daydream nation

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i love sonic youth. but i'm not sure i love this, ostensibly their masterpiece. i've always been a bit puzzled by the frothing acclaim for it. they really seem to push the guitars far less than on any previous album. there are *three* lee ranaldo spoken/shouted-word tracks for everyone who hates him. kim's at her blankest. the production just makes the guitars sound lazy (compare _bad moon rising_). with "teenage riot," they seem to move towards a cutesy indie-pop sound, odd from the band that did "death valley 69" (and it's 8 minutes!).

don't get me wrong -- the album's far from a dud: "trilogy" is impressive, "candle"'s pretty, the coda of "the sprawl" is trippy, the intro to "'cross the breeze" grooves. but i'd really take _evol_'s lovesick feverish nightmares or frankly even _dirty_'s bile (and much more impressive and adventurous guitar work) any day. _dn_ really seems to be the low point of their 80s work. what am i missing?

sundar subramanian, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Out of all Sonic youth's albums, 'Daydream Nation' is the one I listen to least. Possibly because I only have it on tape. Though, I agree its probably the least adventurous of their albums and I'd much prefer Dirty, Sister or Washing Machine. Its a pretty good album all the same but not their best.

Michael Bourke, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I agree with your assessment of DN, Sundar. For me there's too much meandering flab compared with say, "Sister", which really kicks. "Sister" and "Dirty" would have to be my favourites, and I've always liked "Goo". I like the way they seem to be working against the more conventional production on "Dirty" - trying to find new things to do with the slightly cleaner sound. Steve Shelley's drumming sounds great too. "Sister" has the best moments of any Sonic Youth album - "Cotton Crown" and " White Kross".

Somehow, for no real reason, I lost interest after "Dirty". I'd be interested to know which albums you folks reckon are the best of the 90's SY work.

Dr. C, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Speaking up for DN here ;-) -- before that album I think zer Youth are very sporadic and after it they're...sporadic. It's the one album of theirs that these days I'd actually want to listen to all the way through, and while I wouldn't call it a concept album per se, I would definitely argue it's very well sequenced, hard to hear any other way. I do like _Goo_ quite a bit, though -- "Mote" is actually my favorite SY song ever, and I was pleased as punch that they played it when I saw them a year and a half ago.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

So SY are typically dud with lyrics, and DN stands as a great exception with the title track, Trilogy, and especially Sprawl (my vote for the best SY track) where Kim's vocals just soar. DN is hard to look back at partially because it WAS so influential, but I think that it marries the art and pop aspects in a way only paralleled in small parts of Dirty and Experimental Jet Set (my other fav SY album). DN is not exactly a concept album, but not just sequencing either. There's an epic proto-postrock feel to the work, which I've heard described as "one big riff from start to finish" -- SY's later experimental noise stuff is similarly immersive (Silver Sessions, Diamond Sea, Thousand Leaves) but harder for the most part to wrap your head around, and less likely to get stuck in yer head. All of which is not to piss on Sister, which is utterly brilliant, especially "Catholic Block" but which has no flow and rests more on a feel of bursts of aggression rather than catharsis. DN is when SY ceased to be Punk in any sense of the term, and they're well served for having moved on.

Sterling Clover, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

"Teenage Riot" and "Silver Rocket" are still pretty scintillating to these ears. BAD MOON RISING will always be my fave of theirs. GOO had its moments, but like the good Doctor, I completely lost interest after that. They're a bit of a crotchedy cliche now (with precious little that is actually "Youth"ful about them). Why do they continue to bother? Once upon a time, however, things were different. I always preferred Pussy Galore's potty-mouthed brand of "post-no-wave" guitar squall, however, in the face of SY's rather po-faced avant-gardisms. But hey...that's me.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

as to why they still bother, i think they're only NOW really doing the things they wanted to do (only now KNOWING what it was they wanted to do): like goodbye 20th century/cage/maciunas/ono/all those old avant- beezers, plus the simpsons theme tune, plus thurston's compilations with byron coley of old squakky 60s free jazz etc etc etc

i still sometimes play dn to see if it's as not-much-there as i always feel it is: i built it up SO MUCH n my head prior to its release (their mainstream breakthrough!! yay!!) that i was in denial i think right up till this thread started... and so perhaps that's why I stopped playing 'em in the 90s: subconsciously so as not to be as disappointed again by folks i basically think ought to be gods...

