the Sonic Youth poll for songs with Lee Ranaldo on lead vox

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as requested here: best Sonic Youth album of the '90s

went with just his solo vocals, and a couple w/ other singers where he's really audible ("I Dreamed I Dream" and "Unwind") and left out a bunch where he joins in on unison vocals. 'other' category if you really wanna vote for one of those, or the "Bookstore" or "Wish Fulfillment" demos or "Lee Is Free" or something.

Poll Results

OptionVotes
"Mote" (1990's Goo) 13
"Eric's Trip" (1988's Daydream Nation) 12
"Pipeline/Kill Time" (1987's Sister) 11
"Hey Joni" (1988's Daydream Nation) 11
"Skip Tracer" (1995's Washing Machine) 9
"Hoarfrost" (1998's A Thousand Leaves) 5
"Unwind" (1995's Washing Machine) 4
"Karen Revisited" (2002's Murray Street) 4
"Paper Cup Exit" (2004's Sonic Nurse) 4
"Rain King" (1988's Daydream Nation) 4
"In The Kingdom #19" (1986's Evol) 4
"Wish Fulfillment" (1992's Dirty) 3
"Karen Koltrane" (1998's A Thousand Leaves) 3
"Rats" (2006's Rather Ripped) 2
"Genetic" (1992's 100% single) 2
"NYC Ghosts & Flowers" (2000's NYC Ghosts & Flowers) 1
"What We Know" (2009's The Eternal) 0
"Walkin Blue" (2009's The Eternal) 0
"I Dreamed I Dream" {1982's Sonic Youth EP) 0
"Saucer-Like" (1995's Washing Machine) 0
"Lee #2" (1990's Goo demos) 0
other 0


ronnie james cio (some dude), Monday, 13 July 2009 23:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Genetic"

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Monday, 13 July 2009 23:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Mote" would have taken it if not the for the four minutes of noise at the end.

He was only 21 years old when he 16 (Alex in SF), Monday, 13 July 2009 23:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

Like I said on the other thread, "Hoarfrost." The guy's too fulla bad Beat poetry for my taste, so he only takes off when the music is as mysterious and mysteriously sexy as the best Beat poetry. "Hey Joni" is pretty thunderous though. Even if isn't a dialogue with the most famous Joni, I like to think so: one shit talker addressing another.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Monday, 13 July 2009 23:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

when i saw them last week they played "Hey Joni" and both songs from the new one -- three Lee songs in one show! <3 <3 <3

ronnie james cio (some dude), Monday, 13 July 2009 23:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Hey Joni

kornrulez6969, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Mote" took it BECAUSE of the four minutes of noise at the end!

Sean Carruthers, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

pipeline or mote

Zeno, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

Mote
Mote
Mote

Beanbag the Gardener (WmC), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

Gonna have to agree with everybody else and say "Hey Joni."

Cunga, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

Soto is OTM about him, too

Cunga, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:35 (nine years ago) Permalink

man he is on less songs than i thought he is on

'skip tracer'

lee's "bad Beat poetry" is better than anyone else in the band's "bad Beat poetry"

thomp, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:37 (nine years ago) Permalink

Well, no: Moore sticks to slogans-plus, while Kim filters Germaine Greer through back issues of Artforum.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

Can't decide between "Mote" amd "In the Kingdom #19" which I love for its cinematic feel.

lolsbury hill (Trayce), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

Actually "Wish Fulfilment" is pretty lovely too. Lee always did a line in sad melodees better than Thurston did.

lolsbury hill (Trayce), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:42 (nine years ago) Permalink

my ranking:

Eric's Trip > Skip Tracer > Genetic > Hoarfrost > Hey Joni > Karen Revisited > Pipeline/Kill Time > Unwind > What We Know > Mote > Wish Fulfillment > Saucer-Like > I Dreamed I Dream > NYC Ghosts & Flowers > Karen Koltrane > Rain King > Paper Cut Exit > In The Kingdom #19 > Rats > Lee #2 > Walkin Blue

ronnie james cio (some dude), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

went pipeline/kill time narrowly over eric's trip and genetic

johnny crunch, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:49 (nine years ago) Permalink

karen revisited over wish fulfillment, genetic, and rain king.

ian, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 00:50 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Mote" took it BECAUSE of the four minutes of noise at the end!

