Jad Fair Yo La Tengo - High School Shop Class Construts Bicycle Built for 26

Artist: Jad Fair & Yo La Tengo

Song: High School Shop Class Construts Bicycle Built for 26

Album: Strange But True (1998)

Strange But True contains 22 brief aphorisms inspired by absurd tabloid headlines. It is not unusual that Jad Fair is at his best when he is at his most frivolous.

Recorded over a two-day period, Strange but True doesn't sacrifice the talents of its individual collaborators. Jad Fair's nasally spoken musings, penned by his Half Japanese bandmate and brother, David, draw on supermarket tabloids for their themes and titles (e.g., "Minnesota Man Claims Monkey Bowled Perfect Game," one of two monkey-themed tracks) while Hoboken, New Jersey, legends Yo La Tengo construct sonic foundations that are alternately hazy, loose, or steeped in old-fashioned garage rock. Almost every track on Strange but True was recorded in one improvised take with the headphone-less band members unaware of what Fair was waxing over the vocal tracks. They probably all had a good laugh over the final product, and most listeners will, too. Strange but True is neither a novelty album nor a beatnik-poetry farce but two indie-rock icons having fun to positive results. When's the last time you heard something like that? --Jason Josephes

Jad and Yo La Tengo understand the obscure forces that drive them all too well. When they were told to get a life, they bought in bulk.


Things got a little out of hand
In their high school metal shop
They constructed a bicycle built for two
Then decided they wouldn't stop
They welded together a number of bikes
So everyone had his own seat
After months of planning and welding and building
The project was finally complete
It had dozens and dozens of pedals
And plenty of headlights and bells
The frame and all the fenders
Were painted in pretty pastels
But it can't be removed from the classroom
The doorway is not very wide
And instead of the bikes lining up in a row
They connected them all side by side

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