C/D: Sonic Youth's GOO

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I had to write up a little thingey about Sonic Youth for a weekly periodical that shall remain nameless this morning (they're playing at Irving Plaza with the Liars and Black Dice in a few weeks), so I randomly threw on GOO for probably the first time in ten or so years.

I know it's not their finest hour (usually a toss-up between BAD MOON RISING, EVOL, SISTER and, of course, DAYDREAM NATION, yeah yeah, I know...) but *OOOOF* is GOO ever pretentious! Are you kidding me? Can you listen to "Tunic (Song for Karen)" without wincing? Kim Gordon should be slapped with a large, frozen sea-bass for that.

Blah!

And you say?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:00 (seventeen years ago) link

I saw that tour and they were selling Goo panties.

Sean (Sean), Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:06 (seventeen years ago) link

It's got "Kool Thing" which from my viewpoint is their only decent song, therefore is classic. But I'm sure anyone who's listened to more than one and a half SY albums would disagree...

Jacob, Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:08 (seventeen years ago) link

I actually rather like it.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Sonic Youth settles very comfortably into a rut and promptly jumps the shark. Destroy.

(those 8-track demos and live versions that appeared on, er, boy I can't remember what EPs around the same time were alright though)

Aaron W, Thursday, 14 November 2002 16:16 (seventeen years ago) link

It was my first Sonic Youth album and therefore classic! Changed my life! If it was pretentious, I was 14, so it was precisely what I needed.

Also:

Dirty Boots!

Dirty Boots baybeeee!

teeny (teeny), Thursday, 14 November 2002 17:11 (seventeen years ago) link

At the time I really loved it cause I was big on supposed "sell-out" albums. "It's on a major, it must be great!" Oh, how perverse, yawn. I still think it has great songs on it. I love "Mary Christ".

Arthur (Arthur), Thursday, 14 November 2002 17:24 (seventeen years ago) link

songs = a step down from daydream nation

production = piss poor duddy dud

pettibon cover art = classic


search: goo demos.

gygax!, Thursday, 14 November 2002 18:03 (seventeen years ago) link

Oh, don't go getting your Goo panties in a wad. It's definitely their first pro-forma rawk record, but it's got some decent cuts (the aforementioned "Boots," "Mary-Christ," "Mildred Pierce," "Titanium Expose"). Put another way, I haven't traded it in yet, which I can't say about several SY albums that came after.

Lee G (Lee G), Thursday, 14 November 2002 18:14 (seventeen years ago) link

yeah tunic's awful.
the worst spoken bits on record
this side of 'shorley wall' by ooberman.
'kool thing' ace though, ditto 'disapearer'.

cover's ace too, although isn't it something to do
with myra hindley or did i dream that ?

piscesboy, Thursday, 14 November 2002 18:30 (seventeen years ago) link

i say you couldn't be more right alex.

kephm, Thursday, 14 November 2002 19:12 (seventeen years ago) link

Goo is great.
It's got Mildred Pierce on it!

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 14 November 2002 19:16 (seventeen years ago) link

Goo was the second SY alb I owned and I LOVED LOVED LOVED it. Probably still do. Never liked "Kool Thing" that much, though.

Jody Beth Rosen (Jody Beth Rosen), Thursday, 14 November 2002 19:38 (seventeen years ago) link

its a good rec really.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 14 November 2002 19:43 (seventeen years ago) link

It's probably better than Sister and DN but not as good as Dirty or Evol. It actually moves ("Titanium Expose" actually feels like rock music) and the production's clean enough that you can actually hear every detail of what they're doing. (Judging by their performances this summer, there's probably a lot missing from Daydream Nation because of the general lack of high end.) It was also where they started focusing on how to incorporate the noise into the fabric of 'normal' rock songs themselves rather than just setting it aside into 'guitar solo'-like sections. The playing's a bit tighter than on the two previous records, which is a good thing. "Dirty Boots" is great, "Mote" and "Disappearer" are heart-achingly lovely (Lee Ranaldo got good when he started singing). I'm not totally sure what you mean by "pretentious" or why you find this more pretentious than those other albums you mention. The Kim Gordon songs might be a bit smug lyrically and I could understand taking issue with the treatment of Karen Carpenter in "Tunic". The lush guitars on that track are nice though. "Kool Thing" was the highlight of their Montreal show in 2001 BTW.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Thursday, 14 November 2002 20:02 (seventeen years ago) link

