There was a time when I would buy Sonic Youth albums without even hearing a note. For me, they were a band that deserved this kind of positive reinforcement, an epitome of how bands with major label deals should act, progress, and influence.
A pair of albums—A Thousand Leaves and NYC Ghosts & Flowers—abruptly ended that blind adulation. It seemed that one of my favorite bands had simply run its course and run out of ideas in the process. They had become pretentious and boring, oblivious to the fact that rock music should contain a bit of humor, or at least a wink towards it. Sonic Youth appeared to have grown up, no longer deserving their ageless band name.
Around this time I purchased Murray Street only out of Trade Center guilt, and I skipped Sonic Nurse altogether.
“I want you to levitate me / Don’t you love me yet? / Press up against the amp / Turn up the treble / Don’t forget!” This is the kind of Sonic Youth I like best: short, fast, loud, and melodic (kinda). Matador says it’s a salute to “French painter Yves Klein and Western Massachusetts noise artist Noise Nomads,” but who cares? It rocks.
Warner Brothers has already announced a complete slate of Wilco reissues from A.M. through Summerteeth, all 180-gram RTI pressings with CD included (just like Sky Blue Sky, Ghost Is Born and Yankee Hotel Foxtrot) and now Pitchfork breaks the news about 7-inches from Sonic Youth, Beck and Jay Reatard, plus another previously-unreleased Pavement live LP.
After rampant speculation, Matador Records can confirm the label will be releasing a new studio album from Sonic Youth sometime in 2009. Having fulfilled their contractual obligations to the Universal Music Group, Sonic Youth recently reached an agreement with Matador to release the band’s 16th album of new material in all worldwide territories, save for Japan. […]
For Matador, the opportunity to work in partnership with a group who’ve made such an profound impact on our roster/hometown/collective consciousness was one to jump at. Kim Gordon, Thurston Moore, Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley will commence recording the new Sonic Youth LP/CD this autumn and we look forward to sharing further details in the very near future.
Good for them. Seems like a perfect fit. Funny to think that Sonic Youth indirectly kicked off the entire “major labels scooping up alternative bands” things in the early 90s. There was a Kurt Cobain quote where he said something like, “If Geffen is good enough for Sonic Youth, it’s good enough for Nirvana.”
Sonic Youth has a new limited-edition compilation coming out on June 10. It’s called Hits Are for Squares and it will be sold exclusively at select big city Starbucks stores. The track list was selected by a bunch of famous fans, and Billboard has revealed the selections.
Of course the first thing we must determine is: Who is hardcore and who’s a poser? I.e., who picked the accessible “hits” and who picked the weird old noisy stuff? For what it’s worth, Radiohead selected “Kool Thing” and Chloe Sevigny selected “World Looks Red” from 1983’s Confusion Is Sex.
For a dude who’s been jamming shit in between the strings and pickups of electric guitars and then testing the results under ear-damaging amplification, you’d think that you’d be able to blueprint what a Thurston Moore solo record is going to sound like before you sit down with it. So imagine how unsettling it is on that initial spin of Moore’s second “proper” solo effort when the first instrument you hear is the long drone of a violin.
Seconds after, the other musical consistent enters: an acoustic guitar. Now, I know that may frighten some and I understand why. After all, there’s about a million other organic offerings out there that merely use the gimmick to try and cover up every half-baked idea still “in development.” Moreover, who wants to hear a solo album comprised of material that isn’t ready for making the leap from bedroom rehearsal to the Sonic Youth rehearsal space?
I’ve gone to the Pitchfork Music Festival each year since its inception, including the first year when it wasn’t actually called the Pitchfork Music Festival. But I’d never requested a press pass because I didn’t feel like having to write about it. When you request free tickets, you’re obligated. And sometimes it’s nice to just hang out with some friends, listen to a some music, and observe Hipster Youth in their native habitat.
Plus, it’s fucking Pitchfork—who wants to ask those guys for anything?
This year, though, we needed that photo pass to get those nice, close shots. So I swallowed my pride and got hooked up with a media pass for myself and a photo pass for my man, AMP. But I still wanted to have a nice weekend and enjoy myself, so I made a conscious decision to follow Wayne Coyne’s advice and try not to be too uptight about it. I mostly succeeded.
Remember how yesterday I said that Jack White offered us free ice cream? I thought he was just joking around and being silly until I got off the train Saturday afternoon and walked by an ice cream van on the way to entrance of Lollapalooza’s second day. The volunteers said it was free, so I nabbed an ice cream sandwich and a Raconteurs sticker. Thanks, Jack!
The ice cream came in handy because it was a muggy-ass day in Chicago. I started sweating the minute I walked through the gates. Day One had been sunny, but breezy. But Day Two was overcast and hotter than balls. I pounded three beers as fast as I could because I knew I’d have to switch to water to survive. And a crowded music festival is no place to be sober—just ask my pregnant wife!
It would’ve been fun to see Be Your Own Pet, Nada Surf, Feist, and the Go! Team, but when you’re trying to spread your energy out over three days, you’ve got to make some sacrifices. And sleeping in, grocery shopping, and a leisurely lunch took precedence over the early afternoon schedule. Especially when it’s muggy out.