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


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.


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


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


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!



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.


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!


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.


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.


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


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.


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.