. . . and lets not forget the joy that is driving down the motorway to "Mildred Pierce". I think it is a bit "jump the shark", it marks the end of the Blast First period and the beginning of the "Godfathers of Grunge" self-reverance. I still like it (even though I've not heard if for about five years) as it was my introduction to Sonic Youth at the tender age of fifteen.

If anyone hears it and feels disappointed just be glad you weren't a silly bastard like me and shelled out SIXTEEN FUCKING QUID for Thurston Moore's "Psychic Hearts", possibly the worst album I've ever heard. Any other Youth related project sounds ace to me now as a result.

Lynskey (Lynskey), Thursday, 14 November 2002 21:12 (seventeen years ago) link

KOOL THING, highlight to a SY live show????
I am sure glad that hasn't happened at any of the shows ive seen.

kephm, Thursday, 14 November 2002 22:22 (seventeen years ago) link

''(Judging by their performances this summer, there's probably a lot missing from Daydream Nation because of the general lack of high end.)''

sundar- wasn't DN remastered? i never got holf of it. if you have can you tell me what do you think of it. thanks.

again. I love daydream and sister and Goo is beautiful rec but I can't rank 'em really. i have seen SY live so I don't know how diff the songs on DN are.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Thursday, 14 November 2002 22:24 (seventeen years ago) link

I'm gonna say classic, because it's my favourite of their albums. Plus the band themselves don't seem to like it.

Vic Funk, Thursday, 14 November 2002 22:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Their 2nd best album. Tunic is ace (and so is Shorley Wall)

electric sound of jim (electricsound), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:18 (seventeen years ago) link

When it came out, I thought it was so-so, but maybe it's my favorite now. In all honesty I don't listen to them anymore.

Sean (Sean), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:23 (seventeen years ago) link

It isn't as good as Sister, Evol or Daydream Nation, but Goo is OK by me, it's rock and roll. I saw them right after it came out with Redd Kross in a small room at IU Bloomington and it was one of the absolute most fun times I ever had seeing a band.

I can't haven't been able to get into their last three albums at all and haven't even bothered with the new one, although I would check them out live if they ever decided to play some place in the midwest again, which they haven't forever.

The thing that is such a let down on later Sonic Youth is that their music sounds lethargic and doesn't have the same energy coming up from the drums. For a couple of years Steve Shelley was tapping into some Keith Moon freakbeatery that was awesome, now the drums just don't have that kind of drive.

earlnash, Friday, 15 November 2002 00:36 (seventeen years ago) link

'disappearer' is classic, i don't remember anything else about the album other than the video for kool thing and thurston moore eating corn flakes.

keith (keithmcl), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:41 (seventeen years ago) link

Alex in NYC's right. "Tunic" is embarassing. Kim Gordon should be kept away from the microphone as a general rule.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 15 November 2002 00:45 (seventeen years ago) link

How about Washing Machine?

David Allen, Friday, 15 November 2002 01:14 (seventeen years ago) link

Never heard it, actually. I think I was put off enough by GOO that I never bothered with anything after that.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 15 November 2002 01:34 (seventeen years ago) link

Put my vote as "kinda silly but more good songs-qua-songs (as Christgau would burp) than most later albums. Tunic is indeed barf." 7 out of 10.

Anthony Miccio (Anthony Miccio), Friday, 15 November 2002 02:26 (seventeen years ago) link

their albums always have a certain highs-to-lows ratio and I think Goo's is the most dramatic. a handful of their very very very best (if you don't think Titanium Expose, Mote, Cinderella's Big Score, Dirty Boots, etc. don't rank up there with anything on Daydream or ever, think again), but it's hard to appreciate those when every other track is something goofy and half-baked, not necessarily their most undercooked ideas, but enough to kill the mood.

