Welp, now we know where Yo La Tengo comes from. Not, as we previously thought, from the stork or from Hoboken, but from an even more weird and disturbing world than New Jersey. The alternative rock band, as seen in this new video for the single "Ohm," comes ether from a long complicated mathematical equation OR a magical world where free-roaming Ira Kaplans, Georgia Hubleys, and James McNews are captured, boxed up, and shipped out in bulk.
The music video for the best and most meditative song off their recent (and my personal favorite) album Fade, "Ohm" literally dives into a universe created by Simpsons/Letterman/Lil Bush writer Donick Cary and animated by Sugarshack Animation. It's Yo La Tengo's equivalent of Yellow Submarine, a surreal place where everything has a face on it, and a baby smoking a cigar knows his way around. You just have to watch to understand.
At the same time as our intrepid protagonist explores this wacky world, a student in a classroom attempts to solve the equation of "What Is Yo La Tengo?", something we've all had to ask ourselves at some point. Apparently, it's a long calculus problem that maybe I would have been able to solve had I taken a math class since high school, which I haven't. But you can still appreciate equation parts like [Ben E. King² - B.B. King] and [California Girls/(Beach Boys - Katy Perry - David Lee Roth)], which make sense to me, sorta. If this isn't weird enough for you, the band is releasing this single as a shower curtain, so there you go.
Yo La Tengo is opening for Belle and Sebastian at Stage AE this Saturday, July 13. My greatest hope is that they will bring along their octopus-Volkswagen, and maybe give away free boxes of themselves at the show. You never know. A boy can dream.