BCB 100 - Sonic Youth

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geoffcowgill
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BCB 100 - Sonic Youth

Postby geoffcowgill » 25 Jun 2006, 19:21

Sonic Youth is probably the band I have the most from that I don't listen to very often. For awhile they were the band whose albums I always got around to getting used a year after they were released. So, I guess the thing is I like and appreciate their music without fully loving it.

One fond memory of the band was seeing them open for Neil Young in 1990 or '91. Most of the audience, at least where I was sitting, seemed to be expecting nothing more bruising of the tympanic bone than "Like A Hurricane". The Youth come down from Jupiter or wherever, get a nice feedback groove going for about three minutes before launching into something punishing. I didn't know much of their stuff at the time, but I thought they were great. The only songs I'm sure they played were "Schizophrenia" and "Kool Thing". After their half hour or whatever, there was a palpable sense of relief from the horde. The poor yuppie in front of me, with hands on ears and head between his knees, was surely dismayed to find out about ten minutes later that NY & the Horse were louder than Sonic Youth. The next album had the great line in "Creme Brulee", sung by Kim, "Last night I dreamt I kissed Neil Young/If I was a boy then I guess it'd be fun".

Favorite Album - Dirty -- I imagine some hardcore fans consider it a sell-out, but it's a wonderful record. That run from "Theresa's Sound World" through "Wish Fulfillment" is maybe their peak.

Favorite Song - I'm leaning towards "Schizophrenia", but I'm going to have to relisten to some stuff. "Rats" from Rather Ripped is a contender.

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Postby BajaJaba » 25 Jun 2006, 19:25

great post man...

SY are truly one of the bands that no one I know personally really listens too...

I like the feedback, the distortion and noise, I like the change up between Kim and Thurston, the gender-bending lyrics...

favourite album - Dirty

favourite song - Eric's Trip...

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Postby lemon » 25 Jun 2006, 19:30

Favourite album and song is hard for SY. I love Daydream Nation, but I got into Murray Street in a big way a few months back. Evol is also another great one.

Probably go for DN in the end.

Favourite song... maybe 'Sunday'.

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Postby PENK » 25 Jun 2006, 19:33

I never got the attraction of Sonic Youth. Well, I suppose I can see what the attraction is, but I don't get why otherwise discerning people are taken in by it. They always sounded weak, silly and undercooked to my ears, and while they may have been truly unique for a while, they're just an irrelevance these days.

*awaits Baron quoting this and replacing 'Sonic Youth' with 'Galaxie 500'*
Last edited by PENK on 25 Jun 2006, 19:51, edited 1 time in total.
Darkness_Fish wrote:One slight disappointment was that there turns out to be two cinemas in Bolton

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Postby geoffcowgill » 25 Jun 2006, 19:40

Penk wrote:I never got the attraction of Sonic Youth. Well, I suppose I can see what the attraction is, but I don't get why otherwise discerning people are taken in by it. They always sounded weak, silly and undercooked to my ears, and while they may have been truly unique for a while, but they're just an irrelevance these days.


Relevance schmevalnce.

I can't imagine anyone who likes guitar playing (and not strictly in that Allman Bros./Stevie Ray Vaughan whiteblues way) not being at least interested in what Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo get up to.

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Postby BajaJaba » 25 Jun 2006, 19:40

Penk wrote:I never got the attraction of Sonic Youth. Well, I suppose I can see what the attraction is, but I don't get why otherwise discerning people are taken in by it. They always sounded weak, silly and undercooked to my ears, and while they may have been truly unique for a while, but they're just an irrelevance these days.

*awaits Baron quoting this and replacing 'Sonic Youth' with 'Galaxie 500'*


Probably because the best way to express the whole 'no wave' the pre-grunge dissatisfaction is to make noise and they made some great noise man...

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Postby PENK » 25 Jun 2006, 19:44

geoffcowgill wrote:
Penk wrote:I never got the attraction of Sonic Youth. Well, I suppose I can see what the attraction is, but I don't get why otherwise discerning people are taken in by it. They always sounded weak, silly and undercooked to my ears, and while they may have been truly unique for a while, but they're just an irrelevance these days.


Relevance schmevalnce.

I can't imagine anyone who likes guitar playing (and not strictly in that Allman Bros./Stevie Ray Vaughan whiteblues way) not being at least interested in what Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo get up to.