Al (sitcom), Friday, 15 November 2002 07:59 (seventeen years ago) link

I like "Disappearer"

dave q, Friday, 15 November 2002 08:31 (seventeen years ago) link

''Alex in NYC's right. "Tunic" is embarassing. Kim Gordon should be kept away from the microphone as a general rule.''

kim always has done great vocals. i can't remmeber 'tunic' but she's always been exceptional as a rock n' roll singer.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 15 November 2002 10:09 (seventeen years ago) link

Washing Machine is far and away their worst alb.

I really like the 'video album' (or whatever they're called) that SY made for 'Goo'.

Andrew L (Andrew L), Friday, 15 November 2002 10:21 (seventeen years ago) link

andrew- are you at HMV today? i wuz plannning to pay a visit to the jazz dept to check whether they have any interesting BYG reisuues.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 15 November 2002 10:24 (seventeen years ago) link

No Julio it is my day off! And erm I don't really want to talk abt my 'job' on a public forum, thanks.


Andrew L (Andrew L), Friday, 15 November 2002 10:46 (seventeen years ago) link

sorry andrew.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Friday, 15 November 2002 10:47 (seventeen years ago) link

"Disappearer" is one of my all-time favorite SY songs. So classic.

o. nate (onate), Friday, 15 November 2002 16:08 (seventeen years ago) link

"Kim always has done great vocals. i can't remmeber 'tunic' but she's always been exceptional as a rock n' roll singer."


With all due respect, Julio, I sincerenly think you're mistaken, or at least when it comes to this track. Dig it out and listen again, then let's discuss. I think it's absolutely vile.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Friday, 15 November 2002 16:36 (seventeen years ago) link

Still love it alot, despite loads of filler. Throw me in the "Disappearer" pile.

James Blount (James Blount), Saturday, 16 November 2002 10:16 (seventeen years ago) link

The only thing I hated about this record was the video for "Kool Thing."

I reread Kim's Spin interview with L.L. Cool J, which inspired the song, and I'm still like, What did he do to deserve this? Their best vid was "Beauty Is in the Eye"...

Pete Scholtes, Sunday, 17 November 2002 22:07 (seventeen years ago) link

Was also my first SY album purchase. But disregarding any sentimentality I may have for it, it's probably still my favorite anyway. "Kool Thing" is a fine tune, uncharacteristic for them or not. "Dirty Boots" opens with a bang and "Titanium Expose" closes even better. "Mote" is one of Lee's best ever songs on a SY record. Even "Tunic," as labored as it might seem, still has some redeeming values (mentioning Dennis Wilson, for one).

paul cox (paul cox), Sunday, 17 November 2002 22:34 (seventeen years ago) link

I really enjoy most of it, except for maybe the Chuck D bit on Kool Thing because even then I thought it smacked of "hey, let's get someone with rap cred to show we're down with the kids" awkwardness.

Nicole (Nicole), Sunday, 17 November 2002 22:49 (seventeen years ago) link

heard it again last night: alex can you explain what's wrong with Kim's singing on 'tunic'. Granted, its not amongst their greatest but I like her 'morose' singing on it and it does suit the backing track.

I like chuck's bit on 'kool thing' too. they are now on a major label and they can get chuck D to guest on a track. I never got the 'down with the kids' thing at all nicole.

Its a good rec.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 18 November 2002 10:24 (seventeen years ago) link

"Alex can you explain what's wrong with Kim's singing on 'tunic'?"

What's right with it?

In all seriousness, it's less an example of "singing" and more of a recitation. There's nothing necessarily wrong with that part of it, but Gordon's lifelessly deadpan delivery, coupled with what I consider to be a rather churlishly contrived narrative (ooh, look, I'm eulogizing soft-rock demi-goddess Karen Carpenter in a relatively shallow way...am I being ironic? You decide!) renders the whole thing embarassing and unlistenable.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 18 November 2002 13:13 (seventeen years ago) link

Does anyone know what Richard Carpenter thought of it?

