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Brandon Burke

Sonic Youth......

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So I'm going out to see Sonic Youth tonight at Stubbs. I haven't bought one of their records since 1992 but feel somehow obliged to see them before they call it a day, seeing as I never got the oportunity to do so while living in Kansas. They played a really important role in my high school years--and early undergrad, I suppose--so I guess I'm making up for lost time. Or perhaps I'm reliving my own youth. Either way, this should be fun because I haven't sat down and listened to them in ages.

I'm interested in seeing if the average age of those in attendance is closer to 20.....or 40. Could go either way...... B)

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We saw them here in Providence last Fall. They were fantastic. The croud was in full effect too. The best part about seeing them last year was Lightning Bolt! Holy shit!

Have fun Brandon.

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Holy shit!

Have fun Brandon.

Holy shit is right. I saw Sonic Youth once, back in 1991 opening up for Neil Young & Crazy Horse on the Ragged Glory Tour. If they play anything like they did 10 years ago, prepare to be blown away.

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I'm just going to pretend I didn't see this post...

...seeing as how they're in Austin tonight, that probably means that they'll be here in Houston tomorrow...and I can't make it due to prior obligations.

Saw them in '96 w/ Unwound (one of my favorite bands EVER, if I might add). Incredible show... I remember them opening with "Teenage Riot" and ending with an amazing 20+ minute version of "The Diamond Sea".

I'm sure you'll enjoy it. Please let us know how it went!

I'll continue to ignore this post until after their appearance in Houston tomorrow... <_<

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I've seen them a number of times... one really memorable one was at Hammerstein Ballroom in NYC like 5 years ago or so. Opening act: the David S. Ware quartet. Everybody was just looking around during Ware's set all lost...

But yeah, Sonic Youth is amazing... best memory is when I saw them in 95 (?) and they played that song "Chapel Hill" - that's my favorite, so it was special to finally hear it live...

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Well....I'm back. It was good in ways that I didn't expect. I'm no longer the kind of show-goer that smokes grass before or during a show so loud guitars and such don't blow me away anymore. Been there. Done that. Besides, this was a more mellow affair either way. They did have their freakout moments but they were nothing I hadn't seen on film before.

Instead, I was blown away by things I didn't expect--which was nice. For one, it was really refreshing to see them still doing "the same thing" after all these years. That might bug other people but it was instant nostalgia for me. I felt 23 all over again and, more importantly, I felt like THEY thought THEY were 23 all over again because they were going at it with a life affirming fervor. That said, there's a very refreshing idealism to Sonic Youth that I had forgotten all about. (They still write songs with titles like "Peace Attack", for example.) And another one of the new songs is apparently titled "Mariah Carey and the Arthur Doyle Hand Creme". B)

Back to the point, they have this 'anything is possible' vibe about them that was great to revist. Makes me wonder why I've been such a stick-in-the-mud all these years since I left that frame of mind. I instantly felt like I was at some college party--the good kind, mind you--and made me sad that I'll never be able to play in my old free improv band again, since we all live in other parts of the country and that same sense of naive idelaism has surely escaped everyone else too. This is not meant to be a bummer. These were all bittersweet feelings that made the experience well worth the money (and lack of sleep).

Jim O'Rourke I found to be a great addition as well. I have been a fan of his since before Gastr Del Sol and they let him have his space. He really 'drove' a few key moments here and there and provided an amazing bass line to a song that I'm assuming is new (though I probaly wouldn't know the difference either way). Anyways, it was very 'dubwise', in the King Tubby sense, and took that jam into a zone of deepness I wasn't expecting.

Bill Callahan (Smog) was in line in front of me at the beer stand.

All said......a great evening. :tup

Edited by Brandon Burke

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We saw them here in Providence last Fall. They were fantastic. The croud was in full effect too. The best part about seeing them last year was Lightning Bolt! Holy shit!

Have fun Brandon.

I have heard quite a bit about Lightning Bolt but I kinda have a probelm with ironic music. It's difficult to say, without having heard them, exactly where they fall in this camp. So I can't say until I see them (and I understand that seeing them live is the prefered method of ingestion). My understanding is that they fall somewhere between The Ruins, (good) Melvins, and ironic indie rock; the latter of which I can do without.

Speaking of bands who tend to open up for Sonic Youth.....allow me to recommend the Black Dice. My friend Hisham plays drums for them and they have an amazing Big Black-meets-psychedelic Beach Boys thing going on that's (perhaps understandably) pretty damned unique.

