BCB 100 - Sonic Youth

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lemon
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Postby lemon » 26 Jun 2006, 11:17

Davey The Fat Boy wrote:overt non-musicality


I'm confused by comments like this, and penk's "no songs" suggestion. What are you referring to? Is it melody, or riffs perhaps? I just don't understand how someone who's listened to a few of their albums could come up with something like this because their music is full of memorable songs, for me at least and I'd imagine quite a few people here.

I am absolutely fine with people not liking them, I don't really care that much. What I do care about is people bringing up fallacies about their music and somehow making the suggestion that the band are peddling this sort of thing to fool the people who like it.

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PENK
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Postby PENK » 26 Jun 2006, 11:18

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


Just to clarify, I do love Galaxie 500. I haven't bought the DVD yet, but still . . .


It's rubbish, don't bother. I actually took it back to the shop :o
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Clay Davis
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Postby Clay Davis » 26 Jun 2006, 11:44

Strider wrote: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.



This about sums it up for me although maybe I don't quite hold them in the same regard you do (afterall, I picked Primal Scream over them a couple of weeks ago).

favoruite album - Daydream Nation
favourite song - Eric's Trip, or Rain on Tin
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PENK
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Postby PENK » 26 Jun 2006, 11:48

Mike Boom wrote:
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.


I mean the recordings aren't mastered loudly, I guess. Even if you turn them up they lack any real force.
It shouldn't matter that I haven't seen them live, though. Like I said, if they're so much better then, why bother releasing (or listening to) records at all?

lemon wrote:I'm confused by comments like this, and penk's "no songs" suggestion. What are you referring to? Is it melody, or riffs perhaps? I just don't understand how someone who's listened to a few of their albums could come up with something like this because their music is full of memorable songs, for me at least and I'd imagine quite a few people here.

I am absolutely fine with people not liking them, I don't really care that much. What I do care about is people bringing up fallacies about their music and somehow making the suggestion that the band are peddling this sort of thing to fool the people who like it.


But I don't think they are fallacies. The melodies and riffs are unfailingly obvious, flaccid and ordinary. Whether or not this is supposed to fool people, I don't know. They're fooling themselves if they think they're writing great songs, though.
Darkness_Fish wrote:One slight disappointment was that there turns out to be two cinemas in Bolton

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Still Baron
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Postby Still Baron » 26 Jun 2006, 12:24

Penk wrote:
Mike Boom wrote:
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.


I mean the recordings aren't mastered loudly, I guess. Even if you turn them up they lack any real force.


That's certainly true up till Dirty. Those records (though the Evol-Daydream run is great) all sound terribly flat.
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Postby Django » 26 Jun 2006, 14:10

I have a bit of a Love/Hate relationship with Sonic Youth. I love some of their individual songs, but don't think I've heard any albums by them that I think are universally great, they all have tracks that make me want to reach for the skip button. And, fuck me, Kim Gordon's voice, at it's worst... :cry:

That said: some classic songs, and a really scuzzy sound.

Album: Goo

Track: Kool Thing
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Postby nathan » 26 Jun 2006, 16:11

Penk wrote:And this is one band who do not know how to write a song.

I'm going to be an ass for a second and inquire about this line of thinking. I have seen it so much around these parts as of late that I am really starting to question the validity of it.

Has music always been about songcraft? And wasn't Sonic Youth basically against conventional songcraft from the start? And isn't noise just fucking wonderful?

To me that would be a dangerous paradigm inside it's own paradigm to have to think this way. Why trap yourself into this horribe (and if I may, fucked up) logic that really has me wondering why you would bother carrying on living or listen to music.


But I don't have a favorite Sonic Youth anything. So there.

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Postby Geezee » 26 Jun 2006, 16:35

Sonic Youth are among the most pretentious bands on the planet, and, though mostly unwittingly, it seemed for a long while like an indie band actually **needed** to be mentioned by Thurston Moore for them to be considered 'cool'. But I believe they are fully deserving of this stature as the standard-bearers of american indie rock, and there simply isn't another band out there that can compete with the depth, breadth and layers of SY's music. The interplay of lee and thurston is second only to verlaine and lloyd in my opinion, and, be that as it may that they are not 'melody-makers' as such, there is simply no denying their song-craft. I mean listen to this shit: Brother James, Shadow of a Doubt, Tunic, Schizophrenia, Catholic Block, Mote, Chapel Hill, Diamond Sea, Sunday...Expressway to Your Fucking Skull...jeez, these are outright melodic classics! Am I right in thinking that Daydream Nation was put in the Library of Congress for christ's sake? And I remember the days when they simply were the scariest band on the planet, they brought real horror into music, rather than simple pastiche alice cooper/ozzie type horor- this was the real business, true, urban nightmares. And who on earth said sexless? Try having sex with Shadow of a Doubt or Expressway...it's awesome! Sometimes their shows turn into make-out fests, Thurston is horny as shit on his guitar, and the crowd invariably get in on the act. I can hardly think of any music that is sexier!

Favourite album: EVOL

Best Song: Brother James (possibly my favourite song of all time, there simply isn't anything that rocks louder or better...see it live).
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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Jun 2006, 17:15

G-Z wrote: And who on earth said sexless? Try having sex with Shadow of a Doubt or Expressway...it's awesome!


Okay...I tell you what. If I ever have the chance to have sex with the corpse of Nico, that's the music I'll play.

Sometimes their shows turn into make-out fests, Thurston is horny as shit on his guitar, and the crowd invariably get in on the act.


Reminds me of this Leo Sayer concert I once went to....

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Geezee
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Postby Geezee » 26 Jun 2006, 18:12

Davey The Fat Boy wrote:
G-Z wrote: And who on earth said sexless? Try having sex with Shadow of a Doubt or Expressway...it's awesome!


Okay...I tell you what. If I ever have the chance to have sex with the corpse of Nico, that's the music I'll play.

Sometimes their shows turn into make-out fests, Thurston is horny as shit on his guitar, and the crowd invariably get in on the act.


Reminds me of this Leo Sayer concert I once went to....


you calling leo sayer sexless? :?
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Davey the Fat Boy
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Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Jun 2006, 18:15

G-Z wrote:
Davey The Fat Boy wrote:
G-Z wrote: And who on earth said sexless? Try having sex with Shadow of a Doubt or Expressway...it's awesome!


Okay...I tell you what. If I ever have the chance to have sex with the corpse of Nico, that's the music I'll play.

Sometimes their shows turn into make-out fests, Thurston is horny as shit on his guitar, and the crowd invariably get in on the act.


Reminds me of this Leo Sayer concert I once went to....


you calling leo sayer sexless? :?


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Postby Copehead » 26 Jun 2006, 18:43

No album I'd want to listen to the whole way through

Best Song: Sister
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Geezee
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Postby Geezee » 26 Jun 2006, 19:25

Davey The Fat Boy wrote:
G-Z wrote:
Davey The Fat Boy wrote:
G-Z wrote: And who on earth said sexless? Try having sex with Shadow of a Doubt or Expressway...it's awesome!


Okay...I tell you what. If I ever have the chance to have sex with the corpse of Nico, that's the music I'll play.

Sometimes their shows turn into make-out fests, Thurston is horny as shit on his guitar, and the crowd invariably get in on the act.


Reminds me of this Leo Sayer concert I once went to....


you calling leo sayer sexless? :?


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you rest my case...
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the masked man
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Postby the masked man » 26 Jun 2006, 21:11

A band I find impressive but offputting - there is an unfortiunate we're-cooler-than-you air about them, but maybe they are cool enough to do this. They were shit-hot when I saw them live, at the time of "Goo", just an astonishing (if violent) bliss-out.

Favourite album: "Dirty". Holds up well for such a long record, with only a couple of filler tracks, and it has the mesmerising "Theresa's Soundworld"

Favourite song: "Shadow Of A Doubt". Sexy as hell, this offered me something that indie rock wasn't doing back in the 80s. I was a fan instantly.

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Postby Matt Harringay » 26 Jun 2006, 22:18

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.


yeah, that's about right although i do really like that one that sounds like new order.
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PENK
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Postby PENK » 26 Jun 2006, 23:12

nathan wrote:
Penk wrote:And this is one band who do not know how to write a song.