Marcello Carlin, Monday, 18 November 2002 13:52 (seventeen years ago) link

well yr initial statement on it suggested you had probs with the delivery. and yes, there is nothing wrong with it.

when I listen to music I listen to sound. I find it very hard to concentrate on the lyrics (so I didn't know what it was abt).

''again. I love daydream and sister and Goo is beautiful rec but I can't rank 'em really. i have seen SY live so I don't know how diff the songs on DN are.''

that should be ''haven't'' seen SY live.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 18 November 2002 14:04 (seventeen years ago) link

"when I listen to music I listen to sound. I find it very hard to concentrate on the lyrics (so I didn't know what it was abt)."


Can you walk and chew gum at the same time, Julio?

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 18 November 2002 15:27 (seventeen years ago) link

with the voice it is the sound that it makes. I can get choruses becuz they get repeated over and over again but even that is a stretch at times but I've no clue abt verses.

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 18 November 2002 15:50 (seventeen years ago) link

Then I can't help you.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 18 November 2002 15:58 (seventeen years ago) link

NOOOO!!!!!!

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Monday, 18 November 2002 16:03 (seventeen years ago) link

alex he wz reaching out there and you pushed him away

it's not ironic, i don't think: KC wz a good singer and hers wz a sad story

mark s (mark s), Monday, 18 November 2002 16:36 (seventeen years ago) link

"KC wz a good singer and hers wz a sad story"

Inarguably, but I don't feel said story was presented in a necessarily sincere manner in "Tunic." I'm not suggesting that Kim Gordon was intentioally MOCKING Karen Carpenter, but to address this issue so blithely ("you look so underfed") and then augment the story with the most tired cliché in the book (that Karen Carpenter is in heaven and has made friends with fellow dead rock stars and formed a band) is beyond trite. That I find it irritatingly distasteful has less to do with any reverance for the Carpenters and more to do with my disgust at Sonic Youth's pretentiousness.

Alex in NYC (vassifer), Monday, 18 November 2002 16:51 (seventeen years ago) link

Goo's better than Dirty.

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 21:18 (fourteen years ago) link

DN, Goo and Dirty are all about equal for me these days.

The Good Dr. Bill (The Good Dr. Bill), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 21:28 (fourteen years ago) link

Byron Coley's notes actually irritated me, especially the bit at the front that was more or less saying "IF YOU NEVER HEARD THE ROCK BEFORE YOUR EARS SUCK NYAH NYAH ROCKIST ROCKIST BTW PEEPS OK".

Well, at least, this time, there seems to be more quotes from the band in his liner notes, which is what I was primarily interested in... Wasn't into his Deluxe Dirty liner notes... especially after giving Dirty a good listen, and confirming it sounded like a constipated Goo, but not in a good way.

donut Get Behind Me Carbon Dioxide (donut), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 22:59 (fourteen years ago) link

If/when I finally get the Dirty special edition, I can see myself listening only to the bonus disc.

Ned Raggett (Ned), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 23:01 (fourteen years ago) link

As for your fucked liner notes, Dr. Bill, I'll double check, but I didn't notice any problems like that with mine. Maybe you should consider going back and getting a new copy if you still have your receipt?

donut Get Behind Me Carbon Dioxide (donut), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 23:03 (fourteen years ago) link

I'd sound far too pathetic doing it to make it worthwhile.

The Good Dr. Bill (The Good Dr. Bill), Wednesday, 21 September 2005 23:56 (fourteen years ago) link

As for your fucked liner notes, Dr. Bill, I'll double check, but I didn't notice any problems like that with mine. Maybe you should consider going back and getting a new copy if you still have your receipt?

Seconded...no such repetition in my booklet. Just irritation.

Sean Carruthers (SeanC), Thursday, 22 September 2005 00:12 (fourteen years ago) link

(Lee does sing "Mote". It's "Disappearer" that I was confused about.)