Word.

\\00// (SeekAltRoute), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:19 (nine years ago) Permalink

"Mote" would have taken it if not the for the four minutes of noise at the end = throwing a bone to Lee (duh)

Moore sticks to slogans-plus, while Kim filters Germaine Greer through back issues of Artforum.

Soto = national treasure.

Lee's very easily my least fave of the three voxers. But oddly enough, he sings my two fave songs on Daydream Nation (if Trilogy doesn't count). So I'm voting for "Hey Joni" today and "Rain King" if I get another vote.

Even if isn't a dialogue with the most famous Joni

But there's definitely a way in which the most famous Joni haunts the song. She's one of the things we have to put behind us.

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

you think Lee had to convince other members of the band to indulge him with a long noisy coda?

ronnie james cio (some dude), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:25 (nine years ago) Permalink

There's a sense in which he Keeps The Band Real by reminding them of their boho past.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

xpost um, that's not what throwing a bone to him means

But yeah keeping it real (ugh) is about the only function his noise bullshit serves (besides disfiguring good songs/albums).

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

again..."his noise bullshit"? Thurston and Kim songs don't have any long noise sections?

ronnie james cio (some dude), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:39 (nine years ago) Permalink

But yeah keeping it real (ugh) is about the only function his noise bullshit serves (besides disfiguring good songs/albums).

o_O

pure wrongness

Beanbag the Gardener (WmC), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:43 (nine years ago) Permalink

I accept him, like George Harrison in his band, as part of the Sonic Youth Experience; he coughs up at least one song per album that pushes past my visceral biases. I mean, the band is not the same without him.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:44 (nine years ago) Permalink

fuckin the future

Julio Afrokeluchie, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:46 (nine years ago) Permalink

Is Julio Afrokeluchie Dave Queen?

Kevin John Bozelka, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:53 (nine years ago) Permalink

I like Genetic a lot, but I think it's going to get overrated a bit due to the whole "Kim and Thurston leave the best song off of the album" thing.

I think Kim actually has the better vocals on I Dreamed I Dream (wish she'd stayed with that approach instead of descending into suck-dom) so it's hard to give that to Lee.

I'm just going with the best song on this list, from arguably their best album, so Pipeline/Kill Time.

dlp9001, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 01:59 (nine years ago) Permalink

hey joni

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

though this whole list of songs is going to make a killer comp -- i love LEEEEEEE

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:05 (nine years ago) Permalink

that should probably read: this whole list of songs is going to make a killer, slightly repetitive comp

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

guys eric's trip is so much better than hey joni!

in tranny mariah (Matt P), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:07 (nine years ago) Permalink

some dude otm

in tranny mariah (Matt P), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

dunno, i think it's that super cool ending on Hey Joni that seals the deal for me ... one of the top Sonic Youth-y moments for Sonic Youth!

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:09 (nine years ago) Permalink

First of all,

"I mean, the band is not the same without him."

Totally, he is just a fucking great guitar player, so regardless of whether you like "his" songs or not, he is a huge part of what makes this band great. Just so many great Lee moments on almost any SY song. But, this is the Lee vocal poll, I guess, so really difficult for me. Would change all the time, but if I really go with my gut gotta say it's "Hey Joni." Just so good. All the Washing Machine songs are great, he was certainly on a roll from that record through Sonic Nurse (if having one or more songs a record can be considered a roll, but it would make a really good record if you combined the songs from the records from that span). Gotta say the biggest surprise when I gave Sonic Nurse a listen again after a long hiatus was "Paper Cup Exit," stuck out to me as maybe the best song on that record.

grandavis, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

A disproportionate number of my favourite SY songs are Lee's. I picked Hey Joni, but that could have easily been Mote, Wish Fulfillment, or any number of others. He doesn't get a lot of songs per album, but I think he tends to make his song or two really count.

