Yo La Tengo are famous for playing a Hanukkah residency at Hoboken, New Jersey, venue Maxwell's, which closed its doors over the summer, but in a fittingly ecumenical spirit, the revered indie rockers have long performed Christmas songs, too. Their most recent is, well, a bit different.
"Toymageddon" is the first advance track from the album 2776, which creators Rob Kutner (of The Daily Show) and the Levinson Brothers describe as "a musical/comedy journey through 1,000 years of American history, past, present and miserable sci-fi future." The album also features Ed Helms, Aimee Mann, Aubrey Plaza, Will Forte, Andrew W.K., and more, and all proceeds go to the charity OneKid One World.
Here, comedian Eugene Mirman and NPR's This American Life host Ira Glass join the Fade trio on "Toymageddon," the song about the Christmas when "the toys came alive" — and enslaved humanity. What starts as Ramones-charged punk-rock takes on bittersweet, The Matrix-alluding layers. Frontman Ira Kaplan sings sweetly, "In the ultimate war on Christmas / They're roasting our nuts on the fire." Wait, what's that behind us, OH GOD—