they ARE cool, and the further out the better, and i'm TOTALLY FOR THEM - i just kind of don't somehow much want to hear what actually they do any more: how does that work? (i want so much for thigns to be as good as i want them that i don't listen so as not to be let down)

all could be changed in a moment, all the same: the final show they did with Bob Berg, at the ICA in when? 1984 maybe? 1985? was the best "rock" show i EVER saw in my life bar none: best show of any kind of music, come to that

"youth", ps, was ALWAYS kind of a gag: Lee and Kim just weren't that young even back when they were THE sonic youth

mark s, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I read that it wasn't so much a "gag" as the hybrid of two names - reggae/dub favorite Big Youth with MC5 guitar shogun Fred "Sonic" Smith.

Alex in NYC, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

for sure, whatever: no way l&c didn't say yes to the name-idea without a degree of self-aware amusement

mark s, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

for c read k: i shd have been in bed hours ago

mark s, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

DN and Sister are all I really can listen to anymore. Goo, Dirty and Washing Machine don't do much for me at all, except Titanium Exposé and Diamond Sea. I occasionally will put on Confusion Is Sex or Sonic Death for some background stuff. Bad Moon Rising I really don't like and Evol is nice, but I'm never in the mood. There's much better current slow & pretty music out there.

, Monday, 2 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Is DN the Sonic Youth album for people who aren't that arsed about Sonic Youth, I wonder? I do like them but not with any great passion, and DN is far and away my favourite record by them - it's just so big and grand and it flows so well and sounds so lovely.

Favourite bits - "Teenage Riot"'s opening. The Lee Ranaldo bit in "Trilogy". The quiet one - "Providence" is it? - which atmos-indie bands have been ripping off so fucking much for the last 5 years...

Tom, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

One of the 10 best rock albums of all time. On the same level as yr "Exile...", yr "Twin Infitives", "Radio Ethiopia", "Suicide", "Future Days"...spaced out, horny, paranoid, riffs like bursting stars, blabla insert rock-crit hyperbole.

Omar, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

>So SY are typically dud with lyrics, and DN stands as a great >exception with the title track, Trilogy, and especially >Sprawl (my vote for the best SY track)

since there's no song titled "daydream nation," i'm assuming you mean the "hyperstation" section of "trilogy." though you do mention "trilogy" again so maybe you mean "teenage riot," the big single.

anyway, i actually think _dn_ is one of the weaker 80s albums vis a vis lyrics. _sister_ is wittier and snappier, _evol_ more intimate, _confusion_ more violent. lee ranaldo is at his worst on _dn_ ("my girlfriend's beautiful/looks pretty good to me" is probably the low point). "trilogy" is great but i don't see what makes the lyrics any more special than those of, say, "schizophrenia" or "secret girl." i think the lyrics weaken "the sprawl." they threw out all the fun sex-and-death stuff from their earlier period, leaving burnout beat poetry and indie-boy anthemic nonsense. the lyrics on this album seem to avoid anything that could have personal import. which would make it the album for non-fans, what i always suspected.

>where Kim's vocals just soar. DN is hard to look back at partially > because it WAS so influential, but I think that it marries the

seems more *influenced* by indie convention than any of their other albums.

i'll admit that a big part of my bias comes from that i have much more time for lydia lunch than for dinosaur jr

>art and pop aspects in a way only paralleled in small

it seems weaker on both counts to me. as mentioned earlier, it appears to be the least adventurous. and those songs are simply not very catchy or exciting for the most part. _evol_ seems infinitely more tuneful as far as i can tell.

>Experimental Jet Set (my other fav SY album). DN is not exactly a

speaking of lyrical duds;)

> sequencing either. There's an epic proto-postrock feel to the that could be it. i never much liked post-rock.

