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Thread: Old Man Misses The Boat On Yet Another Band!

  1. #1
    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Old Man Misses The Boat On Yet Another Band!

    I just jumped onto Amazon & ordered 3 Sonic Youth albums after watching their concert on AXS. I've heard of this band for about 20 years but not one note passed through my aural canals until today.

    Holy shit!! Discuss.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

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    Not familiar with this band, though I have heard of them like yourself. Always just assumed that it was something that would not interest me. What is your take on them, obviously you like them if you bought three cd's!! What can you compare them to?
    Also have not heard of AXS, is that a cable channel or pay per view? Does Direct TV carry that??

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    Member Haruspex Carnage's Avatar
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    i don't know much about them at large but they fell into a bracket of indie/punk/improv/noise/odd tuning, no? Making them of COURSE "PROG", RIGHT?!

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    Member FrippWire's Avatar
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    Be glad you love music and are still making new discoveries. I'm glad you discovered SY. Although they've broken up due to Kim Gordon/Thurston Moore divorcing, they leave behind quite a recorded legacy. Plenty to sink your teeth into. I most appreciate the noise/experimental/improvisation aspect of the band.

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    Member at least 100 dead's Avatar
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    Some of their stuff is sexy (“The Sprawl” from Daydream Nation), but too much of it is so mind-numbingly dull that I never bothered to wade through their catalogue. Maybe it’s time for re-evaluation, though.

    Do report back on your findings. Which albums did you get?

    EDIT: Listening to "Kissability" right now. My, this could have been on Amon Düül II's Yeti...
    Last edited by at least 100 dead; 02-26-2015 at 02:07 AM.
    "Dem Glücklichen legt auch der Hahn ein Ei."

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    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by HONDO View Post
    Not familiar with this band, though I have heard of them like yourself. Always just assumed that it was something that would not interest me. What is your take on them, obviously you like them if you bought three cd's!! What can you compare them to?
    Also have not heard of AXS, is that a cable channel or pay per view? Does Direct TV carry that??
    I have cable, not satellite, so I don't know about Direct TV. It's not pay-per-view. It's a cable channel owned by Mark Cuban , the very vocal (many would say obnoxious) owner of the NBA's Dallas Mavericks. Great channel for music fans (concerts in the past have incl ELP, Yes, Gspot, Floyd etc. as well as a lot of shit, of course).

    I've never heard a note of SY before tonight, so it's tough to formulate an opinion of what or who they sound like. I'm not sure they sound like anybody, but they are all over the map sonically (no pun int.). From beautiful, evocative psychedelic passages to cacaphony (but not discordant). I've read in the past how they were very influential to a lot of other bands, but I didn't think I'd like them.

    You're never too old to have your eyes widened.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

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    "Your never too old to have your eyes widened"! Man that is the beauty of music. You just never know what may float your boat. Imagine if we all here on PE did not have an open mind to music just how much we would be missing out on. Got to keep an open heart and mind to stay sane in this mad world and music sure helps!!
    I am truely inspired by your attitude Geez, you just keep on jamming along and grooving to what makes you happy. We had a nice chat at Progday a few years back that I will never forget. Keep on trucking brother

  8. #8
    I used to be rather ambivalent to SY as "rock phenomenon", but there's no denying their importance and sometimes outright seminal status in the development of alternative rock music from the late 80s on. I've seen them live on a few occasion these past 20+ years, and they've been good and less, but never worse than "uneven". I think I've kept about three of their albums, among them the ubiquitous Daydream Nation, which still makes for an essential component in the understanding of "indie-rock" as concept.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    I saw them open for The Minutemen back in the day. I enjoyed their show but never picked up an album

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    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by at least 100 dead View Post
    . Which albums did you get?
    Before diving into the deep end of the pool, I figured I'd buy 3 cds that Amazon was selling for $3.99 each. They were "A Thousand Leaves", "Murray Street" & "Washing Machine". After digesting those 3, I'll decide whether to really submerge myself. They definitely scratch an itch, tho'.

    Oh, and Hondo, I definitely remember hanging with you at PDay!
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

  11. #11
    Pretty much one of the greatest rock bands of the 20th/ 21st Century as far as I'm concerned. Like Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin good. Once I was turned onto them, they felt like 'my' band.


    I came in on Sister.
    Daydream Nation, Washing Machine and Rather Ripped are maybe my favourites and while there's a couple I couldn't get into *quite* as much, I don't think they've made a bad record.
    Absolutely seminal.

    There's an, I don't know, melancholy kind of yearning, to their sound that no one else does to the same degree. Something about their funny chords that is so beautifully heartbreaking to me.

    The few times I've seen them live they were devastatingly good.
    The only other band I've ever witnessed with the same level of chemistry is Magma.
    Last edited by Kavus Torabi; 02-26-2015 at 04:06 AM.

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Kavus Torabi View Post
    There's an, I don't know, melancholy kind of yearning, to their sound that no one else does to the same degree. Something about their funny chords that is so beautifully heartbreaking to me.
    About this I absolutely agree, and I can definitely see why some people would get very caught up in them throught this emotional intensity.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    Being curious after reading a lot of superlative reviews I ordered one of their CDs "Goo" I think it was called back when it came out. 1990 or so? While I was impressed by the way they integrated noise into the music, I found the songs so dull I returned the CD and I have never really given them another thought.