Totally gay for Obama (j-rock), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

yeah, I don't think that Lee is really the "noise guy" of the band -- a lot of his lead guitar stuff is super-melodic, psychedelic grooviness.

tylerw, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 02:31 (nine years ago) Permalink

this is the toughest poll of all

da croupier, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 07:11 (nine years ago) Permalink

Voted Paper Cup Exit.

Marty Innerlogic, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 09:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

fuck me. could have gone with at least 13 of these. went with "Eric's Trip" in the end, probably 'cause it's the very best track (maybe) on their most overrated album ever.

Ioannis, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 09:57 (nine years ago) Permalink

Pipeline or Wish Fulfillment probably my fave tracks of his.

don't really get the noise blame he gets here either (it's Sonic Youth for chrissakes), his songs usually sounds pretty good even before i've had my coffee. like tylerw said, he's often a bit groovier and more adventurous player

sonderangerbot, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:17 (nine years ago) Permalink

We'll know there when we get there.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:18 (nine years ago) Permalink

There's a sense in which he Keeps The Band Real by reminding them of their boho past.

But yeah keeping it real (ugh) is about the only function his noise bullshit serves (besides disfiguring good songs/albums).

this is some seriously wrong shit, even for ILM!

Mr. Que, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:20 (nine years ago) Permalink

So it goes.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

I give most of the credit for the trippiness of ATL, though.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:23 (nine years ago) Permalink

thanks for letting us know

Mr. Que, Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:27 (nine years ago) Permalink

You're welcome, hoss.

My name is Kenny! (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:29 (nine years ago) Permalink

Can't decide between "Mote" amd "In the Kingdom #19" which I love for its cinematic feel.

^this

but I think "the bridge" might be my favorite lee song

鬼の手 (Edward III), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:32 (nine years ago) Permalink

oh believe me, there'll be a Lee side projects poll at some point

swag me to hell (some dude), Tuesday, 14 July 2009 14:34 (nine years ago) Permalink

The fact that "Wish Fulfillment" got only 3 votes is kinda sad

V79, Thursday, 30 December 2010 13:12 (eight years ago) Permalink

low "wish fulfillment" tally is surprising and none for "Saucer Like"?! thanks for the

bb, Thursday, 30 December 2010 15:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

sweet, thx barnaby, never got around to doing that cop myself.

tylerw, Thursday, 30 December 2010 17:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

and enjoy the show tonight! they were awesome when i saw 'em a few months ago.

tylerw, Thursday, 30 December 2010 17:41 (eight years ago) Permalink

tx for the tape, barnaby. looking forward to revisiting some of the post-thousand leaves tracks that i either wasn't crazy about at the time or never heard at all. remember "NYC ghosts and flowers," for instance, being horrid, but maybe i wasn't listening right, i dunno.

anyway, i'm bummed to have missed this poll/discussion, SY being one of my favorite bands, lee being my plastic jesus. would have voted for "mote" (raggett OTM), "rain king" or "i dreamed i dream." god, but "pipeline," but "hoarfrost," but "skip tracer"...

contenderizer, Thursday, 30 December 2010 20:39 (eight years ago) Permalink

Thanks Barnaby.

EZ Snappin, Thursday, 30 December 2010 20:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

Downloaded it. Thanks!

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 30 December 2010 20:56 (eight years ago) Permalink

used to think he was the best songwriter evah or something

'it sounds crazy' but by hit-rate there can't be (m)any better

Rockcrit from the Tuoms (nakhchivan), Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:07 (eight years ago) Permalink

^ OTM

contenderizer, Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:13 (eight years ago) Permalink

tho tobin sprout hit a similar average on those early GBV records

(faultless 2nd bananas poll)

contenderizer, Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

seems like spiral stairs would fit in there, but he is far from faultless

tylerw, Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:15 (eight years ago) Permalink

I would jump off a building and hoped I landed on Spiral Stairs.

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:16 (eight years ago) Permalink

i dont even know which songs he wrote

Rockcrit from the Tuoms (nakhchivan), Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

generally speaking, the ones he sang ... two state, hit the plane down etc.

tylerw, Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:19 (eight years ago) Permalink

well he wrote pavement songs so i'm not sure he's going to be challenging schubert and arthur lee

Rockcrit from the Tuoms (nakhchivan), Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:23 (eight years ago) Permalink

unexpected tag team

contenderizer, Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

the Lennon-McCartney of art-suck?

