Yo La Tengo’s alter ego scores with this completely inappropriately named (but I bought it anyway) tribute CD –
By ‘Rebel’ Rod Ames
It’s a New Year and I hate to start it with something from 2009 but I just can’t resist. Besides, the past year was so abundantly rich in great music released, it may take me a while to catch up. So, you can probably expect a few more from last year for at least the first quarter of 2010.
Whenever I run across something that is neither folk nor country nor blues, but perhaps a funky combination of all three, and then some, I feel a responsibility to share with others.
Over the years, the Hoboken, New Jersey based Yo La Tengo has been one of my favorite punk/indie/whatever you want to all ‘em bands. They put out great record after great record, yet have a remarkably small following, considering the extent of their talent. They do enjoy, as many roots artists do, a relatively strong following in Europe (question – why is Europe always so far ahead of the States when it comes to music as well as other issues?)
I have heard Yo La Tengo recorded this album as an joke. If it is, in fact, a joke, then it has to be one of the best jokes I heard all last year.
Condo Fuck’s “Fuckbook” was released in March of 2009 and escaped me because of its name, which some could find offensive. (I live in a very rural, extremely entrenched Bible-belt area of Texas.)
“Shut Down” by the Beach Boys’ Brian Wilson, is followed by Carl Wilson’s “Shut Down Part II”.
The next tune is Reg Presley’s of The Troggs, “A Girl Like You”.
Then, just when you think this may be a fun, yet safe little tribute record, they let loose with a Richard Hell tune, “The Kid With The Replaceable Head”, originally recorded by punk rockers, Voidoids. The tune was originally released in 1982 on their “Destiny Street” record.
The fore mentioned tune blends seamlessly with Chris Wilson’s (the ex Flamin’ Groovies member) romp, “Dog Meat”. Followed by Felix Cavaliere’s (The Rascals) song “Come On Up”. They then go right into the final cut, Noddy Holder’s (Slade) “Gudbuy T’Jane”.
There are also honorable mentions from greats such as, Ray Davies of The Kinks “This is Where I Belong”, Brian Potter’s “What’cha Gonna Do About It”, Brian McMahon’s “Accident”, and Billy Miller’s ”So Easy Baby”.
This recording is an obvious tribute to garage band music I used to hear when I was a teenager. One could hear the music echoing through the urban and suburban neighborhoods of the 60’s and early 70’s. However, I also believe this to be somewhat of an historical representation of the evolution of this particular genre of Rock ‘N Roll. The layout of the record would appear to almost lay in chronological order. Perhaps not, but the thought did cross my mind. It could have been accidental as well, but most likely not.
The production values are minimal. It was recorded live in one continuous take. You can even hear the humming and buzzing of the amps in between the tracks, creating an illusion we are sitting on a dusty couch in a smoke filled garage, listening to this music being irreverently improvised and raucously performed in front of a bunch of garage band groupies.
This record is one of the best inside jokes of the year. Yo La Te – I mean, Condo Fucks is a great cover band, in this case. I had a great time listening to it. However, considering what they decided to call their alter ego and title the record, it’s not likely you will see this on Billboard’s top 100 or at your local Wal-Mart Super Center. It’s okay. That was never their intention when they decided to record this album.
Who here buys music at Wally World or pays any attention to Billboard anyway?
‘Rebel’ Rod says check it out!