Sundar (sundar), Thursday, 22 September 2005 01:19 (fourteen years ago) link

yeah, the 8-trk demos ARE the Sonic Deth Goo Demos versions...
which i think make a good case for seeing how SY went from Point A (daydream) to Point B (goo/dirty). you can see how the song writing was changing into more focused territory but still pretty well wrapped in a gauzy layer o' fuzz/noize.

eedd, Thursday, 22 September 2005 10:58 (fourteen years ago) link

Just wanted to speak up for the SY fans who lost interest after EVOL. There was the occasional flash of subsequent brilliance ("Schizophrenia", "Mote") but the sustained dark-dream-undertow was lost to the sands of time... it's odd that a band that was so important to me in '86 now is closing in on a 20 year losing streak. Jesus I'm old.

Edward III (edward iii), Thursday, 22 September 2005 16:15 (fourteen years ago) link

What was the last SY album you bought, Edward?

Alfred Soto (Alfred Soto), Thursday, 22 September 2005 16:18 (fourteen years ago) link

Actually purchased with my hard earned money?
Master Dik

Listened to and/or owned a copy?
Daydream Nation
Whitey Album
Goo (actually listened to this quite a bit in some weird sado-masochistic ritual fashion)
Dirty
Experimental Jet-Set Trash and No Star
SYR1 / SYR3
Sonic Nurse

Have sampled songs here and there from other releases but have heard nothing to disprove my theory. Also saw them live a couple of times in the late 80s / early 90s.

Edward III (edward iii), Thursday, 22 September 2005 16:32 (fourteen years ago) link

Any one of SY's '88-'92 albums >>>>> the rest of their non '88-'92 catalogue combined

The Good Dr. Bill (The Good Dr. Bill), Thursday, 22 September 2005 17:12 (fourteen years ago) link

Edward somewhat OTM... Excellent taste and curating ability aside, Sonic Youth has yet to release an album on the scale of anything like Daydream Nation since. Goo was definitely the beginning of that slide.

gygax! (gygax!), Thursday, 22 September 2005 17:21 (fourteen years ago) link

Here's my SY "phase" breakdown

* Sonic Youth (1982)
* Confusion Is Sex, Kill Yr Idols (1983)
* Bad Moon Rising, EVOL, Sister, Master-Dik 12", Ciccone Youth (1985-1988)
* Daydream Nation, Goo, Dirty (1988-1992)
* Experimental Jet Set, Trash, And No Star, Washing Machine, A Thousand Leaves (1994-1998)
* NYC Ghosts & Flowers, Murray Street, and Sonic Nurse (2000-2004)

(The SYR series is its own parallel universe, though not completely unconnected. I left off some other odds and ends here and there like Silver Sessions (for Jason Knuth) for brevity.)

I did this because my appreciation of each "phase" (as I broke it down here) sways up and down in varying degrees. Sometimes, I want to listen to Sonic Nurse.. other times, I just want to here "Inhuman" REALLY fucking loud.

This probably speaks very highly of the band, if my opinion of the albums wavers up and down all around the catalog, all the time. I can't think of too many other bands where I'll revisit and revise my opinion on a band's oeuvre like that.

Currently, I'm re-appreciating the 1994-1998 phase... I don't see this as a sliding scale from the previous one at all! In fact, while it may have been a departure from Dirty, Experimental, etc. is a pretty damn stellar album, better than Dirty by miles -- I say this now of course.

donut Get Behind Me Carbon Dioxide (donut), Thursday, 22 September 2005 17:45 (fourteen years ago) link

Ahh 'Goo'... The kind of album that only really makes sense if it hit you as a teen and without which teenage-dom would have been so much poorer.
Listening to the Deluxe version, I remember that being 16 can be the most awesome thing in the world.

Baaderonixx and the hedonistic gluttons (baaderonixx), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 09:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Do I really need the Deluxe version? or is my original copy just fine?

meister, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 10:52 (fourteen years ago) link

its my first sonic youth album, but i remember being 13 and confused as to whether i should be impressed or disgusted by what i heard. like, "this is COOL? this sounds kinda bad."

i think goo's a really spotty, flawed album. its got great moments and then really really horrible moments -- which is kind of what's ultimately great about it. from what ive read about the recording process, it seems like they just went hog crazy with the advance form DGC. they set up mics in all corners of the room, the mixes were lousy, they did what they could to salvage it.

maria tessa sciarrino (theoreticalgirl), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 11:15 (fourteen years ago) link

Do I really need the Deluxe version? or is my original copy just fine?