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Murray Street is their best release in quite some time, imo. The first five tracks are fantastic, then I lose interest pretty quickly. The last time I saw them was probably around '96 and I think Helium opened up the show. The highlight was definitely the Diamond Sea...such a great song.

Going off track a bit, I'm still really disappointed that Unwound broke up. I first saw them opening up for Fugazi and have loved them ever since. It took a while for their last album, Leaves Turn Inside You, to click with me but it finally has. They still are one of my favorite bands, too.

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I was listening to Daydream Nation last night. It still holds up very well.

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Overheard while in line for an SY show in 98: "Looks like the old school is out in force tonight"

Another "old" band celebrating a milestone: the Melvins are 20!! Just saw them in Portland last week (with Mudhoney opening, no less). Man, they tore the place UP!! It's great to see bands that have been around for so long still being vital.

Who needs hit songs?

Edited by Jad

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If I can watch Thurston get psyched on some Ray Russell-style guitar terrorism while O'Rourke stands there not knowing what to do, that gets me psyched too. Even though their more recent albums haven't got me going as much as the 'old' ones, I still would pay to see them play live any day. Always a gas.

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I saw them three times on the GOO tour (once when they opened for Neil Young at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis--now that was bizarre, seeing SY playing in front of 12,000 people, and I think only about 100 of us were there to see SY--though I surely stuck around for Neil--in any case, some older hippies in front of us kept booing them and saying smart things like, "They don't even know how to play their f#@%in' instruments!" :rolleyes: ). Wish I'd been able to catch them even earlier--still kicking myself for not blowing off work to go see them at Chicago's Metro during the SISTER tour. Are they breaking up? I'll admit I haven't kept touch with their records for the past 10 years or so, outside of hearing (and admiring) "Diamond Sea" and MURRAY STREET.

SY are big advocates of free jazz, btw, and both Ranaldo and Moore have worked with some free-jazz musicians.

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I've never listened to them but was always (lazily) curious about one thing: did they have a sound similar to Neil Young with Crazy Horse? From what others have told me and what I've read there was some influence there, actually going both ways. Neil himself put out his one-track CD of white noise, Arc, on the suggestion of these guys

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They're about to put out a new album called Nurse. Also Goo will be re-released in deluxe form just like Dirty was last year. I saw them 3 times:

1. The Channel, Boston, MA-Sister tour-someone threw a firecracker onstage and it blew up right in front of Kim Gordon. They were in mid song (Stereo Sanctuary) and walked off. They came back a few minutes later and picked up right where they left off. Encore was 4 Ramones songs off their first album. There's a cd called Hold That Tiger from this tour. Ghost of Miles, I think this show was the one you skipped! i saw Kim Gordon in her bra when I walked in on her & Thurston after the show. I mentioned to Thurston how surprised I was at the firecracker incident, he said, "It's not the first time it's happened to us."

2. Avalon, Boston, MA-Dirty tour-their last great album.Lee Ranlado's songs Wish Fulfilment & a B-side from this album "Genetic" are his two best songs with SY.

3. Paladium, Worcester, MA-A Thousand Leaves tour-last good album, so far. Played almost the whole album and encored with Death Valley '69 & Shadow Of A Doubt (another of their best songs).

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I'm glad you saw them and posted about it, because they're playing DFW tomorrow night, and I'm thinking of going ("thinking" because I'm also not the usual concert-goer-type).

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We saw them here in Providence last Fall. They were fantastic. The croud was in full effect too. The best part about seeing them last year was Lightning Bolt! Holy shit!

Have fun Brandon.

I have heard quite a bit about Lightning Bolt but I kinda have a probelm with ironic music. It's difficult to say, without having heard them, exactly where they fall in this camp. So I can't say until I see them (and I understand that seeing them live is the prefered method of ingestion). My understanding is that they fall somewhere between The Ruins, (good) Melvins, and ironic indie rock; the latter of which I can do without.

Speaking of bands who tend to open up for Sonic Youth.....allow me to recommend the Black Dice. My friend Hisham plays drums for them and they have an amazing Big Black-meets-psychedelic Beach Boys thing going on that's (perhaps understandably) pretty damned unique.

Lightning Bolt to me:

The moment, and I mean split second, that Sonic Youth unplugged, stage right unexpectedly a curtain shifted right. In the same split second the entire room jumped. I could see a guitar player in a wide stance wearing a Mexican leather wrestling mask standing on top of one of the largest speakers I have ever seen. Beside him was a drummer, also wearing a leather wrestling mask. They ROCKED HARDER than any band I have ever heard. We flipped out.

