Yo La Tengo
The indie rock trio reached its arguable peak on its last album, And Then Nothing Turned Itself Inside-Out
. That was a perfect late-night record -- not a raucous party record, per se, but rather a sonic snapshot of what happens after last call, when all the bleary-eyed lovers stumble home. Duplicating that CD"s mix of electro-samba shuffles, sober folk-ish reflections, and lustful guitar sprawl would"ve been a near impossible task. Luckily, with the new Summer Sun
Hoboken"s finest has instead crafted the ideal morning-after record. Or, to be more specific, the Sunday
morning after. This is one lazy LP, with rolling guitar, plunked piano, and programmed drum parts that loll around like a trust fund baby under a beach umbrella. Even the wealth of guest musicians -- from Lambchop pedal-steel player Paul Niehaus to avant-jazz bassist William Parker -- adds less cacophony and more languor.
But just because the music of Summer Sun wouldn"t upset the foam on a Frappuccino doesn"t make this a boring disc. Beyond the breezy melodies of "Little Eyes" and "How to Make a Baby Elephant Walk," there"s the trippy funk of "Moonrock Mambo" and the disjointed electro-jazz of "Georgia vs. Yo La Tengo," along with a spooky cover of Big Star"s "Take Care." Sure, the threesome"s past guitar freakouts aren"t in evidence, and frontman Ira Kaplan"s lyrical dissections seem a bit less weighty than usual, but not every record has to be about sex, drugs, and rock "n" roll. In fact, more artists would do well to focus on what happens after. -- Dan Strachota Yo La Tengo plays with the Clean Wednesday through Friday, June 18-20, at 9 p.m. at the Fillmore, 1805 Geary (at Fillmore), S.F. Tickets are $20; call 346-6000 or go to www.thefillmore.com.