Sonic Youth

New sonic explorations from one of the masters

While I’m familiar with most of the seminal works of Sonic Youth, the band members’ solo projects before and after the split were never very big blips on my music radar. I vaguely remember seeing a poster for one of Thurston Moore’s mid-2000s solo tours when I was in college, but not having the time—or the money being a working college student—to go to the show. So out slipped Moore from my consciousness, and thus the boomerang effect brings him back to me.

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Photo By Kelly Hoffer

Photo By Kelly Hoffer

When Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore split up last year, my heart broke. I always felt that they were the perfect rock couple- Moore was the pop yin to Gordon’s experimental yang. And, as expected, Moore’s post Sonic Youth output has largely been filled with guitar pop. And Gordon has been largely quiet. So, when Noise Pop announced that they were featuring her new project, Body/Head, on their opening night of Noise Pop, I was thrilled. When I learned that it was a “noise” project with east coast avant gardist Bill Nace, I had very high hopes for this performance. My favorite Sonic Youth moments have always been when Gordon vocalizes over thunderous guitar shredding. To have a band that strips them down to the just this part was practically a dream show. So, yes, I needed to be there.

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Opening for Devildriver.

Next week brings us Sketchfest, where some pretty amazing musicians will be in town to accompany some pretty amazing comedians. Then we have the Winter Music Festival, which will be followed by Noise Pop, which will be followed by a series of bands making there way through on their way to SXSW, and then Coachella, then it’s summer. So, please enjoy your last week of regular programming before summer.

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Did he quit? Did he not quit?

Did he quit? Did he not quit?

Leaving early is both what I did, and what the subjects of our conversation did. Join us as we discuss what happens when a lead singer leaves a band. Do they get better?  Worse?  Stay the same? As always, you can subscribe by pressing the giant button with headphones on it, or you can listen below. [read the whole post]

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The ever-so-youthful sonic band.

The ever-so-youthful sonic band.

Sonic Youth released their first record in 1982. Since then, they have averaged a new release every year and a half or so. (15 full length releases, in case you are keeping track.)  This doesn’t include eps, singles, benefit compilation tracks, soundtrack work, side projects, parenting, eating, sleeping, or other such things that take up time.  And, arguably, none of them have been “bad.”  Sure, you might not have listened to Murray Street in a few years, but it’s still a good record.  They are without peer in terms of longevity and consistency.  They have a  live presence that has always been a force to be reckoned with.  The youngest member of the band is 47, but they still play like they are in their early 20’s.

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Follow these tracks to the Great American Music Hall on Sunday.

Follow these tracks to the Great American Music Hall on Sunday.

This is part 10 of a continuing series… Next week, we will discuss how race relations affected the reconstruction.

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