Hoboken, New Jersey's Yo La Tengo have always seemed like a trio of hip older uncles and aunts: deeply dippy, good-hearted musos trailing their collective muse wherever it happens to lead them, from fuzz-bombshells to soundtrack abstractions to recorded-under-an-alias classic-rock covers to retro-and-loving-it-leaning indie-pop. Yo La Tengo mean no harm: They just wanna have a good, dinky time, and hope you will, too. Popular Songs, the group's latest, goes in for lounge bop, faux Motown, power-pop, and good ol' fashioned indie pap, decorated with the sort of sappy, semi-biographic navel-gazing that guitarist Ira Kaplan, drummer Georgia Hubley, and bassist James McNew have indulged in since before 1997's I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One. Either you can hang with that, or you can't. If you can't, you may be too young to grok the dulcet tones of middle-aged scenester contentment. With Cheap Time. 18+.
Wed., Oct. 7, 8 p.m., 2009