>work, which I've heard described as "one big riff > from start to finish" -- SY's later experimental noise stuff is >similarly immersive (Silver Sessions, Diamond Sea, > Thousand Leaves) but harder for the most part to wrap your head >around, and less likely to get stuck in yer head. erf. depends what you listen to, i guess. i don't find them too hard to wrap my head around. i'd still take the 1st 3 albums (which do get stuck in my head no prob.)

> catharsis. DN is when SY ceased to be Punk in any sense > of the term, and they're well served for having moved on.

!

it seems the most conventionally punk rock of any release up to that point, down to the hc drum bit on "cross the breeze."

sundar subramanian, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Back when I was a huge Sonics fan, I hated DN. Now that I never listen to them, I don't mind it as much. But were I to pull out a SY record for any reason other than to sell it, I'd reach for the first four, the Kill Yr Idols EP, and Dirty first.

Otis Wheeler, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure about dismissing albums on the 'for non-fans' ticket. I love 'Daydream Nation' and am not that bothered about a lot of there other stuff, but I don't think this devalues my opinion. I'll try to explain my preference.

All this is from the viewpoint of someone who isn't a 'close listener' to a lot of records, like I sense a lot of the people on ILM are. I dismiss things quite quickly and rely on an instinct for what I like. Sometimes time makes me reconsider, sometimes not.

The pinefox once quoted me as saying that I don't think pop music should aspire to being 'epic in sound and scope'. By and large that's true. I generally find that records with such ambitions are boring and just make me think of tedious men with nothing else in their lives but their record collections. I don't think artrock, prog rock or shoegazing music has ever taught anyone anything very much, nor do I find it interesting for its own aesthetic sake. A few artists make terrific 'mood music' (eg. Air's 'Virgin Suicides' soundtrack') and if they achieve that by the use of interesting chord progressions then good for them.

For a band to make a beautiful, coherent slab of an aesthetic statement that relies more on guitars than lyricism or pretty melodies is for me, pretty rare but I think 'Daydream Nation' does it. It's all tied up with all sorts of things that 'serious fans' might consider trivial. The sleeve, for starters. Can't be doing with all that pre-DN scratchy indie look. The title. The fact that it's a double album. The band looking and acting so fucking NY cool.

Then, on a more substantive note: The sequencing of the tracks, That build-up to 'Teenage Riot'. The blank, knowing dumbness and numbness of that Lee Renaldo line that you hate ("my girlfriend's beautiful/looks pretty good to me"). Those soaring vocals. 'Providence' and its part in the dynamism of the album. All the things that Omar said ('horny, paranoid, spaced out'). The way the whole thing comes across like the defining statement of a generation that probably never really existed. It's a fucking great ride and I'm going home to listen to it right now.

Nick, Tuesday, 3 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

dr c: _washing machine_ is worth checking out. they moved to a more slow, droning, jammy, lush, krautrock-influenced sound. the album is, surprisingly, filled with fretboard guitar solos. they tend to be dissonant, intricate, and spiralling.

i really like _a thousand leaves_ when i'm in the mood. it's a mix of surprisingly no-wavey noisy deconstructed songs and long psych- influenced tracks. there are some embarrassing psychedelic lyrics on the latter ("today i said goodbye to my conflicted goddess/her lush eyes show surprise at how we gather knowledge") that i really need to be in the mood for. it's more pedal-happy than any of their other albums. they get some new and interesting guitar sounds and have some great guitar interplay.

there are some brilliant tracks on _goodbye 20th century_ that approach being as original, exciting, dangerous, and erotic as their earliest material. my favourites are the oliveros, reich, and tenney. i think the wolff was good too. the good tracks are worth buying the collection for me but you might want to be a bit careful -- it's nothing like _sister_ or _dirty_.

sundar subramanian, Saturday, 7 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

Re: "Is DN the Sonic Youth album for people who aren't that arsed about Sonic Youth" and "non-fans ticket".

I read above sentences as synonyms for "best album". Though also as synonyms for "most accesible", which certainly isn't necessarily synonymous with "best album". But, uhh, I'd say it mostly is.