Like you said, SY is a pretty chill event. I had heard rumors before they got started that "Lightning Bolt" was going to play a surprise show after SY finished. I had no idea who Lighting Bolt was, and still don't to be honest. They seem to be as secretive as Jandek. There's a DVD and an LP with handmade cover art and all that, but I haven't checked it out. They live here in RI somewhere, I've heard Block Island. I don't really care about all that. All I know is that they blew up, and I swear it was just two musicians. It was a serious shock to the system, but it was positive somehow.

I'm not sure where you get the impression that they are ironic. Maybe because they intend to maintain this air of mystery. They were awesome in that moment. If they never document anything ever again, they have secured their place in the 21st century. Turn of the century music.

Glad you had a good time Brandon.

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Going off track a bit, I'm still really disappointed that Unwound broke up.  I first saw them opening up for Fugazi and have loved them ever since.  It took a while for their last album, Leaves Turn Inside You, to click with me but it finally has.  They still are one of my favorite bands, too.

Not meaning to steer this completely off topic, but...it's not everyday that I find another Unwound fan. ;)

I took a while for me to get into 'Leaves...', too. Some of the songs grabbed me immediately ("December", "Demons Sing Love Songs", "October All Over") while others took longer...and some still haven't. Overall, though, it's a very impressive piece of work. The album that I still haven't managed to wrap my ears around, so to speak, is 'Challenge For a Civilized Society'. There's a couple of songs I really like ("Sonata For Loudspeakers", the instrumental track, comes to mind) but overall...well, it's not a bad record - as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as a bad Unwound record...but, it's the one that I've played the least. By a wiiiiiiiiide margin.

The one that I've played the most? A toss up between 'New Plastic Ideas' and 'The Future of What'.

What an incredible band they were...

Edited by street singer

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There's a cd called Hold That Tiger from this tour. Ghost of Miles, I think this show was the one you skipped!

I believe you're right. Steve Albini opens the show by introducing them as 'Richard Kern & the Kings of Cough Syrup'.

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Going off track a bit, I'm still really disappointed that Unwound broke up.  I first saw them opening up for Fugazi and have loved them ever since.  It took a while for their last album, Leaves Turn Inside You, to click with me but it finally has.  They still are one of my favorite bands, too.

Not meaning to steer this completely off topic, but...it's not everyday that I find another Unwound fan. ;)

I took a while for me to get into 'Leaves...', too. Some of the songs grabbed me immediately ("December", "Demons Sing Love Songs", "October All Over") while others took longer...and some still haven't. Overall, though, it's a very impressive piece of work. The album that I still haven't managed to wrap my ears around, so to speak, is 'Challenge For a Civilized Society'. There's a couple of songs I really like ("Sonata For Loudspeakers", the instrumental track, comes to mind) but overall...well, it's not a bad record - as far as I'm concerned, there's no such thing as a bad Unwound record...but, it's the one that I've played the least. By a wiiiiiiiiide margin.

The one that I've played the most? A toss up between 'New Plastic Ideas' and 'The Future of What'.

What an incredible band they were...

New Plastic Ideas gets played the most by me, by a wide margin.

as far as I recall, my favorite track off of Challenge... is"The Side Effects of Being Tired," with Vern singing.

I just found out that a "semi-legit" record exists of them live in London (I think it is traks fro their Peel session) and I should have a copy fairly soon.

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New Plastic Ideas gets played the most by me, by a wide margin.

as far as I recall, my favorite track off of Challenge... is"The Side Effects of Being Tired," with Vern singing.

I just found out that a "semi-legit" record exists of them live in London (I think it is traks fro their Peel session) and I should have a copy fairly soon.

That 'Live In London' record does indeed consist of their Peel Sessions set, and it is a KILLER. Get it while you still can. I bought it a couple of years ago when it was released (less than legitimately, I'm sure) by a label here in Texas. It's since been made available again as an import, I believe. If you like "Side Effects of Being Tired", the version of that song on this record will literally knock ya down - it's incredible. THOSE DRUMS!!!

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New Plastic Ideas gets played the most by me, by a wide margin.

as far as I recall, my favorite track off of Challenge... is"The Side Effects of Being Tired," with Vern singing.

I just found out that a "semi-legit" record exists of them live in London (I think it is traks fro their Peel session) and I should have a copy fairly soon.

