Yo La Tengo and Arsenal converge; I lose it.

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I was minding my own business at work, miserably checking the Guardian’s liveblog as United clinched their 20th title. It was an act of self-flagellation as RVP scored again and again. What a jerk. So I didn’t pay too close attention, just enough to savor some pain. But then…. this showed up:

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Now, as Yo La Tengo are one of the greatest American rock bands of the past 25 years, they’re naturally one of my favorites. But not everyone worldwide is on board with my opinion of the band. And this is the Guardian, a British paper, on a specialty football liveblog. There is no context whatsoever. The previous several posts do not lead to this one.

Who the fuck is Lars Neale? Snow Patrol- how dare he? What a lame jibe! But it seems that somewhere someone has combined two of the most delicious things, Yo La Tengo and Arsenal Football Club, into a mindblowing confection.

The comment made me lose all concentration, and I spent the next five minutes idiotically scrolling up and down the livefeed, trying to find the root of it. I google “Lars Neale” and “Allan Castle” and come up with nothing. Eventually my eyes refocus and I see that at the very bottom, in the very beginning, the blogger had posted the video for Yo La’s most recognized tune, “Sugarcube.” A nice way to start it all off, I think. Too nice, really, for the teams involved, but whatever, a little generosity is fine. I also realize that the blog isn’t formatted like they usually are: all comments are being emailed to the blogger, and he’s publishing a few in his own posts. I begin reading upwards, and come upon this:

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The connection between Arsenal and Yo La Tengo is not quite as fantastic as I originally hoped, in fact it’s a bit pathetic. The guy insults both. And Allan Castle isn’t cool; he’s wikipedia-ing a band that he says he knows about, and using the terrible phrase “fashionable amongst the cognoscenti.” (By the way, the definitive caricature of Yo La Tengo is here). Allan Castle… a disappointment. I’m all for kinship, but let’s really love the things we love.



  1. george jones

    Yo La Tengo are one of the coolest underground bands of all time, Arsenal are one of the richest, biggest, vaguely successful clubs in the world supported by tourists from abroad. That’s why Arsenal are nothing like Yo La Tengo but have a lot in common with Snow Patrol. I’ll settle for Coldplay if you want to argue that Arsenal are more successful than Snow Patrol. But never in a million years are they remotely similar to YLT.

    • wreckleague

      George Jones, back from the dead, commenting on a soccer blog! Awesome.

      Admittedly, and somewhat obviously, Yo La Tengo and Arsenal have nothing in common. However, I do like both of them, so I liked hearing their names ring out together. If you like one but not the other, the combination might aggravate. The 4th richest club in the world compared to the fourth richest band in Hoboken, etc etc. While I’m not a Coldplay fan, they’re clearly a step up from Snow Patrol (who I don’t remember anything of besides an aura of lameness), so I can live with that. Definitely the funniest negotiation I’ve been involved in today.

      Also, by the by, as an American I don’t have much problem with Arsenal being supported by… people like me. People like what people like. Tourists from England can dig the exquisitely American Yo La Tengo and that’s fine by me. It’s just good taste.

      Anyhow, thanks for commenting. I agree that YLT is supremely cool.

    • wreckleague

      Hi- I’m sorry about being a jerk. I’m also kind of shocked that you found the blog, which was mostly me talking with a few friends. In any case, I dislike the kind of thing I wrote there and I’m embarrassed at being found out, especially as you are both an Arsenal fan and someone who felt a kinship with one of my favorite bands. Sorry. I should reserve my trash talk for people I know (it’s usually a form of obnoxious affection).

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