I bought the vinyl version of the deluxe edition, largely because Goo was the only SY album I didn't have on vinyl, so I can't say if the CD sounds radically different than the original, but I didn't notice any major changes. The drums on "Dirty Boots" sounded a lot better, but that could also be due to the format. The live version of "The Bedroom", which I did have on vinyl prior to this, sounded better on the Dirty Boots EP, however.

That said, there's an interesting mini-essay by the guy that helped put together the deluxe edition, and all the sonic renovations they made, here: http://www.sonicyouthmedia.com/alt-main/goopop.html

Vic Funk, Wednesday, 28 September 2005 12:13 (fourteen years ago) link

Vic, thank you for the link. Pretty much answers all the questions and then some.

I guess I should download those UC Irvine live show Mp3s while I can, if they are improved.

donut hallivallerieburtonelli omg lol (donut), Wednesday, 28 September 2005 16:38 (fourteen years ago) link

Goo is patchy, inspired, inconsistent and brilliant in places. It was the perfect introduction to Sonic Youth. In my last year of junior high school this record kicked my ass like very few before or since, and began a long-standing love affair with a great band which continues to this day.

J-rock (Julien Sandiford), Thursday, 29 September 2005 00:53 (fourteen years ago) link

Well, I also just got the big Goo deluxe vinyl. I'm all gooey.

donut hallivallerieburtonelli omg lol (donut), Thursday, 29 September 2005 05:11 (fourteen years ago) link

I read the discography in Confusion is Next last night, and now I'm wondering why they didn't include their cover of Beefheart's "Electricity" on the deluxe edition. Were two Lee-sung bonus tracks ("I Know There's An Answer" and "Lee #2", in addition to the "Mote" demo) deemed enough from him, did they forget aboot it, or was it recorded during the timeline that will be covered on the Daydream Nation set?

Vic Funk, Thursday, 29 September 2005 10:42 (fourteen years ago) link

eight years pass...

It's a testament to the writing on this album that the band, per the deluxe edition, probably could have released the songs in demo form and folks would have been cool with that. And SY likely would have "broken through" just as well.

Josh in Chicago, Tuesday, 22 April 2014 16:13 (six years ago) link

two years pass...

This is the only SY album I really like. I've tried and tried with Daydream Nation and can never get further than a few songs in.

Lennon, Elvis, Hendrix etc (dog latin), Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:15 (three years ago) link

How many others have you tried?

FWIW I think "Washing Machine" is now the correct point of entry for this band.

Tim F, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:36 (three years ago) link

Goo is a very good album tho.

Tim F, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:37 (three years ago) link

i could never get into daydream nation either but i had a huge goo phase

who is extremely unqualified to review this pop album (BradNelson), Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:37 (three years ago) link

goo my fav

nxd, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:41 (three years ago) link

Sister and Sonic Nurse are the correct entry points.

The burrito of ennui (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:47 (three years ago) link

Also good albums

Tim F, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:49 (three years ago) link

Goo and Rather Ripped are the two I will listen to front to back. I go in search of particular tracks on all the others.

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Tuesday, 29 November 2016 12:53 (three years ago) link

I've dabbled in SY. I bought Rather Ripped when it came out and remember enjoying it. Every so often I have a rummage around in their back catalogue and try a random album. Often I'm put off by the fuzziness and lack of low-end, although I get the point, but black metal usually fills that frequency for me better than indie-noise. Now I come to think of it, my first intro to the band was Experimental, Jetset... which I got out the library when I was quite young and was confused by. I haven't heard Washing Machine or Sonic Nurse, but I hear they're good.