That 'Live In London' record does indeed consist of their Peel Sessions set, and it is a KILLER. Get it while you still can. I bought it a couple of years ago when it was released (less than legitimately, I'm sure) by a label here in Texas. It's since been made available again as an import, I believe. If you like "Side Effects of Being Tired", the version of that song on this record will literally knock ya down - it's incredible. THOSE DRUMS!!!

I know someone who is selling his copy for $4 and it should be here any day now. I have read a few interviews with the band and they seem to have no problem with the records release. I think there is some restriction imposed by the BBC on its "official" release.

Have you ever heard the Replikants, with Justin and Brandt? I've been meaning to check them out, but still haven't gotten around to it.

The singles collection is pretty fantastic, too. I keep forgetting to mention that disc. I'd be happy if the full demo that Crab Nebula was taken from ever gets released, or if the long-rumored live album comes out some day.

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Here's what Sara Lund had to say about the 'Live In London' record:

"BBC owns the rights so no one else can put them out. Unless of course, some naughty person from Texas puts it out as a bootleg and calls it UNWOUND LIVE IN LONDON. But I can't believe that would ever happen..." :lol:

I have still yet to hear the Replikants myself. Nor have I gotten around to getting the singles collection. I have the majority of that material on vinyl - though I'd like to eventually get the CD to have it all in one place.

Regarding the demo - I actually had a copy of that at one time. Downloaded it during the early days of Napster, but have since lost it...and been unable to find a source for a replacement. :(

That "long rumoured live album" would be most welcome!

Have you seen this website? While not very current, it's still got loads of good information... http://unwound.livid.com/

Edited by street singer

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bump - interesting place to find a Sonic Youth cd....

Sonic Youth's 'Hits' Heading To Starbucks

In a recent interview, Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore mentioned that the band needed to record a new song for a Starbucks compilation. Within minutes of his remarks hitting the Internet, chat rooms and fan sites were awash in cries of "foul" and "sellouts."

For many, the idea of the ultimate indie art band getting into bed with the ultimate mainstream lifestyle brand was pure blasphemy. "I never thought of it as being more radical than recording for Universal Music," Moore tells Billboard. "They're both corporations that have ties to things that people find sort of problematic."

The compilation in question, "Hits Are for Squares," is a co-release by Starbucks Entertainment and Universal Special Markets. Scheduled for release early next year, it will be sold at select Starbucks locations in eight U.S. markets (including New York, Chicago and Seattle) as well as online at hearmusic.com.

In addition to one new, exclusive track, the limited-edition CD features Sonic Youth songs, handpicked by Chloe Sevigny, Dave Eggers, Michelle Williams and other enthusiasts. Participants will also each write a few words, explaining their selections, for the liner notes.

"I guess, for some, Sonic Youth represents something that they don't really equate with Starbucks," Moore says. "But I kind of like the absurdity of it. Sonic Youth has always, in a way, made itself available to the super mainstream."

"In a way, Sonic Youth has a branded name," he continues. "People know the name, but not necessarily our music, which might be a little too outsider for some. And when they do hear a little something, it doesn't tell the whole story. I thought it would be interesting to have a CD available in a store like Starbucks where the casual consumer can sort of have access to [our music] more readily."

Sonic Youth has yet to record its own contribution to the compilation, but was recently in the studio recording an unidentified Bob Dylan cover that may be used in Todd Haynes' upcoming film "I'm Not There."

Moore is also looking ahead to the Sept. 18 release of a new solo album, "Trees Outside the Academy," which he will support with some live shows.

"Hopefully, I'll get together the group that plays on the record, including Steve Shelley," he says. "Samara Lubelski from Brooklyn plays the electric violin, which acts as a second instrument on almost every track. J Mascis from Dinosaur Jr. plays some killer guitar all over the record. And I play all the acoustic guitar and bass on it. It's a pretty heavy song-based record."

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g_d i saw samara lubelski perform and her mouth was so freaking' dry (she was trying to sing). it was like she had been in the desert for a week prior to arriving on norfolk street and she was totally parched. g_d i hope i never have to see her again.

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Must've been an off night for her, because she's usually good. I have all of her records, enjoy them, and coincidentally also consider her a friend.

I look forward to the new Thurston album, and hey, if they're doing well, great - by that I mean that I don't care if they're selling records at/with/for/by Starbucks. I can still drop the needle on Bad Moon Rising and enjoy it.

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