This is one of those rare songs where everything fits, where we get order out of chaos and chaos from simplicity. I would sit in bed, lights off, the simple organ notes walking me to the land of sleep. At fifteen seconds, the drum pattern -- snare bass bass high-tom low-tom -- enters like a slow moving train trying to leave a crowded station, like a slow note from a sinking ship. At thirty-two seconds, the guitar chimes in, crying softly into my sheets, looking for a shoulder that I happily give.

Then it starts to fall apart. About fifty-six seconds into the song, another drum line, another train on the same track, begins to interfere. The guitar still cries, but each beat is growing more complex, trying to showboat in front of everybody, mixing metaphors, growing louder, stronger. Ira Kaplan's guitar becomes more headstrong, more self-assured, no longer needs my shoulder, just as James McNew's bass line adds even more foundation. I can spread my arms full eagle in bed and feel the world caving down and simultaneously rebuilding around me. It is an apocalypse of instruments, growing rapidly more chaotic and independant of each other, and still beneath it all is this organ drone, this fantastic little four-chord descent.

And then, finally, at three minutes and forty-two seconds, it begins to make sense, all the chaos and pandemonium have purpose, reason. Every instrument has clicked into place, the atmospheric effects are no longer merely ornamental but almost vital to everything that's going on.

Then, at four minutes and twenty-four seconds, Georgia Hubley begins to sing, practically sigh:


You, you won't talk about
what you see
when the lights are out
And I, I'm willing to hold your hand
While you're lost
while you're so full of doubt
Walk for miles
In your own loose ends
I'll find you there
I'll find you there


At five minutes and eight seconds, the droning turns into solos, wails, perfection in simplicity and repetition. They take us away from the stark beauty of Georgia's voice and then, at six minutes and fifty-nine seconds, lead us back like we were meant to be there all the time. The lyrics finish off, drone on, satisfy our need for an ending, want us to let it continue for infinity.


You, you look at thin blue lines
Crossing hope with reality
And I, I see through small red eyes
Knowing still of your uncertainty
Out of darkness
You will come around
I know you will
I know you will

And I'll find you
And I'll find you there
And I'll
Bop bop boo da
Boo dop bop boo-da...
--Yo La Tengo from their album Electr-O-Pura

(It should be noted that there is also a kind of 'diet', three minute and forty-four second long, version of this entitled (thin) Blue Line Swinger on the Camp Yo La Tengo EP. It's equally blissful, but about a third as long as the Electr-O-Pura version. There is no difference in the lyrics.)

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