Gus Van Sotosyn (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:25 (eight years ago) Permalink

are schubert and arthur lee faultless second bananas?

tylerw, Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:26 (eight years ago) Permalink

art suck could be your life

contenderizer, Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:27 (eight years ago) Permalink

arthur LEE, not arthur SUCK...! God, clean out yr ~ears~

Ned Rag & the Evil Olive Gardens (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 30 December 2010 21:34 (eight years ago) Permalink

thanks for that comp!!! lee is the best!!!

pretentious: based on the album 'what happened?' by emeralds (diamonddave85), Thursday, 30 December 2010 22:08 (eight years ago) Permalink

i def wouldve chosen 'hey joni' on this poll cuz its my favorite SY song

pretentious: based on the album 'what happened?' by emeralds (diamonddave85), Thursday, 30 December 2010 22:10 (eight years ago) Permalink

karen I & II are so perfect, beautiful and sad

Nedrag "Neđa" Mijatović (nakhchivan), Thursday, 30 December 2010 22:14 (eight years ago) Permalink

i made a Lee mix a few years ago, cool to see someone else's and some small ways the sequencing is similar (especially opening with Mote/Hoarfrost): http://narrowcast.blogspot.com/2006/08/sonic-youth-notorious-rockin-lee.html#comments

hann am0n tana (some dude), Thursday, 30 December 2010 22:18 (eight years ago) Permalink

yeah hooray and thanks. tried to get this together inspired by his thread but foiled by mp3 lack.

Snop Snitchin, Friday, 31 December 2010 01:43 (eight years ago) Permalink

home from dinner and listening to the comp. lost the sequencing importing it to ituens, so i'm just running it sequentially. wanted to note that the drum break before the second verse of "pipeline", about 1 minute in, is one of my all-time favorite musical moments. bum ... ba BOOM ba ksh ksh (pause) crak boomboom BAM BAM! so rad.

contenderizer, Friday, 31 December 2010 04:24 (eight years ago) Permalink

hokay, so i listened to all the lee is free songs, and they are some great, but it was somewhat disappointing to find that the somewhat disappointing post-dirty dropoff that i once thought i noticed still seems to exist. at least in and among the lee songs. i'd hoped it was mere figment and that i'd be blown away, chagrined chet-like at what i'd then failed to understand. but no.

of the songs i knew, i still dig "skip tracer" and the thousand leaves cuts, still loathe "nyc ghosts & flowers", and "rats" is awesome (but much better than most of RR, iirc). biggest surprise was the relative excellence of "karen revisited" and the eternal tracks (great drum recording). reservations aside, i guess i need to pick up the last 4 albums and really spend some time with them. rather ripped is the only one i've heard from front to back...

contenderizer, Friday, 31 December 2010 06:22 (eight years ago) Permalink

'pipeline' is sucha rad fukken song man

A ‰ (Lamp), Friday, 31 December 2010 06:36 (eight years ago) Permalink

fukken a

contenderizer, Friday, 31 December 2010 06:40 (eight years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

No problem on the mixtape, you're all most welcome.

The Manchester gig I caught in December wasn't so hot unfortunately. I wasn't really feeling the setlist and the band seemed under-rehearsed (Catholic Block took three attempts to get right!).

Still, the encores ruled.

Sonic Youth - Manchester Academy - Dec 30th 2010

1. No Way
2. Sacred Trickster
3. Calming The Snake
4. Tom Violence
5. Walkin Blue
6. Leaky Lifeboat (for Gregory Corso)
7. Poison Arrow
8. Anti-Orgasm
9. Antenna
10. (I Gotta A) Catholic Block
11. Stereo Sanctity
12. What We Know
13. Massage The History

Encore

1. The Sprawl
2. Cross The Breeze

Encore

1. White Cross
2. Death Valley '69

Barnaby, Hardly, Wednesday, 19 January 2011 13:32 (eight years ago) Permalink

haven't seen them in so so long. have to make the time next time they're around.

