If rock required a caretaker for its creative flame, it could do a lot worse than Yo La Tengo singer/guitarist Ira Kaplan. The one-time rock critic and his crew possess an encyclopedic knowledge of the form (witness their annual covers-by-request pledge drive performances for Jersey's WFMU), and they've developed such facility over their quarter-century of making music that they can pull off just about anything they like. Originally inspired by the yin-yang of Velvet Underground's personality (from the gentle textured pop of "Stephanie Says" to the fuzz-drenched freak-out "European Son"), they've outgrown their masters to mix beauty and brawn in a variety of shades that rivals Sherwin-Williams. From drummer Georgia Hubley's tender Mo Tucker-ish croon, tiptoeing over dreamy organ-driven shimmer ("Avalon or Someone Very Similar"), to funky self-possessed two-steps ("Periodically Double or Triple"), flamenco-tinged acoustic paeans ("When It's Dark"), and chunky, garage-rock throwdowns ("Nothing to... More >>>