April 18, 2003


Here we go! Spring is springing, we’ve just completed our first few weeks of touring, and the Yo La Tengo Glee Club Singers (see photo, with soundman/alto Mark Luecke at left) are ready for more. So many memories…so many great sets by Portastatic; three shows with the Sun Ra Arkestra’s Tyrone Hill, Dave Davis and Danny Ray Thompson sitting in with us; playing "Nuclear War" in New York with all-kid backup singers; a "Speeding Motorcycle" with Daniel Johnston in Toronto (from where we escaped with our health intact, so far); and the New York Knicks are rested and ready for next year’s playoffs. In a few days we’ll be overseas, touring for three blissful weeks in Europe and the UK, where no one shouts "Free Bird" at shows.

Almost time to stop typing, our ride to the airport is here. But before we go, we’d like to clear up a bit of blasphemy we perpetrated. First off, we had no idea the matzos in Boston weren’t kosher for Passover. Seriously. We make no pretense of being religious, but we’re all about the live and the let live–we weren’t trying to poison anybody. On the same train of thought, we want to thank email correspondent Scott Douglas who answered an extremely muddled question we posed on stage at the 930 Club in D.C.:

The answer to "Do Ash Wednesday and Passover always coincide?" is, "They never do." Ash Wednesday falls 40 days before Easter, and marks the beginning of Lent. Although the date varies, it’s always in February, which is why Mardi Gras (aka Fat Tuesday, the day before Lent on which, traditionally, people used up cooking oil not to be eaten during Lent) is always in February. You must have been thinking of Holy Wednesday, the Wednesday before Easter. (The follow-up answer is, No, this doesn’t always coincide with Passover, given how both holidays move throughout the calendar year. That said, it’s nice when the Jews and Gentiles have something in common, doncha think?)

Yes, that is nice. And it makes us especially happy we didn’t bring up Arbor Day at the Beacon Theater.

OK, thanks for coming and see ya soon,