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

Malcolm Middleton: Sleight of Heart (FullTimeHobby/Rhythmethod)

Malcolm Middleton: Sleight of Heart (FullTimeHobby/Rhythmethod)

This astringent Scottish singer-songwriter and former Arab Strap member appeared at Elsewhere previously with his excellent album A Brighter Beat, the opening track of which was the brittle but... > Read more

Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns: Ancient Astronaut Theory (Rattle)

Dave Lisik and Richard Nunns: Ancient Astronaut Theory (Rattle)

Recently it was my great privilege to be asked to write some liner notes for this album on the estimable Rattle label. It is a very special album as you may hear. So rather than relitigate... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Delta Blues, Reborn and Remastered (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Various Artists: The Rough Guide to Delta Blues, Reborn and Remastered (Rough Guide/Southbound)

Tommy Johnson is one of the more interesting figures in the shadowland of the Delta blues of the Twenties: he recorded fewer songs than the acclaimed Robert Johnson who was no relation (just 16... > Read more

LEW PRYME REMEMBERED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2018): The silver Sixties star with a secret

LEW PRYME REMEMBERED, AT AUDIOCULTURE (2018): The silver Sixties star with a secret

It’s a measure of the popularity of singer Lew Pryme in the mid 1960s that he should appear in the John O’Shea directed music/comedy movie Don’t Let It Get You alongside Howard... > Read more