trenchant.org

by adam mathes
archive · subscribe

Crumbling Like a Sugarcube

I’ve been listening to the newly released Yo La Tengo retrospective, Prisoners of Love. Partly because it’s really good, but also I’ve been in a Yo La Tengo kind of mood the past few weeks. Which you can interpret however you’d like, but I guess if you spend enough time on Livejournal you start to think statements like that have some sort of shared meaning.

(Livejournal. Ugh. But I’m going somewhere with this. I think.)

I was thinking of the first time I ever heard anything by Yo La Tengo, and I’m pretty sure it was when I saw the Sugarcube video on M2 sometime in 1997 or 1998. I was seventeen or so and beginning to abandon all rock type music for electronic music and anything else that didn’t have the same guitar chords for the millionth time. I think I spent a lot of time listening to Air and Fatboy Slim.

And maybe that was part of why I loved that video so much, with its mockery of the rock and roll pastiche as Yo La Tengo attends “rock school” at the behest of studio executives.

I watched the video again recently and only then realized that it was Mr. Show’s Bob and David who are the “professors” of rock school. 1997 was long before I discovered Mr. Show. I didn’t really get to see it until the DVD’s came out.

But it’s also just a beautifully sad song, and seems to mean a lot more to me now.

try to be more assured
try to be more right there
try to be less uptight
try to be more aware
whatever you want from me
is what I want to do for you
sweeter than a drop of blood
from a sugarcube
and though I like to act the part of being tough
I crumble like a sugarcube
for you

· · ·

If you enjoyed this post, please join my mailing list