    But just this year I re-discovered the Pixies via a live DVD and found I liked them a lot more than I had in their heyday, so it might be worth revisiting SY as well through that medium.

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    Member Wounded Land's Avatar
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    Two words: Daydream f%$^ing Nation.

    I've found their stuff to be a little hit or miss, but when they're on, they're on. There's certainly nobody else that sounds like them.

  15. #15
    I'd say that their Homestead > SST > Daydream Nation run is as essential as any post-punk band's. DN was their culmination and everything after was refinement, which Goo and Dirty were. then they deviated back into some fine LPs with their Matador period


    I received Kim Gordon's bio tuesday eve and for fans of this band, the first chapter is a real fuking bummer




    saw 2 NYC shows for the Daydream Nation release (first one was a full run through of the LP) and they were just top notch rock shows


    the theft of all their original gear but a bit of a sting on them. they recovered fine but still lacked the mystery of those original tunings and copper winds. an almost chemical change
    Last edited by helix; 02-26-2015 at 09:20 AM.

  16. #16
    Big SY fan here. Of the three mentioned Washing Machine is my favorite, particularly The Diamond Sea. That track sums up everything I love about them, goes from pop to psych to noise in 20 glorious minutes. I like Murray Street okay, but I'd place A Thousand Leaves near the bottom of their catalog. Of their latter day albums, Sonic Nurse is my go to.

    Honestly, I know the Moore/Gordon divorce shoulders the blame, but I really think SY had just about run its course. For all the talk of how each new album was a rebirth or exciting or the best since..., none of them really grabbed me as a whole. I liked the SYR releases during this era a lot better.

    As for overall favorites, Bad Moon Rising and Sister. That said, if you only get one SY album then go with Daydream Nation. It's as defining,important or whatever ridiculous critic word you want to use an album as the underground ever produced. And it's also REALLY good.

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    Member Steve F.'s Avatar
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    I saw them early-ish, on the Bad Moon Rising tour. Circa '85?? They were great.
    Steve F.

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    Matt! polmico's Avatar
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    I know that many SY fans will claim that Murray Street is epitome of the Sonic Youth formula Sonic Youth album, but I love it. Probably my favorite. I saw them in '02 or so before I'd heard a note of their music (outside of "Bull in the Heather" on 120 Minutes). And, yeah, that did it for me.
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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    I heard 2 or 3 songs on the radio back in the early 90s, I think. They struck me as an aggro version of Shoegaze. I was pretty indifferent to what they were doing, and did not investigate further.

  20. #20
    One of my all-time favorite bands. Were you already out of NYC in the '80s? I'm surprised you'd never heard any of their music until recently.

    Two of the albums you list are among my favorites by them: Thousand Leaves and Washing Machine. There's still plenty more to discover. By Murray Street and subsequent albums I think that they stopped evolving, but those later albums are all still pretty good, IMO. The conventional wisdom now would be for you to check out the Evol/Sister/Daydream Nation/Goo/Dirty run of albums ('86-'92), which I imagine you'd get a lot of mileage out of if you like the other three.

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    I am going to give them a try today and this weekend via youtube and Pandora etc. and see how I like them. I can honestly say that I have not heard one note of their music/noise! I guess I will start with Daydream Nation and the Washing Machine next. Any other recommendations?? It is never too late to discover something new. Who knows I may wind up liking them

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by HONDO View Post
    I am going to give them a try today and this weekend via youtube and Pandora etc. and see how I like them. I can honestly say that I have not heard one note of their music/noise! I guess I will start with Daydream Nation and the Washing Machine next. Any other recommendations?? It is never too late to discover something new. Who knows I may wind up liking them
    They participated in two different scenes during their growth periods: early '80s no-wave and '80s alternative. They got onto a major label and grew in popularity in the '90s, but weren't really a part of that group; always being considered forefathers rather than peers of the '90s bands. By the mid-'90s, they started incorporating more diverse influences, like krautrock. They were not virtuosos, but were always creative, IMO. I think they had a long peak period ('85-'2003) of being consistently very good to great. On an "on" night the live shows could be awesome.

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    Geriatric Anomaly progeezer's Avatar
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    Face - I moved out of NYC in early 1970. Have visited about 20-25 times in the last 45 years, but I'm sure as hell glad that my kids grew up in a small town instead of on the "sidewalks of New York" like their old man.
    "My choice early in life was either to be a piano player in a whorehouse or a politician, and to tell the truth, there's hardly any difference"

    President Harry S. Truman

  24. #24
    Quote Originally Posted by progeezer View Post
    Face - I moved out of NYC in early 1970. Have visited about 20-25 times in the last 45 years, but I'm sure as hell glad that my kids grew up in a small town instead of on the "sidewalks of New York" like their old man.
    Good call - it's no place for children (adults with the minds of children, on the other hand... )

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    I've never heard anything by Sonic Youth as far as I know. I plead guilty to forming negative preconceptions of them, based on the cover of the album "Goo".

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