First SY I heard was "Death Valley 69" and then EVOL. Both sounded amazing in my mid-teens (when frame of reference was comparatively narrow; not sure how a first-listen would strike me now). When DAYDREAM came out, it seemed - as detailed above - "grander in scope" but also a step back from the wild, careening feel of EVOL. Which wasn't a good thing, in my view. 'Course, that retreat had already occured on SISTER, leaving DAYDREAM just grander. Which isn't a bad thing - uhh, "grandness" is mostly a good thing.

When JETSET came out, it seemed they'd reached the "just another SY album" nadir. I remember trashing that album in print, but can't be sure I actually listened to it before writing the review (it coincided with embarrassing and thankfully short-lived "Meltzer-phase".)

As for DAYDREAM, haven't heard it in 10 years, but still own it, which (as a compulsive LP-then-CD trader) means I hold it in high regard, ie. classic. (Though also raises question, if I haven't played it for 10 years, what am I keeping it for?)

And, oh yeah, I thought "Silver Rocket" was the "hit" off DAYDREAM. "Teen Age Riot" was more the "critical pick".

AP, Saturday, 7 April 2001 00:00 (seventeen years ago) Permalink

two years pass...
i thought this thread was longer for some reason

jess (dubplatestyle), Thursday, 24 April 2003 04:55 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

there's def a longer thread about DN somewhere out there. i remember arguing with mark about the bass (which i realize now is very much not there, but i still like it like that). also, the author of that thread was responsible for the only e-mail response i've gotten to something i've written on ilx ever.

mitch lastnamewithheld (mitchlnw), Thursday, 24 April 2003 09:25 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

me? i know nothing abt bass

mark s (mark s), Thursday, 24 April 2003 12:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

so,sonic youth doing "daydream nation" live is C or D?

Zeno, Wednesday, 25 July 2007 17:00 (ten years ago) Permalink

i haven't seen em doing it this year, but the live stuff on the deeeeeeluxe edition's bonus disc kills. full on maelstrom mode.

tylerw, Wednesday, 25 July 2007 17:07 (ten years ago) Permalink

thread on the daydream nation shows:
I'm downstairs from your window.. if you're up.. tell me if you've got tickets to sonic youth at mccarren park

Steve Shasta, Wednesday, 25 July 2007 17:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

it's absolutely the best sy record, because quite simply it finds them firing and at the top of their game on all levels. the guitar interplay is as focused and as furious as it ever was and has been since, the songwriting is as sharp as ever, and despite the sprawling length of the record, the individual songs are extremely tight

Charlie Howard, Thursday, 26 July 2007 07:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

Daydream Nation is my favorite. I never thought about the production until I read complaints about it, but then I took notice and decided I actually liked it. It was one of the aspects of the sound I really liked without thinking about it. It bathes the whole thing in a eerie silence and somehow makes everything sound wet, which for some reason I have always liked ("wet" sounds of recordings).

dean ge, Thursday, 26 July 2007 12:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

the album was recorded in three weeks, on a tight budget, and the group and Nick Sansano worked crazy hard to make the impossible happen... i think it sounds *awesome.

stevie, Thursday, 26 July 2007 12:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

college rock

Soukesian, Thursday, 26 July 2007 18:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

high school music

sexyDancer, Thursday, 26 July 2007 18:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

Old people music.

All these things and more!

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 26 July 2007 18:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

half your age plus 8 minus 8

sexyDancer, Thursday, 26 July 2007 18:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

alt weekly "best indie" list music

Catsupppppppppppppp dude 茄蕃, Thursday, 26 July 2007 18:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

suburban urban pining music

sexyDancer, Thursday, 26 July 2007 18:52 (ten years ago) Permalink

badly functioning, rolling automobile music thru low pressure weather system music.,

Lowell N. Behold'n, Thursday, 26 July 2007 19:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

great music

kenan, Thursday, 26 July 2007 19:58 (ten years ago) Permalink

great songs
great guitars
great drums

Mr. Que, Thursday, 26 July 2007 19:59 (ten years ago) Permalink

bass?

dean ge, Thursday, 26 July 2007 20:29 (ten years ago) Permalink

lost in whiteness

sexyDancer, Thursday, 26 July 2007 20:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'd like to know what dean ge means by "wet sounding" sounds interesting.

