool. And that thing the guitars are doing is cool. This song is cool.

TP YOU’RE cool!

JS: There’s a beat somewhere here. There’s a word…

MF: This is the most light-hearted use of feedback I think I’ve ever heard.

TP It’s an autumn sweater made of feedback! Little itchy, maybe, but it’ll get you through.

JS: I don’t feel like anybody else could pull off what Yo La Tengo does.

TP No matter how hard they try (AHEM REAL ESTATE AHEM).

5) Deeper Into Movies



TP Confession time: this is the one song on this album I don’t like. Because it sounds like they’re trying to be Sonic Youth or something. But other people seem to love it so what do I know.

JS: But Tucker. Sonic Youth.

TP I know. I know.Sonic_youth_dirty_promo_photo_1992

JS: I don’t know if you know, but… Sonic Youth.

MF: So I’m probably in that “other people love it” camp. Not sorry.

JS: #visceral

TP YERR ON MY LIST, FRETT

MF: It reminds me that I need to listen to more Sonic Youth.

JS: Always.

TP I don’t wanna sound like a curmudgeon.

MF: This seems like a more straightforward kind of rock song.

TP Just has never clicked with me really.

MF: Not like the others, which were less outspoken and more easy flowing. That said, I enjoy the directness.

TP But I like when Yo La Tengo get antsy! Just not this time for whatever reason. I ain’t gonna argue with this solo though.

MF: It seems like the least Yo La Tengo song on here (judging by the four other songs Michael’s heard)

JS: You are a strange person (editor’s note: I assume this is in reference to me. The point stands either way.)

MF: Dude, that solo is gorgeous. FEEDBACK FOR DAYZZZ.

JS: It sounds like Yo La Tengo does a noise rock song. It still maintains that patience. I should get deeper into movies.

TP Yo La Tengo sure did.

MF: I should get deeper into Sonic Youth.

JS: Yes. Yes you should. You should listen to Daydream Nation and not listen to Tucker.

TP Yeah, Tucker’s their worst album.

6) Shadows



TP I’M BACK ON BOARD, YO LA TENGO. TEACH ME WHAT YOU HAVE TO TEACH.

MF: These are some non-threatening shadows.

TP Yo, check out these shadows. Pretty appealing, no?

MF: I can dig these shadows.

JS: Let’s go sit over in the shadows.

TP No rough edges on THESE shadows.

JS: Sun’s hurting my eye holes.

MF: These are some pretty shadows.

TP Pretty pretty pretty.

JS: I don’t like the pathetic way it’s making me dance in my seat.

TP GET DOWN WITH YOUR SHADOWY BAD SELF. Michael, I want to play a game. When a name pops into your head during this next song, please type it in all caps.

MF: Not sure where you’re going with this…

TP As soon as it happens, you’ll see.

7) Stockholm Syndrome



JS: Hahahaha15_1

MF: It’s on the tip of my tongue. Should I be aiming at a band name here?

TP I’m ashamed of you.

JS: Gosh darn it Michael, even I got it.

TP Maybe when you’re OLDER.

MF: I failed this one. I like everything about this song and it feels way too familiar.

TP Michael Michael Michael. Here I thought you had a heart of gold.

MF: SON OF A FRICKING. Totally did not have Neil Young pass through my mind at all.

TP Don’t worry, I knit you an autumn sweater. OUT OF MY TEARS.

MF: But yeah, a happy Neil Young is totally the feel I get from this song.

8) Autumn Sweater



TP Do kids still like drums? Hey gurl, I made you a mixtape.

MF: Hey gurl, I knitted you an autumn sweater. So, the drums are purty cool in this song.

JS: Vocals. Organs. DRUMS.

TP White people need love too.

JS: You don’t say.

MF: This isn’t exactly the soundtrack to an autumn sweater, guys.

JS: Yo La Tengo: whitest band ever?

TP They’re an American band.

9) Little Honda



JS: G-G-GUITARZ!! This reminds me of my dad.

MF: Funny, I always thought my Beach Boys singles needed more feedback.

TP This reminds me of your dad.

JS: My dad is white and drives a Honda. That’s where I get it from

MF: Oh hi, garage rock band! Long time no see!

TP American dream right there. GUYS THIS IS THE BEST/MOST ECONOMICAL SOLO EVER

MF: CHECK THIS ONE NOTE SOLO OUT, YOU GUYS!

JS: There’s so much soul though.

TP The Velvet Underground are here!

JS: I have no idea how Yo La Tengo do it.

MF: I always found it more impressive when a guitar player can express emotion with only a few notes. It’s why I love Neil Young and the Edge so much.

TP Mmm mmm mmm.

JS: The Tucker origin story makes so much more sense now.

TP DEEP IN THE PRIMORDIAL OOZE, A YOUNG TUCK WAS BORN

10) Green Arrow



TP Remember crickets? Remember warm weather? Remember shakers?

MF: What’s grass? Green stuff?

TP What is life?

JS: What does it all mean?

MF: So much prettiness. I can’t. Oh, but I totally can. Because this is so pretty.

TP Phew.

JS: What if the green I see isn’t what you see?

TP How can the grass be greener on both sides?

JS: And how does this all relate to comic books?

