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GOODBYE 20th CENTURY: SONIC YOUTH AND THE RISE OF THE ALTERNATIVE NATION by DAVID BROWNE

GOODBYE 20th CENTURY: SONIC YOUTH AND THE RISE OF THE ALTERNATIVE NATION by DAVID BROWNE

When posting Sonic Youth’s Daydream Nation (1988) as an Essential Elsewhere album last year, I noted that it was as emblematic of its time as the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s. But, as with The Velvet Underground’s influential debut album, it also stood diametrically opposed to the prevailing mood of its period. If this...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Sonic Youth: The Eternal (Matador)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2009 Sonic Youth: The Eternal (Matador)

Lee Ranaldo of Sonic Youth recently noted that they were the Grateful Dead or Rolling Stones of their generation. He meant it seemed they had been around a very, very long time and were still out there doing it. And they are. This is, depending on how you are counting, at least their 16th studio album (which sort of puts them around...

The Dead C: Patience (Badabing)

The Dead C: Patience (Badabing)

As with a previous Dead C album posted at Elsewhere (Secret Earth), this will be -- for most I would guess -- and endurance test rather than an album. This time out though the four tracks (16 minutes, one and half, five and 14 respectively) are all instrumentals -- the drone vocals were something of a hinderance on Secret Earth -- and the...

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts (Matador)

BEST OF ELSEWHERE 2011 Thurston Moore: Demolished Thoughts (Matador)

The solo projects and collaborations of Thurston Moore (of Sonic Youth) have certainly covered a lot of musical landscapes from visceral guitar noise to . . . Well, to this which is mostly gentle, dreamy singer-songwriter work with acoustic guitar, harp, violin and producer Beck on synths, vocals and bass. To a great extent -- because of...

Sonic Youth: Hits are for Squares (Geffen)

Sonic Youth: Hits are for Squares (Geffen)

Smart move under a great title. Not a "greatest hits" (has there been even one?) or even a "best of", but a selection of their favourite SY tracks chosen by the likes of longtime fans Radiohead, Eddie Vedder, film maker Gus Van Sandt, actress Catherine Keener, Beck and others. That piques interest on a number of levels --...

Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon: Running the Risk (2012)

Yoko Ono, Thurston Moore, Kim Gordon: Running the Risk (2012)

Recorded for the album YOKOKIMTHURSTON (shortly after Gordon and Moore of Sonic Youth separated), this typically demanding, poetic piece was -- at almost 10 minutes -- mostly improvised in studio. Also on the album was the 14-minute Early in the Morning which they recorded and released to raise funds for a home in Japan for those displaced...

Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation (1988)

Sonic Youth, Daydream Nation (1988)

There are some albums (such as Sgt Peppers) which so crystallise their period that you cannot imagine that era without them. Then there are others (The Velvet Underground's debut) which appear to stand so diametrically opposed to the prevailings movement of their time that it is usually only in retrospect their impact and importance can be truly...

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