Yo La Tengo, Beer, Me, Me, Me.

So, Todd is in NYC all week for work, and he gave me the afternoon off yesterday, so that I could have kid-free time before the week kicks into gear. I rode down to L5P with neighbor Scott and his friend Seth. Ah, the glamour of arriving anywhere in a minivan. Nothing like it.

We proceeded to Criminal Records for the 4 pm Yo La Tengo instore. Scott bought the new album and got it signed. He is a record nerd, which always cracks me up. He is v. knowledgeable about music and we like a lot of the same stuff, and I even like him despite the fact that he likes Phish. YLT played a short set (mostly new stuff, including the fun “Periodically Double or Triple,” and a Beatles cover – name? Cannot remember) bantered with the crowd in their usual witty and self-deprecating way, and sounded pretty good. A fun time, despite the fact that I am coming down with a cold, and it was hot as Hades in the damn place.

Speaking of, let’s take a moment to discuss my thoughts on dressing for Fall in the South, shall we? I automatically think that you are a complete idiot if the temperature is in the 70s and 80s and you wear any of the following:

  • Long sleeve shirts*
  • Wool caps or hats
  • Cardigan wrap sweaters
  • Wool plaid skirts
  • FOR THE LOVE OF ALL THAT IS GOOD, knitted or wool scarves?
    *These are merely questionable. Why not a short sleeve?

I then bought a couple of CDs (browsing without children! No hand-holding! Awesome!) and then went next door to The Porter. I had not been there before, and I LOVED it. Great beer list; knowledgeable, witty, friendly staff; comfortable bar stools; good pub food (at least what I had – the Porter Poppers – was excellent). I love the atmosphere and had a wonderful, three-beer afternoon to myself, sitting at the bar, reading for a couple hours, periodically looking up to watch the folks outside walking by in the rain.
I am my mother’s daughter, so I did chat up some fellow patrons and the bartender. Met a couple people who had driven all the way from Florida to see Yo La Tengo. I am always impressed by road-tripping music fans. (As long as they like good music, of course.) And then another guy sat down next to me. Turned out we had both grown up in Atlanta and knew some of the same people. Georgia and Ira from YLT came in, presumable for dinner, and walked to the back of the bar. Todd arrived, having pawned the kids off onto my dear sister. We had another beer and chatted with the Atlanta guy, nodding our heads as the conversation got weird, and involved his life and death experience, and how he saw levitating beers come up out of their glasses and float in the air. Nope, not kidding. He said all this with a straight face, and I love my husband, because we both just nodded like we were listening seriously to him, and never took our eyes off him. Nodding, nodding. But we know one another well enough that we were having an unspoken conversation that went something like this:

Todd: “Did he just say that he died and then came back to life?”
Me: “He just said that he and the chick from the band BabyShakes watched their beers leave the glasses and float up solid in the air and then splash back down on the bar. No one else there saw it.”
Todd: “Yep. Did he just say that she understood all this, and that he figured out the whole thing in numbers and did the math? Were there numbers after the decimal point?”
Me: “Yep. They had a connection. What the fuck is he talking about? Is there a mathematical formula for crazy?”
Todd: “Yes, evidently, there is, and he has solved it.”
Me: “I’m going to chug the last few sips of this beer, then excuse myself to go to the ladies’ room.”
Todd: “I’m gonna get the check and pay up.”
Me: “Tip the bartender well.”
Todd: “You know it.”
[Aloud] “It was so nice meeting you. You take care now, okay?”

After that, we paid up and met Scott and Seth at Vortex. Not my favorite place to eat, but Scott wanted it, because he can’t eat there with children. This is a common theme for parents. It is like when I don’t have kids with me, I choose where to sit based on it being where I wouldn’t usually sit with the kids. This is usually the bar.

The best part about this was that I got to see the first quarter of the Bulldogs playing Arkansas. The rest of the night, I received stellar and timely text updates from both Brett and Jason B. It was much appreciated, and Brett got extra points with Todd for his unsolicited Auburn updates, including the non-score-related “Auburn fans have a Brokeback Mountaineers sign.” Good job, boys. Will be watching the DVR-ed version this afternoon.

We headed over to the show. I ran into a guy i knew in Athens named Roger. We caught up for a while, and then I headed down to see the show up front. YLT were good, as always. Todd and I discussed the fact that Ira always seems to bring it full-tilt. I like the fact that he is aging, but still seems to rock out and have a blast just like a teenager. I have seen them quite a few times, and they always do a good show, but this was not one of their better ones, in my opinion. This probably owes more to the fact that they played mostly new stuff than to any deficiency on their parts. Highlights for me were still the more rockin’ older songs: Deeper into Movies, Autumn Sweater, etc. Autumn Sweater sounds different every time that I hear them play it and i loved this loungier version. Georgia did a few songs. I love her sweet voice, and that she is such an enduring rock chick. In the face of so many bombastic female voices in rock, her quiet modesty is refreshing.
Yo La Tengo, Variety Playhouse, Atlanta, GA. Sept. 19, 2009
Afterwards, we met friends Gretchen and Brownlee at The Porter for a last beer. (Feeling kinda ookie, I opted for a water.) And headed home! All in all, a great day despite the fact that I wasn’t feeling a hundred percent. Hopefully, the memory of my mostly kid-free day will get me through the week ahead.


  5 comments for “Yo La Tengo, Beer, Me, Me, Me.

  1. todd
    September 20, 2009 at 11:36 pm

    beatles cover was “One after 909”

  2. lori c
    September 21, 2009 at 9:12 am

    you two are just the coolest minivan-carpooling-sans-kids people i know. and to park it in L5P – well, that just takes the best kind of chutzpa. love it! :o)

  3. September 21, 2009 at 1:03 pm

    Yep, Thanks, T. Lori, we are dorks. Believe me.

  4. September 22, 2009 at 8:57 am

    On a related note – did you hear that Pavement is getting back together for a few reunion shows? Go here to read. I dunno this may be old news for music junkies. 😎

  5. September 22, 2009 at 9:29 am

    Not old news, Z, but everyone is talking about it. .

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