Yo La Tengo LIVE review and pics by Troy Brookins

Music Reviews
Yo La Tengo LIVE review and pics by Troy Brookins
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Oct 6, 2008, 22:04

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YO LA TENGO / TITUS ANDRONICUS / EBONY BONES At McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn, NY; August 24, 2008

For the last three summers JellyNYC has been putting on free Pool Parties in the abandoned McCarren Park Pool in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn in order to showcase some of the finest in indie rock. Every Sunday the pool filled with a mix of hipsters, locals and a handful of kids. It quickly became the place to be and the line to get in often stretched for blocks. Most came to enjoy the music while others were drawn to the inflatable slip 'n' slide or dodge ball game. Some used the space as an impromptu beach where they could tan with their friends while openly drinking beer without worrying about being ticketed by one of NYC's finest. It was the perfect use for the waterless pool that had been serving as a neighborhood eyesore for years.Â

Unfortunately, on this late August Sunday the final JellyNYC Pool Party took place at this venue. NYC, even though the economy blows, has decided to spend millions to restore the pool back to its intended use. While I won't get into the politics of whether a public pool should grace the neighborhood or not, I will say that the Sunday shows at McCarren Park Pool will certainly be missed.

There are plans to host Pool Parties in other cities in the future as JellyNYC is slated to expand into Austin, San Francisco, Portland and Nashville. The status here in NY is still uncertain and hopefully a new venue will be found soon. To potentially lose both the Siren Festival and JellyNYC Pool Parties in the same year would suck.

Anyway, this final show opened with former UK soap star Ebony (Thomas) Bones. She's generating a heavy buzz in England, but has yet to catch the attention of American ears. You can hear a little MIA or Santogold in her, but with a song like “Don't Fart on my Heart” it may take America a little while to embrace Ebony Bones.

Next up was New Jersey's Titus Andronicus who take their name from Shakespeare's bloodiest play. There was no blood to be shed here, but singer Liam Betson did take a drumstick to one of the many beach balls that made its way on stage. Some thought they were the worst band to ever play the pool, but that was far from true.

Yo La Tengo brought it all to a close with a ninety-minute sample of their catalog and a few covers including the Misfits “Where Eagles Dare.” Their set can be a combination of intense and boring and they didn't disappoint. I really dig their moments of wailing guitar and feedback, but the prettier stuff bores me senseless. They finished their set with “Autumn Summer,” but the cry of “Everyone Out of the Pool,” which graced their souvenir t-shirts, captured the finality of the three summer run.

-Troy Brookins

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