Yo La Tengo
Saturday, April 14, Barrymore Theatre, 8 pm
Inspired by Yo La Tengo's 2006 album, I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass, Matador Records set up a Web site where indie nerds can tap their inner courage. It's a place where people can post clips of themselves declaring (you guessed it), 'I Am Not Afraid of You and I Will Beat Your Ass.'
But of course, Yo La Tengo fans don't mean to be mean. The proclamations aren't very scary. One man hides under a blue blanket and whimpers it. Another sounds off from a hospital bed one hour after donating his kidney to his mother.
For all the clips, log on to iamnotafraidofyouandiwillbeatyourass.com. Or else.
Did Yo La Tengo show their nasty side when branding their latest full-length album with 12 hostile words?
The veteran indie-rock trio from Hoboken, N.J., led by a mild-mannered married couple (Ira Kaplan and Georgia Hubley), are not exactly intimidating. They just have a thing for small talk among sports players.
The story behind the album title is a quote attributed to former New York Knicks player Tim Thomas. Thomas was overheard on a TV mike having a pointed exchange with teammate Stephon Marbury. Thomas was quoted as saying, 'Everyone in this organization is afraid of you, but I'm not, and I will beat your ass.'
Sports quotes are a Yo La Tengo tradition. The band's name translates 'I got it.' The anecdote behind the name involves former New York Mets shortstop Elio Chacon, who played in the 1960s. Chacon would scream 'Yo la tengo' when he was about to catch a pop fly, but his teammates didn't understand Spanish. So they bumped into him and Chacon dropped the ball.
Beyond the humorous title, Yo La Tengo's 2006 album shows why they've been indie darlings since the mid-'80s. The album begins with a 10-minute growling trance-rock track and meanders toward more structured pop compositions.
Forget the critical acclaim. If you go to Saturday's concert, join with the audience in yelling: 'I Am Not Afraid of You, and I Will Beat Your Ass.'