MF: How is a green arrow different from a green lantern?

JS: Punchline.

MF: This is the type of pretty song that makes me want to learn things on a guitar.

JS: I’ waiting to see where this goes before I comment more.

MF: Sliding is one of my favorite things when done right and least favorite things when abused. This is the sooner of the two

JS: I agree with that.

TP Subtle slides. DRUMS!

MF: BUM BUHDUH DUM

JS: Gotta say I wasn’t too into that.

TP It’s my summer driving around Wausau at night go-to. WINDOWS MUST BE DOWN.

11) One PM Again



TP Howdy pardner!

JS: Yeehaw

MF: Country vibes.

JS: Twang.

TP Let’s not make any sudden moves.

JS: Sequencing here is losing me.

TP It’s the quiet middle chapter.

JS: Drummer guy with glasses better do something cool soon.

TP HOW DARE YOU. YOU KNOW HE’S THE BASSIST.

JS: Bassist guy with glasses better do something cool soon.

MF: But, they’re all “heres a 60s garage rock song, an instrumental, and now some country!”

12) The Lie and How We Told It



MF: We’re speeding things up to a rapid-fire mid tempo! So, as I said before: Yo La Tengo likes the 1960s, don’t they?

TP Love this song, even if it’s the band in their comfort zone.

JF: I like all of the little bustling parts of this. It’s lively, yet comfortable. Not too worked up.

TP I love Georgia’s drumming style.

JS: You mean James?

TP 😉

MF: Hitting all those Atlantas and Savanahs just right.

JS: That was the worst joke, Michael. Just the worst.

TP Absolutely awful. I’d expect nothing less.

JS: Terrible.

MF: Joking Double score: 2/11

13) Center of Gravity



JS: Kitchen counter advertisement music.

MF: Only the simplest pieces of percussion for y’all.

TP Ba da bas for days. This is a good time to mention that Georgia (the drummer) and Ira (the guitarist) are married, I guess. Poor James.

MF: Third-wheeling it for the sake of the band. Good man. Good man.

TP Somebody’s got to do it.

JS: Sorry James.

MF: This is pretty advertisement-like music.

14) Spec Bebop



TP You’re either going to love this or hate it, but it’s 10 minutes long. THERE IS NO ESCAPE

MF: 3-minute jangles to 10-minute something elses?

JS: I like my bebops.

TP Polarizing song, this.

MF: Feedback’s back.

JS: Feed’sback.

TP So how’s life?

JS: I wish I could make music like this. Cause I totally would if I could.

TP You have to marry a drummer lady. First things first. Or 3rd wheel it I guess.

MF: This is a pretty nifty track, methinks.

JS: I dig this.

TP JUST LIKE SISTER RAY SAID

MF: I don’t know if I’ll dig 10 minutes of this, though.

TP THEN YOU’RE NOT YET A MAN

JS: I’d listen to an album of this.

TP This is my favorite on the album for reasons that are hard to explain. It communicates a lot about why I love Yo La Tengo without using the usual Yo La Tengo ingredients.

JS: I get that. I think I get what you’re not getting at. It’s got a Swans appeal, but soft. But it’s a similar feeling.

TP It feels to me like people lost in the process of creating music. THE MUSIC HAS TAKEN OVER

JS: Yeah, that’s a good way to put it.

MF: Music taking over is a great way to look at this one.

JS: I think that’s why Yo La Tengo’s indie stuff works so well too.

MF: Just letting the music flow rather than strictly creating it.

TP That and Sister Ray. Also, it’s a good approximation of the middle third of a Yo La Tengo concert!

JS: This makes more sense after only hearing “Autumn Sweater” and a handful of film score stuff.

MF: So, what kind of band is Yo La Tengo?

TP Well…

15) We’re an American Band



JS: I like that guitarrrr. RRRRRR.

TP RRRRRRR

MF: Them guitars, though.

JS: And the drums are also a thing.

MF: Themmmememememem guitarrarararars, thoughoughoughough.

JS: And the bass.

MF: I like the bass for keeping it easy while the guitars clearly don’t.

TP I’m just kinda grooving at the mo’

JS: Groovemo.

TP Groovemo’s my favorite pokindiemon.

JS: Groovemo, use Shred!

TP It’s super effective! Tucker fainted.

JS: Tucker, wake up!

TP Ah!

MF: I just did that thing people do. You know, get totally lost in music.

JS: Wahwahwahwah. Don’t worry, I found you!

TP Watch out for the guitars. A vicious bunch. When I thrash around on a guitar it never really sounds like this. It’s the wrong notes you DO play.

JS: I wish this is what more indie bands sounded like. Way to make me dislike Real Estate even more.

16) Our Little Corner of the World



JS: This makes sense as a song following those last two.

TP Sequencing making a little more sense? Yeah, that middle section drags just a little bit.

MF: Really? This seems like such a dramatic jump from the last two.

JS: Still think “Green Arrow” through “Center of Gravity” is complete filler to be honest.

TP “Green Arrow” is the bomb diggity though.

JS: Sure, as songs they’re all cool, but it kills the propulsion.

MF: I’m a Hawkeye fan.

JS: This song’s cute. #whitepeople

MF: Sweet little 60s cover. I enjoyed that little number.