jump to navigation

This Weekend I’ll mostly be Listening to…Sonic Youth, Goo February 19, 2011

Posted by WorldbyStorm in Culture, This Weekend I'll Mostly Be Listening to....
trackback

So, just what is it about this album that makes me pick it over, say, Daydream Nation? It’s hard to say. Perhaps its the more straight ahead song structures, or perhaps the snippet of Chuck D on Kool Thing, and how appropriate to have two bands in a row on This Weekend I’ll mostly be Listening to… that have collaborated with him, that seems, for a trembling moment or two, to chart a way forward for both rap/hip hop and guitar based indie [That this was apparently born of a clash between Gordon and LL Cool J is sort of telling], or perhaps most importantly it’s just Kim Gordon’s vocals that rip along as both an intensely expressive instrument in the mix and as a fundamental medium of communication throughout the album that makes it her own. Or some combination of all these.

But whatever it is from Kool Thing through to hardcore fuelled Mildred Peirce to the entertainingly odd, but hardly any odder than anything else on the album, tribute of sorts to Karen Carpenter this is an album that is cohesive – unlike the still fine Dirty, which was dealt with in passing here, some years later – and uncompromising.

That it coexisted on the guitar spectrum with mid to late period Pixies and perhaps the first elements of grunge somehow, in retrospect, makes a certain sort of sense. In a way one almost has the sense that this is the point where Sonic Youth matured from experimentalists to if not quite mature then more settled music makers. Even, or more accurately particularly, if that original fire was still there. And perhaps that pivot moment is best exemplified by the sense that on the songs here they were still writing about themselves and the immediate whereas with the audacious Swimsuit Issue from Dirty they were somehow, for all the genuine rage, slightly detached and looking in, almost commenting.

I’ve liked a lot of their output subsequently, but of all their albums this is the one I return to most frequently.

Kool Thing [feat Chuck D]


Mildred Pierce

Dirty Boots

Tunic (Song for Karen) video Imagined by Robert Celli Jr

My Friend Goo [self produced video with a bit of a story to it…]

Mote

Comments»

1. Tweets that mention This Weekend I’ll mostly be Listening to…Sonic Youth, Goo « The Cedar Lounge Revolution -- Topsy.com - February 19, 2011

[…] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Northern Ireland and Cedar Lounge Revol, Campaigntrail.ie. Campaigntrail.ie said: This Weekend I’ll mostly be Listening to…Sonic Youth, Goo: So, just what is it about this album that makes me pi… http://bit.ly/fbKOHv […]

Like

2. EamonnCork - February 19, 2011

My favourite Youth album. It’s very odd how moving Tunic, which I suppose at one level can be construed as an avant-garde sneer at middle american culture, actually is. I’ve always thought Chuck D sounds slightly puzzled on Kool Thing but it’s still a great song.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2011

Glad I’m not alone. I’ve often wondered is it because Goo is perhaps a fraction more melodic than other of their early to mid period output is that the reason I go for it. But it’s a very contorted sort of melodicism.

Yeah, Chuck D does sound as if he’s phoning it in, doesn’t he?

I always thought Tunic was much more sincere than a simple sneer. At least I hope so.

Like

Alastair - February 20, 2011

The Karen Carpenter love is the real deal – Kim Gordon is something of an obsessive. The Sonic Youth cover of ‘Superstar’ on the ‘If I were a Carpenter’ compilation is genuinely touching.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2011

Good to know.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 22, 2011

It happens. I just go with it. 🙂

Like

EamonnCork - February 21, 2011

That Superstar version is superb. Damn, agreement with Alastair alert.

Like

3. Mark P - February 19, 2011

I always preferred Daydream Nation, simply because of Teenage Riot, but Goo is a great record too.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 19, 2011

Great great song Teenage Riot. Incidentally didn’t some of Sonic Youth do ambient/experimental stuff?

Like

Crocodile - February 20, 2011

Try ‘Agnes B Musique’ on emusic.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2011

Is it any good?

Like

Crocodile - February 20, 2011

It’s ambient – it would be wrong to get excited about it, either way. There’s hours of it for 49cent, though.

Like

WorldbyStorm - February 20, 2011

“It’s ambient, it would be wrong to get excited about it – either way.”

Brilliant line…

🙂

Like


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: