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Old 05-04-2003, 09:10 PM   #1
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Sonic Youth

Any Sonic Youth fans? I know a few of their songs, and have been wanting to get into them, well, for years. But I have no idea where to start. Can anyone clue me in?
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Old 05-04-2003, 09:21 PM   #2
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i can't help you. i wish i could. i like them a little bit, passed up an opportunity to see them live, have one or two albums that i never listen to.

i need help too
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Old 05-04-2003, 10:11 PM   #3
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wink

Somebody help us!
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Old 05-04-2003, 11:04 PM   #4
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Big Grin

Sonic Youth is my favorite band, ever. I'll start off with a few random ramblings so you can know a little about them before I get into recommendations etc.

They've been making music for around 20 years, starting out in New York City. Their principal members are:

Thurston Moore: Guitarist, and sings on a lot (don't want to say 'most') of their songs.
Kim Gordon: Bassist, sings on most of the songs that Thurston doesn't sing on. It seems a lot of people dislike her voice - it can sound grating sometimes, but other times can be beautiful (see 'The Sprawl').
Lee Ranaldo - Guitarist. Sings on the songs that Thurston and Kim don't sing ong. This usually comes to only a few songs per album.
Steve Shelley - Drummer. Doesn't sing on any songs that I can recall.
Jim O'Rourke - New member of the band (compared to the other 4, who have been together since 'EVOL'). Does a lot of stuff and has worked with groups like Gastr del Sol.

I'd say that the most famous (infamous?) aspect of Sonic Youth's music is the noise. Not without reason - a lot of their songs have extended portions where it sounds like they're just playing as loud as they can and creating a huge distorted mess. But eventually you come to appreciate these 'noise-fests' and view them as a very important part of the music. This isn't to say all of their stuff is like this; they are capable of producing quite the melodic tune (see 'Sugar Kane'). So as long as you keep an open mind with regard to this kind of thing, I think you'll find Sonic Youth's music to be infinitely rewarding...

OK, now on to some comments regarding albums/songs. I don't want to write a novel here, so I'll stick to the ones I know/like the best:

Daydream Nation - I had to start with this one. It's my favorite of their albums, and a lot of people consider it their masterpiece. There isn't a bad song on it - 'Teenage Riot' is incredibly catchy, 'Silver Rocket' rocks HARD (and contains some of their most abrasive - and in my opinion, cool sounding - noise), 'The Sprawl' is probably my favorite Sonic Youth song ever, and even 'Providence', which is bizarre to say the least, has a great piano thing and... well, it's just neat. I can't recommend this album more.

Dirty - This album was made during the grunge explosion, and Butch Vig produced it. Far from being a "sell-out", though, this album contains some of my favorite SY songs. 'Wish Fulfilllment' in particular - a Lee song that must be heard to be believed. Other great tracks are the aforementioned 'Sugar Kane', 'Swimsuit Issue' (seething!), 'Theresa's Sound-World' (gorgeous), 'JC' (spooky!), and 'Youth Against Fascism' (political). This has 15 songs on it, so you get a lot of SY for your money. Also, this was re-released in a 'deluxe' edition a month or two ago, with an extra disc with a ton of new stuff. I'm planning to buy it soon.

Sister - I think this is Salome's favorite album, so I'll let him comment on it . I'll just say that 'Schizophrenia' is musical perfection and the middle section of 'Pacific Coast Highway' is the coolest thing ever recorded.

Washing Machine - This album is from the mid-1990s, and it's, in a word, awesome. The opening track, 'Becuz', blew me away when I first heard it. Same with the title track. And this album ends with 'The Diamond Sea', a 20-minute epic with poetic lyrics and enough beatiful noise to last a lifetime. It has to be one of the best SY songs ever.

Murray Street - Their newest album, released last year. 'The Empty Page' rocks. 'Disconnetion Notice' is great. 'Karen Revisited/Karenology' is awesome. But 'Rain on Tin' is AMAZING. Has to be one of my top 5 SY songs.

I'm tired from all this typing, so hopefully that will give you a good start on Sonic Youth and all their musical goodness . I'll try my best to answer any questions you have!

