Thursday, April 21, 2011

When Sonic Youth were youth

This is a performance in 1988 of "Silver Rocket", off of 1988's Daydream Nation. Twenty years later, in 2008, Lee Renaldo had gone gray, Steve Shelley had filled out into a typical middle-aged chunky Midwesterner (not fat, but definitely not a slender youth anymore), and Kim Gordon still looked good but was obviously middle-aged. Thurston Moore, on the other hand, still looked like he was 12 years old. And their recent music is great. Not as noisy as their 80's music, but with a musicality they could not have managed in the 80's. I'll have to program some of it for contrast...

-- Badtux the Music Penguin


  1. OT1H, it's very satisfying to hear a long-lasting group that matures musically as it ages. OTOH, the raw energy of youth has a lot to recommend it, too. When I think that I was 40 when this recording was made, and try to remember what sort of things I was doing that year*, I gain even more appreciation for these (then) kids.

    * I was in my "virtuosic" phase, performing the most godawful acrobatic recorder parts in the baroque literature in front of discerning audiences. I'd never have the nerve to do that today; I'm afraid those audiences would actually, like, you know, discern...

  2. I probably appreciate them more now than I did then. I was in my folk music phase back then, I'd just gotten my first guitar (a Yamaha acoustic) and was busily trying to master some basic folk songs. I still play a mean "Where have all the flowers gone" and can probably muster up a "Blowin' in the Wind" if ya ask nicely, heh. I wasn't much for anything noisy or non-melodic then...

    As for which era of Sonic Youth I prefer, it's all good :). Thurston's 2008 solo album was also pretty cool, he went more melodic there than on his SY stuff, and it really worked.

    - Badtux the Music Penguin


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