That's as may be, but I don't really place much importance on technical ability and while guitar interplay is all fine and good for a while, it doesn't really mean anything if you don't have the songs.
And this is one band who do not know how to write a song.
Darkness_Fish wrote:One slight disappointment was that there turns out to be two cinemas in Bolton

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Postby satans favourite son » 25 Jun 2006, 19:56

A band I've grown to love the last year. Especially after seeing them live. They're always interesting, and I think they have good songs. My favourite SY song is on my favourite SY album, but it's the version they played when I saw them I'm thinking of. An astonishing version that ended with 10 minutes of noise.

Album: Evol

Song: Expressway to Yr Skull
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Postby Strider » 25 Jun 2006, 20:01

I am one of those people that regularly listens to SY. I have never their music described as weak(Penk?) but to each his own. I personally like the idea of artists challenging the rock and roll conventions and structure without straying too far from well crafted songs. Now some SY is too arty for its own good but when they hit the correct balance between art and rawk (see Daydream Nation, Sister, Goo, Dirty, Murray Street, Sonic Nurse, and Rather Ripped), they are one of the best bands of the last 25 years.

Favorite Album-its predictable but Daydream Nation is their best album.

Favorite Song-Schizophrenia

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Postby Bungo the Mungo » 25 Jun 2006, 20:38

Penk wrote:
geoffcowgill wrote:
Penk wrote:I never got the attraction of Sonic Youth. Well, I suppose I can see what the attraction is, but I don't get why otherwise discerning people are taken in by it. They always sounded weak, silly and undercooked to my ears, and while they may have been truly unique for a while, but they're just an irrelevance these days.


Relevance schmevalnce.

I can't imagine anyone who likes guitar playing (and not strictly in that Allman Bros./Stevie Ray Vaughan whiteblues way) not being at least interested in what Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo get up to.


That's as may be, but I don't really place much importance on technical ability and while guitar interplay is all fine and good for a while, it doesn't really mean anything if you don't have the songs.
And this is one band who do not know how to write a song.


Bollocks!

*rubs hands together, sniggers 'revenge on the fucko Penk!' and jumps on train to Budapest*

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Postby This Was » 25 Jun 2006, 20:52

.
Last edited by This Was on 08 Feb 2010, 23:00, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby PENK » 25 Jun 2006, 23:05

Strider wrote:I have never their music described as weak(Penk?)


That's the one word that springs most readily to mind, for me. They're a band I've always wanted to like, because on paper they tick all the right boxes, but everything about the music is just really flat, dull and uninspired. There's just nothing interesting going on at all there.
I do try again with them every so often, I put a few songs on just now, but it's not just a question of me not getting it or it not being for me, it's just I think it's not very good.
I mean, Death Valley 69? That's supposed to be one of their best songs, right? It sounds like something the Pixies rejected in the studio, whenever I hear it I expect them to stop and start laughing halfway through at their own inept stabs at doomy intonations and menacing riffs. It's tame, really. And Teenage Riot? That's another of their signature songs, yeah? Where does it go? It's a fairly dull riff and a barely-there tune. For five minutes.
Dirty Boots came on after those two but I stopped paying attention after the heard-it-all-before opening. Another mediocre riff and shuffling cymbals. Anyone out there not done that? And the token, tedious noisy bit in the middle. They're never really noisy, though, are they? They don't turn the volume that far up. They're scared of losing control. They don't really want to scare people. But they don't want to focus on the song, because there isn't one.
A Lloyd Cole song (Perfect Skin) came on right after and made me sit up and take much more notice. There's so much less pose and more songcraft, and when the brief, piercing solo comes in it sounds a lot more powerful and surprising than anything Sonic Youth have ever done. Sonic Youth try too hard to be too many things they aren't.
Darkness_Fish wrote:One slight disappointment was that there turns out to be two cinemas in Bolton

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Postby Mike Boom » 26 Jun 2006, 00:52

They're never really noisy, though, are they? They don't turn the volume that far up. They're scared of losing control.


They always sounded weak...


These seem rather odd criticisms - they get a lot of their sound by using sheer volume and is playing the guitar with drumsticks really the act of a control freak?

They try to do something different and more often than not succeed with it, they have the knack of retaining and creating melody despite using layers of noise and at their best are one of the most powerful bands Ive ever seen live.