I know, right?, Thursday, 26 July 2007 21:34 (ten years ago) Permalink

I don't know, man. All I can think of is Slayer's "Raining Blood" for comparison. The entire DN album just sounds like everything got quiet after a rainstorm for some reason and noises have a wet sound to them, like feet slapping dry pavement vs. wet. ?? I'll try to figure it out tonight and comment later. Rather Ripped was the first SY album since DN to have a similar sound to me.

dean ge, Thursday, 26 July 2007 21:38 (ten years ago) Permalink

ee ranaldo

there are *three* lee ranaldo spoken/shouted-word tracks for everyone who hates him.

Wait who hates Lee Ronaldo? Most people I meet love his songs the most and wish he was the lead singer. I know I feel that way. Hey Joni might be my favorite SY song.

filthy dylan, Thursday, 26 July 2007 21:42 (ten years ago) Permalink

weird cut off phrase at the begining there

filthy dylan, Thursday, 26 July 2007 21:43 (ten years ago) Permalink

for the record, "providence" is a lee ranaldo composition as well.

Steve Shasta, Thursday, 26 July 2007 22:17 (ten years ago) Permalink

eeeeeeee! Ranaldo

jaymc, Thursday, 26 July 2007 22:19 (ten years ago) Permalink

I used to like Lee better and then someone laughed at that opinion and said Lee was okay but Thurston carried the band. This was before I even saw them perform on MTV or anything. I figured Lee was the standard "lead guitarist" and Thurston the rhythm/singer guy, but when Lee got a chance to sing, it was cool sounding, like Keith Richards or Ace Frehley. Of course, this is not how it really is in actuality and after only a handful of Lee songs I realized he pretty much sounds the same everytime. But, I do like his tunes. I probably would've liked them a lot better if I never had that conversation way back when. People's words can really affect how I hear things. It's quite amazing, really.

dean ge, Thursday, 26 July 2007 22:24 (ten years ago) Permalink

This might prove the "non-fans"/"not that arsed" thing but I like this album a lot more (and like Evol less) now that I'm much less obsessive about Sonic Youth.

Sundar, Thursday, 26 July 2007 22:50 (ten years ago) Permalink

("Wet sounding" just means "lots of reverb", right?)

Sundar, Thursday, 26 July 2007 22:51 (ten years ago) Permalink

I think Lee's songs are AWESOME and I will see you at the pool.

dan selzer, Friday, 27 July 2007 01:01 (ten years ago) Permalink

xp: I don't know, DN seems pretty dry. Is there lots of reverb? It happens on jazz and blues records, too. I really have to identify the "wet" sound because I'm the one who likes it, so I should know what the fuck I'm talking about, right? ;-)

dean ge, Friday, 27 July 2007 01:12 (ten years ago) Permalink

I'm not sure that DN has a lot of reverb myself. That's just what I usually understand "wet" to mean. I was trying to clarify.

Sundar, Friday, 27 July 2007 01:31 (ten years ago) Permalink

why 'charlatans'? what qualities are sonic youth 'falsely' claiming to have (or have claimed on their behalf?)

Ward Fowler, Sunday, 16 November 2008 14:06 (nine years ago) Permalink

Any qualities.

the pinefox, Sunday, 16 November 2008 14:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

So in other words you don't like them.

Neil S, Sunday, 16 November 2008 14:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

Its more that he doesn't like that SY are identified with his beloved definition of indie and what it might constitute.

All about defining your territories.

xyzzzz__, Sunday, 16 November 2008 14:26 (nine years ago) Permalink

album is good, but Sister was better

J0hn D., Sunday, 16 November 2008 15:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

Sonic Youth are and always have been a load of rubbish, one of the most erroneously revered and pampered gangs of charlatans that pop music has ever seen.

― the pinefox, Sunday, November 16, 2008 1:29 PM (4 hours ago)

That's a bit of a backlash, but I do agree that Sonic Youth is overrated and often unlistenable.

Vision, Sunday, 16 November 2008 17:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

And I will give you a complaint about the rating: Sonic Youth are and always have been a load of rubbish, one of the most erroneously revered and pampered gangs of charlatans that pop music has ever seen.

i was going to say "your loss," but perhaps there is in fact some benefit to this belief

gabbneb, Sunday, 16 November 2008 17:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

le peenfox

eman, Sunday, 16 November 2008 17:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

dude wtf?

