Sunday, February 22, 2009
Countdown to Sonic Youth
There's a new Sonic Youth record on the way-- although it's still 3 months off. I read about this one on Pitchfork a few weeks ago (I still value their news reporting, which seems to be independent of their reviews). It's not out until June 9, but I'm still very excited.
I've been listening to a lot of the 3 most recent Sonic Youth albums-- defined by when they suddenly decided they care about melody again. Great records, all. The first two, Murray Street and Sonic Nurse, featured Jim O'Rourke as a full-on member and I sort of credited him for their renaissance. But then he left before they made their most recent record, Rather Ripped, and that one was awesome too. (Not to mention that O'Rourke was already a member on the awful NYC Ghosts and Flowers, so his contributions had been overemphasized in my mind.)
Oh and also, Thurston Moore's most recent solo album, Trees Outside the Academy, is dead-on gorgeous at times. (There are a few noise tracks in there as well, but there are 9 true pop songs that form the core of the record.)
And now former Pavement bassist Mark Ibold is in the band. I saw Pavement live once and didn't think much of anyone's instrumental prowess beyond Malkmus himself, but I'm still intrigued by this combo.
If you haven't heard any of the 3 most recent albums, you owe it to yourself. I'm attaching "Stones" from Sonic Nurse. Awesome song, goes into some jammy stuff in the middle and the end, but never into the noise freak-outs that dragged down would-be cool albums like Washing Machine. It also helps that while Thurston and Lee Ranaldo are at the top of their game, Kim Gordon is as palletteable as she's ever been. (Her songs are still the worst on their respective albums, but there's not the same compulsion to press "skip" that there might have been in the past.)