January 11, 2010 |
Sonic Youth has traveled far with the sounds of beauty and noise, stretching out its repertoire to include no-wave, alt-rock and wild experiments with the music of John Cage. After nearly three decades together, the band's open-ended approach is essentially unchanged and uncompromised, fueled on harmonic intensity, not pop convention. At the Wiltern Theatre on Saturday, Sonic Youth again harnessed a storm of melody and feedback, opening its 90-minute performance with the hurried guitar riffs of "No Way," as singer-guitarist Thurston Moore sang urgently of pain and temptation: "Renounce your lies sweet succubi . . ."
April 3, 2013 |
Sonic Youth came into being more than 30 years ago, when Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore started playing together in New York City. With bandmates Lee Ranaldo and Steve Shelley, they released dissonant, loud, arty records that changed the sound of rock music at the end of the 20th century. And now Gordon is writing a memoir about it. Steve Appleford called their music " the sounds of beauty and noise . " Jonathan Gold, who talked to the band back in 1990, wrote that the "group's strangely tuned guitars rang out like distorted bells or Indian sarods; its deadpan lyrics lay obscurely as punk koans . " For Margaret Wappler, it was a "fusion of high-art experimentation and trashy cool.
October 1, 2010 |
Early in Sonic Youth's set, Kim Gordon, dressed in bronze lamÃ?Â?Ã?Â© that looked like it had been dragged through a dirty New York alley, pushed her bass guitar around on the ground and then stood in front of a pile of black amps on stage. She appeared to be listening to them, those black boxes that regulate the noise, for the kind of mystic instructions that would make the writers of "Lost" proud. For romantics of the rock 'n' roll squall, the Hollywood Bowl served up an evening of pummel and grace Thursday night.
August 12, 1990 |
N ew York's Sonic Youth was one of the most important rock bands of the '80s, the one that most successfully reconciled that decade's trash-culture obsessions with the nihilist urge of punk. The group's strangely tuned guitars rang out like distorted bells or Indian sarods; its deadpan lyrics lay obscurely as punk koans. Their records were noisy and loud, and perennially some of the most popular on college radio.
June 11, 2006 |
Sonic Youth "Rather Ripped" (Geffen) * * * AFTER several years with producer-guitarist Jim O'Rourke as a fifth member, Sonic Youth has scaled back to its original lean four-piece -- fittingly, as this is the band at its most intimate. The SY love album? Well, yes, starting off with Kim Gordon breathily cooing, "You keep me coming home again," in the opening song, "Reena," perhaps the bubbliest (and non-ironically so) pop song of the band's 25-year career as an alternative pace setter.
May 30, 1998 |
Sonic Youth is to indie rock what director Jim Jarmusch is to indie film: Both codified distinctive styles and attitudes that spread like a contagion during the early '80s, only to see their own pioneering work eventually overshadowed by their pupils. In the band's case, these descendants range from Pavement to Nirvana. Now, 17 years after it emerged from New York's downtown art scene, Sonic Youth is less trailblazer than keeper of the flame.