I know, right?, Sunday, 16 November 2008 19:03 (nine years ago) Permalink

But yeah, DN is not my favourite by any means, Bad Moon Rising and Dirty definitely figure ahead of it, but Bad Moon Rising is also one of my favourite albums of all time (Death Valley '69 is their best song too prolly).

I know, right?, Sunday, 16 November 2008 19:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

Glad to see someone else likes their early days - it seems like a completely different band to me.

Soukesian, Monday, 17 November 2008 07:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

Daydream Nation is a victim of it's own success. I love it. And I also *like* Sister.

sam500, Monday, 17 November 2008 08:02 (nine years ago) Permalink

EVOL is tops.i wish they would give it the deluxe remastered treatment that DN got.

Professor Respect, Tuesday, 18 November 2008 00:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, I love my scuzzy, buzzy old Zensor vinyls of 'Confusion is Sex' and 'Kill yr Idols', and remastering those would just be missing the point.

Soukesian, Tuesday, 18 November 2008 19:15 (nine years ago) Permalink

(PF: He said "indie fans" not "pop fans" and he clearly means indie in the American sense.)

And, yeah, weirdly, this and Sister are mostly the only SY albums I still listen to in their entirety. I can't totally spell out why though.

Sundar, Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:00 (nine years ago) Permalink

listening to this album feels like a chore, i'm much more likely to put EVOL on

6335, Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

hold. that. tiger.

goole, Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hah, this is like when k3vin k3ll3r wondered how anyone could possibly dislike Belle and Sebastian.

Taken as a whole, Sonic Youth is irredeemably boring and DN is a main offender on this point.

vampire baseball (call all destroyer), Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hah, this is like when th3 l3x last wandered onto an indie thread and acted as if it had been forced upon him

The hardman from the hilarious 'ilx' admin log (some dude), Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

Whenever i think I'm bored with Sonic Youth and maybe I don't really care about them anymore, I'll find some awesome live mid-80's video of them on YouTube and we're cool again.

circa1916, Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

i should add that DN was my original gateway into the 80's era of sonic youth so it will always be worth something to me, but it's probably been 5 years since i listened to the whole thing. i used to put 'teenage riot' or 'candle' on every single mix tape i made

6335, Tuesday, 18 November 2008 20:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

That Pitchfork thing made Teenage Riot sound awful, but, you know what? It's actually fantastic. Your it!

I know, right?, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hah, this is like when k3vin k3ll3r wondered how anyone could possibly dislike Belle and Sebastian

ha, i suppose the angle i was going for was that the music is rather pleasant, rather than good (which a lot of it is, imo)
i like "k3vin k3ll3r" though

Kevin Keller, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

glad you do

I know, right?, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

still, yeah, evol bmr and sister are all definitely better than this, hell murray st and dirty are better than this, i think goo is too....

I know, right?, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:40 (nine years ago) Permalink

i really love kool thing tho

I know, right?, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 02:45 (nine years ago) Permalink

murray street, sister and perhaps nurse could be better than this--- wait what am i doing

sonderangerbot, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 03:13 (nine years ago) Permalink

let's be friends

I know, right?, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 03:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

Dunno if i'd give it a perfect rating ala p*fork, but in general this one is rated about right, methinks (i.e. it really is a goddam masterpiece and probably the best SY album. It has the highest highs, at least IMO)

Sugar hiccup, Makes a pig soar and swoon (Pillbox), Wednesday, 19 November 2008 03:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

There are several better SY albums than this one. One need not look too far. That said, it definitely has its moments.

Chunk o' Funk (Bimble Is Still More Goth Than You), Wednesday, 19 November 2008 03:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

Sundar: so you agree, that liking this record is part of the definition of being an 'indie fan'? Maybe it is - I guess I'm not an indie fan anymore, if I ever was. But as I said, it is not something that I have ever heard mooted or implied as a criterion.

the pinefox, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 12:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

Ha, well, I'm not sure I am either. And I guess you're right that it certainly doesn't seem to be a requirement.;) Just in my own experience, there are many people whom I would call indie fans who don't listen to it. I'll grant that then.