Lennon, Elvis, Hendrix etc (dog latin), Tuesday, 29 November 2016 13:15 (three years ago) link

It's not my favorite anymore, but honestly EVOL was the entry point for a whole lot of people in the 80s, and I think it's probably a good place to start. My current favorite is NYC Ghosts and Flowers, so not saying anything about quality in hindsight, but the larger world (of music geeks) discovered Sonic Youth via EVOL and the Ciccone Youth single, and it only seems proper to respect that.

dlp9001, Tuesday, 29 November 2016 16:39 (three years ago) link

Love Evol, hate that Ciccone Youth thing.

Spiritual Hat Minimalism (Sund4r), Tuesday, 29 November 2016 17:10 (three years ago) link

My sonic youth love has always been dirty. Their punk album. The long tracks always make me think of the 60s and grateful dead etc. That's not what i like (about this band). Yes it was the first abum i ever heard by them. There is this theory about sy that you love the first album you heard the most..

it's the distortion, stupid! (alex in mainhattan), Friday, 2 December 2016 23:25 (three years ago) link

Sister and Sonic Nurse are the correct entry points.

It was Dirty for me.

a serious and fascinating fartist (Simon H.), Friday, 2 December 2016 23:56 (three years ago) link

Dirty was the first I heard (and it blew me away). I still love a lot of it but I wouldn't rank it as my favourite. It actually struck me as a new kind of psych/prog rock when I first heard it as a teenager!

I've been working through the albums chronologically (obv with other things in between) since I started reading KG's book this week. Just hit play on Goo (90s cassette) now. Love "Dirty Boots" so much.

Something I've been thinking about is the extent to which the often-criticized out-of-tune singing might actually be necessary/appropriate over the intentionally detuned guitars, although I do think that their intonation as vocalists is less controlled/deliberate than their intonation as guitarists.

Spiritual Hat Minimalism (Sund4r), Saturday, 3 December 2016 00:22 (three years ago) link

EVOL is the shit, dl. Creamy genderfucked lunacy. Absolute high point of "indie rock" imo

sushi and the banh mis (Drugs A. Money), Saturday, 3 December 2016 08:03 (three years ago) link

washing machine was my intro... what can i say it worked

just sayin, Saturday, 3 December 2016 10:54 (three years ago) link

Kind of funny how they start to just sound out of tune when you overdose on them for a week.

Spiritual Hat Minimalism (Sund4r), Saturday, 3 December 2016 14:16 (three years ago) link

Anything SY (discounting the SYR) after 1986 is basically a refinement on EVOL (not an improvement on, imo although YMMV)

BMR points to EVOL but lacks the tunes n noise structure of the latter that would basically set them up for the next 20 years

Master of Treacle, Saturday, 3 December 2016 15:37 (three years ago) link

one year passes...

i remember being 13 and confused as to whether i should be impressed or disgusted by what i heard. like, "this is COOL? this sounds kinda bad."

oh to be able to recover that teenaged feeling

j., Thursday, 4 January 2018 02:31 (two years ago) link

two years pass...

30 years old today, was it ever polled?

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Friday, 26 June 2020 18:35 (two weeks ago) link

My favorite Sonic Youth album.

Loud guitars shit all over "Bette Davis Eyes" (NYCNative), Saturday, 27 June 2020 03:13 (two weeks ago) link

Just listened to and half-watched the videos from the Corporate Ghost DVD. What stands out rn is that the sound of it is really good: naturalistic but really clear and full, with a satisfying crunch in the guitars. There's almost a lightness in the way the songs zip along tunefully and groovily. I don't entirely disagree with some of the criticisms of the lyrics of "Tunic" upthread.

Feel a million filaments (Sund4r), Saturday, 27 June 2020 04:19 (two weeks ago) link

First album of theirs that I ever listened to and loved as a 14-year-old crusty hardcore punk kid. Totally changed my life...

but when I listen to it now, there are only a few really good tracks on it...though I will say that it contains Lee's finest moment in the band, afaic, with "Mote."

blue light or electric light (the table is the table), Saturday, 27 June 2020 16:25 (two weeks ago) link

It's the weakest of their mainstream trilogy

TikTok to the (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 27 June 2020 16:35 (two weeks ago) link


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