Went to see Yo La Tengo last night on the seventh of their (what else?) eight nights of ever-so subtly subtitled “Hanukkahpaloozathon” shows at the fabulous Hoboken venue Maxwell’s. And wonder of wonders, miracle of miracles, the “special guests” on night seven were none other than The New Pornographers. I was like, Yo La Tengo, Dayenu! But The New Pornographers, too? At moments like these, gratitude can tend to take on a religious cast, proving yet again that slightly-ironic Jewish identification can be just as meaningful as irony-free Jewish identification! Yo La Tengo has been doing these week-plus Hanukkah runs at Maxwell’s since 2001, and part of each night’s take is earmarked for a particular charity. Last night’s was for the African Services Committee, a non-profit providing aid to immigrants, refugees and asylees in New York from across the African Diaspora. Check out YLT’s awesome tour diary, which contains nice deconstructions of each night’s show goings-on.
Booker Todd Abramson, a mensch of epic proportions, was overheard to say “And on the ninth night, I’m taking Ira [Kaplan, one-third of YLT] to see Neil Young.” (There’s also a harmless little piece in New York Magazine about last Wednesday’s show — aka Night Two — the last line of which proves, once and for all: making a stab at “Jewish humor” if you know jack shit about Jewish? Not really a good idea.)