RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sonic Youth: Battery Park NYC, July 4th 2008 (Matador/Rhythmethod)

 |   |  1 min read

100% (live)
RECOMMENDED REISSUE: Sonic Youth: Battery Park NYC, July 4th 2008 (Matador/Rhythmethod)
This live album was released as a bonus with Sonic Youth's final album The Eternal in 2009 (one of Elsewhere's best of that year) and reminds you what a seminal band they were.

And how much missed they are in the current climate of seemingly unfashionable (if we believe the charts) guitar-based rock.

Effortlessly creating a bridge between NYC avant-garde, guitar-noise and alt.rock, and thus paving the way for Nirvana, grunge, Pavement et al, Sonic Youth continued to extend the landscape they established for themselves and although albums showed decreasing returns they carried on while their students outran them, and continued to deliver interesting records and challenging side projects.

The fact they embraced hip-hop as much as the guitar textures and experiments of the late Glenn Branca only enhanced their reputation, and perhaps further added to their marginalisation by those who just wanted more guitar noise.

It was no joke that a 2011 compilation album selected by famous fans such as Radiohead, Beck, Flea and others was called Hits Are For Squares.

This 10 song collection – which includes The Sprawl, Hey Joni and Hyperstation from their seminal Daydream Nation album – captures their wide-screen yet laser-focused intensity.

That it all fell apart so badly in 2011 after 30 years was more than just a pity, it was ugly and disappointing.

As bassist Kim Gordon wrote in her insightful autobiography Girl in a Band: “The couple [her and husband/guitarist Thurston Moore] everyone believed was golden and normal and eternally intact, who gave younger musicians hope they could outlast a crazy rock'n'roll world, was now just a cliché of middle-aged relationship failure – a male midlife crisis, another woman, a double life”.

Gordon's book peels back the layers of pleasure and pain of the band's career and her personal life, but if you prefer just the thrilling affirmation of their innovative guitar rock then you could do a lot worse than this fat-free live album.

Remember them this way?

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   Music articles index

The Bleeding Allstars: Uneasy Listening (Thokei Tapes/bandcamp)

The Bleeding Allstars: Uneasy Listening (Thokei Tapes/bandcamp)

When the former members of Sneaky Feelings – one of the finest and musically most durable of the first wave of Flying Nun – found themselves in close proximity after many decades they... > Read more

Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol)

Brian Wilson: That Lucky Old Sun (Capitol)

In what sounds like another step in his on-going recovery programme, this album from the former Beach Boy doesn't much change that well-established formula of layered vocal harmonies, uplifting or... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Thom Burton of Wilberforces

THE FAMOUS ELSEWHERE QUESTIONNAIRE: Thom Burton of Wilberforces

Thom Burton is the mainman in the Auckland-based band Wilberforces (clearly he grew with Under the Mountain) and their stark, bristly sound is captured on their second album Vipassana (named for... > Read more

Barbecued Duck Breasts

Barbecued Duck Breasts

These days I, like most people, can toss together a very serviceable and reasonably impressive red curry with duck in just a matter of minutes. It helps when you have a shop selling cooked duck... > Read more