By no stretch of the imagination does Yo La Tengo look cool. The Hoboken, N.J., trio doesn’t subscribe to any hipster conventions — nary an ironic mustache or trucker cap to be found. The group sticks to a similar, ever-dependable ethos when making their eclectic, dreamy space-pop, and perhaps that’s why it has worked for the last 20 years: The group simply makes music that sounds good. Whenever the shoegazer-pop threesome of Ira Kaplan, Georgia Hubley, and James McNew puts out something new, rock fans jump on it, and Yo La Tengo’s fresh release, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, due out Sept. 12, is no exception. (The Matador Records band rationed out a couple of tracks on their MySpace page.) “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” is a grinding track with soaring guitars and minimal vocals. The single shows the trio’s penchant for a good old-fashioned guitar-heavy tune. The vocals are secondary to the pulsing drumbeat and guitars. “Beanbag Chair,” oozes with summer heat, and the breezy piano line is classic Yo La Tengo. I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass sounds like a winner so far. The band may kick your behind, but probably not: They’re the quintessential nice guys (and gal).
Straight from Chicago, Tabakin rolls into Jazz Central Station (Hilton Springfield, 700 E. Adams St., 217-789-1530) on Sat., Aug. 5, for a rousing night of thick funk grooves laced with boogie-worthy beats. The four-piece knows how to rock the club with straight-up party jams such as the rowdy romp “Spank.” The infectious guitar riff mingles with handclaps and a cheeky chorus, yielding a perfect club song. Gritty guitars and raw bluesy vocals mark up the crew’s tunes, and every once in a while the quartet throws in a saxophone solo for good measure like on the funk track “Kick Down the Door.” Vinyl Static likes eclecticism.
Other shows of note include a much-anticipated performance from old-school Chicago bluesman Lonnie Brooks. This real McCoy stops by the Highdive, in Champaign, on Aug. 18. Tickets are $15 advance and $17 at the door. The throwback hip-hop MCs of Jurassic 5 perform tracks from their brand-new disc, Feedback, at St. Louis’ Pageant on Aug. 30. Tickets are $25, with a $2 surcharge for minors.
Contact Marissa Monson at firstname.lastname@example.org