Sundar, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 12:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

But by the same token are there any "indie" albums that define being an indie fan? Wasn't it just a rhetorical device used by the reviewer?

Neil S, Wednesday, 19 November 2008 12:56 (nine years ago) Permalink

no of course not, indie is the one genre that does not have any sort of established critical canon

With a little bit of gold and a Peja (bernard snowy), Wednesday, 19 November 2008 15:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

was quite a bit of DN talk on the recent "best of the 80s" thread, but that's faded out, so i thought i'd post here.

picked up a copy of the "deluxe" 4 lp box the other day, after meaning to for a couple years. listened to it several times since, though just the first two discs, the album proper. and it's been a while, probably 10 years since i owned a physical copy. it's one of those records that i loved absolutely to DEATH, in an obsessive, "this band changed my life!" sense for many years - but then kinda got tired of. or rather just didn't need to hear anymore...

anyway, i find that i still love it to death, though not as much as i once did, and that it seems narrower and tamer than it did in it's moment (in my mental version of its moment, anyway). less like a revolution and more like a rock record. i suppose that's to the band's credit, as it reflects how much they altered the landscape of the world by their presence, eventually molding it into something that might comfortably accommodate them. it's also probably a product of my growing up, the glum accumulation of smallifying perspective.

i also picked up a copy of ciccone youth's whitey album, really a sort of DN companion piece, as they were released just weeks apart. it's amazing how much brilliant material they were spinning off at that point, and with what seemingly offhand casualness. i find that i now enjoy the whitey album a great deal more than DN, probably due to its variety, experimentation and humor. DN comes across as a manifesto of sorts, as this fully developed STATEMENT, and as such it can seem a bit one-dimensional. i mean, it's a big dimension, but it's still just the one.

and that observation makes me think of evol and sister, the two records that preceded DN, and to which it inevitably gets compared by people (like me sometimes) who want to take a swing at DN's indie-canonical primacy. the main difference between DN and those two records is textural. evol's feel matches its back cover: a smeary pinkish watercolor with scrawled handwriting and a bedheaded picture of the terrifyingly young-looking band cut into the shape of a crude heart. it's hazy, gauzy, smeary and raw. it feels homemade, hacked out, almost aimless and catastrophically stoned. achy bruised like waking up the morning after a hundred drinks & smokes the night before. in some ways it's similar to DN - especially in that it maintains a darkly menacing tone throughout - but its haphazard roughness is at odds with DN's purposefulness and sleekness.

sister changed this game up by presenting a patchwork of contrasting textures. it's mock punk here, almost pop there, much more aggressive overall, but it's still got evol's gnarly, raw & tender squall as a sort of glue to hold everything together. i guess you could say that it, too, matches its cover art: an assortment of seemingly unrelated snapshots, mashed together in a psychedelic collage. most crucially to me, as a fan, it lifted the veil of cryptic gloom so that you could see a variety of contrasting personalities through the murk. it was funny, scary, ramshackle, ambitious but unfocused, dumb, smart and often all these things at once.

DN is neither wildly varied and experimental, like sister (i guess they saved the experiments & jokes for the whitey album and master-dik), nor intimate and haunting like evol. instead, it's towering, impenetrable, and very tightly controlled. the songs only wander when they intend to make a point of their wandering, the band lyrics only occasionally crack a smile, and it's very hard to tell quite what it's all about. it's easy enough to catch a few seemingly key phrases in each song, but they're slippery and oblique. the lyrics seem to be talking to themselves, rather than to you. this approach isn't alienating, in fact it's inviting in its mystery, but it does make the record seem a bit impersonal. in the liner notes, byron coley waxes mystified (and perhaps a bit conceited) about how no one ever gets the real meaning behind most of the songs - but come on dude, it's not like they were giving us much to go on.

the relative directness and humor of side 4 go a long way towards personalizing the album, and so side 4 does give lie to my earlier claim about the album's one-dimensionality, but i sometimes that feel that it's too little too late. while i love daydream nation, no question, sides 1-3 have a tendency to go by in a steel-gray blur (leftfield moments like total trash, rain king and providence excepted).