I'm going to be an ass for a second and inquire about this line of thinking. I have seen it so much around these parts as of late that I am really starting to question the validity of it.

Has music always been about songcraft? And wasn't Sonic Youth basically against conventional songcraft from the start? And isn't noise just fucking wonderful?

To me that would be a dangerous paradigm inside it's own paradigm to have to think this way. Why trap yourself into this horribe (and if I may, fucked up) logic that really has me wondering why you would bother carrying on living or listen to music.


It's not that simple, though, really. I don't mind if a bandare avant-garde or don't write 'proper' songs, provided they do it well. I like it sometimes. But Sonic Youth have never convinced. If they were always against conventional songcraft, why are so many of their songs just dull, unimaginative riffs and melodies that don't go anywhere? No amount of feedback and squall can disguise the fact that at heart they're just not very talented writers.
When they really go off on a tangent or avoid convention completely, it sounds tokenistic, as if they're doing it because that's what they do, rather than being something involving. It's like they're sight-reading from a textbook on experimental rock.
Even if they were the first band to do that, that doesn't necessarily mean they were any good, does it? Bands like Yo La Tengo or even My Bloody Valentine took the essential template, and refined, developed and improved it, adding genuine talent and intelligence to the mix rather than blundering on, getting by on pose and their own conviction that what they were doing was radical and important. Which it wasn't: tedious riffing, lazy stabs at songs and a lot of rock star posturing don't add up to a great, original band.
Davey has it right. They don't get any of the things that are great about music. Joy, energy, fun, soul, any of it. They're just dull chancers who hit upon a formula and didn't know what to do with it.
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, 23:31

Penk, I think the problem people are having with your view, me at least, is that it's very much stating stuff as fact rather than "I don't like what they do".

They don't get any of the things that are great about music. Joy, energy, fun, soul, any of it.


I see ALL these things in SY songs - OK perhaps not Joy so much - but lots of energy and fun. Apparently you don't see these things, i.e. you don't get anything out of them, which is cool. But I really do get lots out of them.

Hope that's not too obvious, but for some reason you're coming over like you don't believe the people who say they like them or something. I may have that wrong though.

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Postby PENK » 26 Jun 2006, 23:41

lemon wrote:Penk, I think the problem people are having with your view, me at least, is that it's very much stating stuff as fact rather than "I don't like what they do".

They don't get any of the things that are great about music. Joy, energy, fun, soul, any of it.


I see ALL these things in SY songs - OK perhaps not Joy so much - but lots of energy and fun. Apparently you don't see these things, i.e. you don't get anything out of them, which is cool. But I really do get lots out of them.

Hope that's not too obvious, but for some reason you're coming over like you don't believe the people who say they like them or something. I may have that wrong though.


I think it's because to me they are facts rather than opinions. There's a difference between bands I just don't like and bands that I think are poor, and Sonic Youth are one of the latter, so I make a lot less leeway for them than the former.
Like I said at the start, the idea of Sonic Youth sounds kind of perfect to me, like they'd be the band most suited to my tastes. And yet whenever I've heard them they've been a huge letdown. It's not that I don't 'get' them, or that they just don't tick the right boxes, it's that I see evident weaknesses in their writing and performances.
The only thing I don't get about them is why so many other people don't realise that they're just an incredibly ordinary band with delusions of grandeur.
I don't expect to change anyone's mind and I don't think anyone expects to change mine. And, although I don't think we ever reached a definite conclusion because the 'benchmark' thread got sidetracked, I think most of us here are in agreement that music is entirely subjective. But it'd be incredibly dull everyone just agreed with each other.
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Postby Owen » 26 Jun 2006, 23:47

lemon wrote:Penk, I think the problem people are having with your view, me at least, is that it's very much stating stuff as fact rather than "I don't like what they do".


it's probably because the music makes it all very explicit,

I dont think it's some emperors new clothes trick, and yes i do think the fans do really like them. But penk's still right

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Postby lemon » 26 Jun 2006, 23:59

Owen wrote:I dont think it's some emperors new clothes trick, and yes i do think the fans do really like them. But penk's still right


I don't see how you can agree with both of those. But meh.

*goes and puts on Evol*