"i dreamed i dream" got fukken shafted in this poll. one of their very best songs. half regret voting for "mote" now...

normal_fantasy-unicorns (contenderizer), Wednesday, 19 January 2011 13:42 (eight years ago) Permalink

six years pass...

no votes for "Saucer-Like"?????????????????? besides that wack beat poetry shit in the middle, that's one of SY's most thrilling and creepy songs.

flappy bird, Saturday, 29 April 2017 00:10 (one year ago) Permalink

"Saucer-Like" is great, one of the reasons I love that record. Still hard to vote for it over the other classic Lee tunes though.

grandavis, Saturday, 29 April 2017 20:07 (one year ago) Permalink

Would put it over "Skip Tracer" though (even though I also like "Skip Tracer" a lot ....)

grandavis, Saturday, 29 April 2017 20:08 (one year ago) Permalink

one year passes...

My picks

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 January 2019 01:36 (two months ago) Permalink

Hoarfrost is an unexpectedly low key and beautiful choice, from one of my favorite Sonic Youth albums

Dan S, Saturday, 5 January 2019 01:52 (two months ago) Permalink

We'll know wheeeeeennnn

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 January 2019 02:01 (two months ago) Permalink

it's so good

sleeve, Saturday, 5 January 2019 02:02 (two months ago) Permalink

Skip Tracer is my #1, glad to see it listed. Great song, kind of scary.

flappy bird, Saturday, 5 January 2019 04:59 (two months ago) Permalink

"Rats" v. underrated Lee cut.

Western® with Bacon Flavor, Saturday, 5 January 2019 05:44 (two months ago) Permalink

I remember liking Pipeline/Kill TIme but I think Eric's Trip was the first time I thought of Lee Ranaldo as a distinct entity within the band

Dan S, Saturday, 5 January 2019 05:55 (two months ago) Permalink

same!

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 January 2019 16:17 (two months ago) Permalink

even on "Hoarfrost" I thought at first that Moore sang it.

Your sweetie-pie-coo-coo I love ya (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Saturday, 5 January 2019 16:17 (two months ago) Permalink

His solo records have been outstanding. It doesn’t sound anything like Sonic Youth. It’s much more melodic. Almost like classic rock.

kornrulez6969, Saturday, 5 January 2019 16:22 (two months ago) Permalink

Crazy that "Genetic" only ended up with 2 votes. It was on the My So-Called Life soundtrack (which should be polled!)

Jersey Al (Albert R. Broccoli), Saturday, 5 January 2019 16:30 (two months ago) Permalink

he grew up as a deadhead xp

global tetrahedron, Sunday, 6 January 2019 20:30 (two months ago) Permalink

Great Lee video (we need that SYR with Nels Cline!): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tVMo4F2H0dY

EvR, Sunday, 6 January 2019 22:16 (two months ago) Permalink

"Wish Fulfillment" is such a sad song. Like something Thalia Zedek would have written.

timellison, Sunday, 6 January 2019 22:20 (two months ago) Permalink

Skip Tracer is so good.. the production on Washing Machine is stellar, I never really recognized its shortcomings (lack of bass?) ... i didn't realize Lee had such a strong presence on Unwind, it's not so obvious / apparent. a friend of mine once recorded (himself singing) a short parody of Ranaldo's vocal delivery--it's pretty spot on. Haven't kept up with Lee's recent output, he seemed to get a bit hackneyed (similar to Thurston), recycling bits of his old recordings for some of his more recent free-form sound work, but i can't really speak on the recent song-based stuff

braunld (Lowell N. Behold'n), Monday, 7 January 2019 00:15 (two months ago) Permalink

Eric’s Trip made me think about music a little differently when I heard it in high school - like, I’d heard a few Somic Youth songs, and had even seen them live at this point (touring Murray St at a festival), and I got that they incorporated noise, but what I’d heard was the jams in the middle of songs (or just slamming their guitars against the amps during Karen Revisited). Eric’s Trip was the first song I’d heard where the noise seemed to actually propel the song, and it didn’t conform to the way I thought about proper songwriting at all, but I immediately loved it.

JoeStork, Monday, 7 January 2019 03:14 (two months ago) Permalink


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