anyway, it's a magnificent album, but i can see why i've listened to it so infrequently over the past few years. it's more about the totality than the niches, implications and wanderings, so maybe when you get it, you've just got it.

a dimension that can only be accessed through self-immolation (contenderizer), Monday, 7 December 2009 09:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

i kinda hinted at another big textural difference between DN & what came before in that talk about "evol's gnarly, raw & tender squall". there's a weird kind of agonized-yet-narcotized hurt present in their earlier work that DN almost entirely excises. on evol and sister, to a lesser extent, there's this weird sort of bleary, self-comforting self-laceration, like poking at a bruise to see how it's coming along, or curling into a fetal position to mitigate pain.

at the same time, evol and sister are druggy as hell, with lots of cryptic wanderings and dead-eyed psychedelic drool. that too gets scaled way back on DN, becoming more an element in the background than a real front & center focus. the devolution of total trash being the album's only real drool-out, and even that feels a bit methodical in comparison to the random scuzzed guitar hairballs that litter the previous records.

and again, the cover art is a dead giveaway for this fairly dramatic shift in focus.

a dimension that can only be accessed through self-immolation (contenderizer), Monday, 7 December 2009 19:03 (eight years ago) Permalink

how can byron conley still be waxing mystified about he's the only guy who gets something? sad to hear that's still his schtick, you'd think he's have outgrown it by now.

anyway sorry to focus on that - really nice writing - this really makes me want to listen to evol again more than anything.

Brio, Monday, 7 December 2009 19:17 (eight years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

holy shit this looks bad

http://trailers.apple.com/trailers/independent/daydreamnation/

dude's name is thurston. and that quote from variety. "Juno as reimagined by david lynch or a funnier, sunnier donnie darko" barf

jaxon, Monday, 9 May 2011 21:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

this movie is sure to be . . . a riot

markers, Monday, 9 May 2011 21:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

it's going to go to the top of the box office charts like a goddamn silver rocket, i tell ya!

tylerw, Monday, 9 May 2011 21:51 (seven years ago) Permalink

Would actually be kinda cool if it was about mike watt trying to help thurston find his shit

Z S, Monday, 9 May 2011 22:23 (seven years ago) Permalink

Thurston and Watt Go To Providence
i'd buy a ticket

tylerw, Monday, 9 May 2011 22:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

That movie is sure to be total trash

kornrulez6969, Monday, 9 May 2011 22:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

DN is neither wildly varied and experimental, like sister (i guess they saved the experiments & jokes for the whitey album and master-dik), nor intimate and haunting like evol. instead, it's towering, impenetrable, and very tightly controlled. the songs only wander when they intend to make a point of their wandering, the band lyrics only occasionally crack a smile, and it's very hard to tell quite what it's all about. it's easy enough to catch a few seemingly key phrases in each song, but they're slippery and oblique. the lyrics seem to be talking to themselves, rather than to you. this approach isn't alienating, in fact it's inviting in its mystery, but it does make the record seem a bit impersonal. in the liner notes, byron coley waxes mystified (and perhaps a bit conceited) about how no one ever gets the real meaning behind most of the songs - but come on dude, it's not like they were giving us much to go on.

yeah weird i don't exactly follow lyrics and it ain't like thurston lee kim exactly reward lyrical attention anyway but a record like dirty, i feel like i do fundamentally get the record on a feels level and well enough on a words level

this one, couldn't really tell ya, it's just ||\\/\/\/\||//\\/\/\/|||/\/\/\/\/\/\||||||||>

j., Saturday, 28 November 2015 23:46 (two years ago) Permalink

The poor boy, rich boy part of the trilogy is about Robert Chambers.

Iago Galdston, Saturday, 28 November 2015 23:51 (two years ago) Permalink

nine months pass...

it beeetter work ouuuut

j., Thursday, 1 September 2016 16:35 (one year ago) Permalink

one month passes...

THURSTON

WATT

THURSTON

brimstead, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 20:24 (one year ago) Permalink

You gotta lay off the mota; your memory goes out the fuckin' window!

spastic heritage, Wednesday, 19 October 2016 21:05 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

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