Album - Goo
Song - Diamond Sea

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Postby PENK » 26 Jun 2006, 01:13

Mike Boom wrote:
They're never really noisy, though, are they? They don't turn the volume that far up. They're scared of losing control.


They always sounded weak...


These seem rather odd criticisms - they get a lot of their sound by using sheer volume and is playing the guitar with drumsticks really the act of a control freak?


Odd criticisms, maybe. But valid, I'd contest. They just aren't very loud. No louder than a thousand other second-rate indie outfits. I haven't seen them live, so maybe they're louder then and I'd be more convinced, but what would be the point of putting out records if they were rubbish compared to the live show? And their songs are too concise to convince as noisy, avant-garde freakouts or whatever. Or just too plain dull.
I don't think I've heard the drumsticks thing before. It does sound pretty cool But nothing more. It doesn't really add anything interesting, does it? Maybe it sounds interesting, for a minute or two, but it's hardly particularly innovative or boundary-pushing. It's a party trick. Like Jim Morrison getting his cock out. Something fun to do onstage, but it doesn't mean the music's going to be any good.
Darkness_Fish wrote:One slight disappointment was that there turns out to be two cinemas in Bolton

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Postby lemon » 26 Jun 2006, 01:48

I think they're full of songs, especially the new one, but every album has some classics. Shit, look at Sugar Kane, that couldn't be more poppy.

I love what they do, I can see why you wouldn't like it; my only music loving friend doesn't really like them much so people with taste do dislike them ;). But I think it's wrong to suggest we're somehow being taken in if we do like them.

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Postby Mike Boom » 26 Jun 2006, 03:07

They just aren't very loud.


How do you gauge this if youve never seen them live? Do you mean the guitars are not mixed up front on their recordings? Do you mean their recordings aren't mastered loud? Im just having trouble with what you actually mean by this.

My point about playing the guitar with drumsticks etc is that it shows the band is not afraid to lose control in search of a new sound.

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Re: BCB 100 - Sonic Youth

Postby Still Baron » 26 Jun 2006, 03:40

geoffcowgill wrote:Favorite Album - Dirty -- I imagine some hardcore fans consider it a sell-out, but it's a wonderful record. That run from "Theresa's Sound World" through "Wish Fulfillment" is maybe their peak.


That Dirty was polished and, therefore a "sell out" is a common canard tossed around by a regrettable minority. It was, indeed, SY at the top of their game, managing to bring the noise and the pop at the same time. It's a tricky business that few manage to master. I'm glad that Butch Vig was there. One of his best sounding records. Thankfully, their records have generally sounded better since then.


ALBUM: Sister
SONG: "Diamond Sea"
Cotton Crown, Hot Wire My Heart, Sugar Kane, Candle, and a few others (including their Carpenters cover) trail closely behind.
toomanyhatz wrote:I honestly don't care for most Beach Boys car songs

take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.

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Postby Still Baron » 26 Jun 2006, 04:55

Penk wrote:*awaits Baron quoting this and replacing 'Sonic Youth' with 'Galaxie 500'*


That would be hilarious, wouldn't it?

Just to clarify, I do love Galaxie 500. I haven't bought the DVD yet, but still . . .
toomanyhatz wrote:I honestly don't care for most Beach Boys car songs

take5_d_shorterer wrote:If John Bonham simply didn't listen to enough Tommy Johnson or Blind Willie Mctell, that's his doing.

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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Jun 2006, 05:39

I'll pile on...

I can't really listen to Sonic Youth without baggage. To me they are emblematic of something terribly wrong that happened to pop music. They didn't cause it to go wrong, they just embody everything I can't stand. Sexlessness, lack of fun, pretention, and overt non-musicality wrapped up into one smug little package.

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Postby & » 26 Jun 2006, 05:44

Davey The Fat Boy wrote:I'll pile on...

I can't really listen to Sonic Youth without baggage. To me they are emblematic of something terribly wrong that happened to pop music. They didn't cause it to go wrong, they just embody everything I can't stand. Sexlessness, lack of fun, pretention, and overt non-musicality wrapped up into one smug little package.


That's the problem I have with Rush. I never did get the Youth either, but I don't think I've even given them a fair chance. Very well put, btw.
"You're a rude and ignorant individual and I hope you get no sleep tonight." - Sir John Coan


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