Here's to the begining of your Sonic Youth odyssey...


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Old 05-04-2003, 11:16 PM   #5
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Awesome!!

Thank you sooooo much--that was great!!! Well I am definately going to get Daydream Nation...I don't have any finals this week and I graduate Saturday, so I have plenty of time on my hands this week to listen to new music!!!!!!!

Woo-hoo!!!

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Old 05-05-2003, 12:07 AM   #6
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Re: Awesome!!

Quote:
Originally posted by ~LadyLemon~
Thank you sooooo much--that was great!!! Well I am definately going to get Daydream Nation...I don't have any finals this week and I graduate Saturday, so I have plenty of time on my hands this week to listen to new music!!!!!!!

Woo-hoo!!!

Glad I could help

Daydream Nation is an excellent, excellent album (not to keep repeating myself )
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Old 05-05-2003, 12:24 AM   #7
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oh so that's who jim o'rourke is...

thanks, squid
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Old 05-05-2003, 03:57 AM   #8
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Been meaning to get into them for over two years...never got past 'Superstar' and an edit of 'The Diamond Sea'. My interest has been rekindled now, though.
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Old 05-05-2003, 12:43 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by Squid
Sister - I think this is Salome's favorite album, so I'll let him comment on it . I'll just say that 'Schizophrenia' is musical perfection and the middle section of 'Pacific Coast Highway' is the coolest thing ever recorded.
indeed
the way this album integrates guitar noise with song textures defies every law of music that existed until then
one of the best albums from the 80's


I would also have suggested "Dirty", "Washing Machine" and "Murray Street"
great albums


(an extra for your Washing Machine review)
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Old 05-30-2003, 12:27 PM   #10
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Squid--Just wanted to say thanks again for the recommendations. I finally picked up Daydream Nation the other week, and whilte I'm still getting into it, I'm also loving it!

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Old 05-30-2003, 03:15 PM   #11
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Old 05-30-2003, 03:35 PM   #12
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i heard sonic youth perform live from the parking lot @ jones beach when they opened for pearl jam back in 2000... there's no alcohol sales at the jones beach ampitheatre, so the pregaming for the PJ show had to be done in the parking lot ahead of time... woulda lost our buzz if we had gone in for sonic youth. eddie commented on the lack of people in the stands for the sonic youth show durring PJ's set... he said he thought that we were all killed by misquito repellent and weren't gonna show up for the show it was the august 25th show at jones beach... i recomend the bootleg highley, if they're still floating around the record stores, that is.
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Old 05-30-2003, 08:03 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~LadyLemon~
Squid--Just wanted to say thanks again for the recommendations. I finally picked up Daydream Nation the other week, and whilte I'm still getting into it, I'm also loving it!

Awesome!! Glad to help. Also glad to hear that you're enjoying it - any tracks that particularly stand out? Like, for example, The Sprawl? (my personal favorite SY song)

EDIT: Oh, also thought I'd mention to other SY fans here that I recently bought the Dirty re-release and it's great . Lee's song "Genetic" definitely should have made it onto the album, and "Stalker" is cool, too. The second CD is neat because it has a lot of versions of Dirty that are sort of in their pre-completion stages, so you can see how they changed over time It also has Kim singing covers of "Is it my Body" and "Personality Crisis" that are crazy and great. Highly recommended
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Old 06-02-2003, 06:24 PM   #14
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Yes, The Sprawl is a great song. I'm still most familiar with the first half of the album due to several factors (such as putting it on and getting a phone call, or putting it on before leaving the house, and because it's a long album), but often I just want to put Teen Age Riot on repeat--it's just so damn catchy...

Oh, and I'm going to see Sonic Youth open up for Wilco on June 19th!! That's going to be such a great show!



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Old 06-02-2003, 07:50 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by ~LadyLemon~

Oh, and I'm going to see Sonic Youth open up for Wilco on June 19th!! That's going to be such a great show!

You're going to that??? Mirrorball Girl and I are going to be there, too! Then we're going to the Hall of Fame the next day to catch the U2 exhibit. We should totally meet up at some point.
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