Wednesday 23 Jul
 
 

TJ Mayes - "When Love Comes Down"

’50s era rock ’n’ roll had been long overdue for a rebirth. Thankfully, the stockpile of capable luminaries has not been in short supply over the past few years. 

07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Boare - "playdatshit"

The world is in the midst of an electronic music renaissance, and you find most of this boon of producers laying claim to the club-friendly, bass-dropping variety, holing up in the the free-flowing world of hip-hop beatmaking or pitching their tent on the out-there, boundary-pushing EDM camp.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broncho - "Class Historian"

Broncho has never been hurting in the hook department. The success of the trio’s 2011 debut, Can’t Get Past the Lips, was predicated mostly on its ability to marry melodies with kinetic guitar riffs and anarchic energy. Yet we’ve heard nothing to the degree of pure pop catchiness on display in “Class Historian,” the new single from Broncho’s upcoming sophomore album, Just Enough Hip to Be Woman.
07/23/2014 | Comments 0

Manmade Objects - Monuments

No one wants to be forgotten; everyone wants some sort of legacy, a mark they leave behind as they exit this life for whatever lies beyond.

And for as long as there has been death, there have been monuments — whether austere or understated, abstract or concrete, prominent or tucked away in private — erected by the ones they loved to assure that remembrance, at least for a time.
07/15/2014 | Comments 0

Admirals - Amidst the Blue

Sometimes it helps to not be very good.

Some of the best albums and artists were born out of happy accidents owed to varying degrees of early suckage — the perfect note or chord for a song found by missing the one you are aiming for, failed mimicry of an idol bearing something entirely new and great instead.

07/09/2014 | Comments 0
Newsletter
Home · Articles · Music · Music · Sonic Youth returns to its indie...
Music
 

Sonic Youth returns to its indie roots for 16th album, 'The Eternal'


Phil Bacharach July 16th, 2009

It is nearly impossible to imagine alternative rock without Sonic Youth. Since its founding in the early '80s, the New York-based band has been as uncompromising as it is influential, with its c...

It is nearly impossible to imagine alternative rock without Sonic Youth. Since its founding in the early '80s, the New York-based band has been as uncompromising as it is influential, with its cacophonous guitars and avant-garde sensibilities inspiring an entire generation of indie rockers. The group's merging of the corrosive and the celestial is a sort of musical testament to Oscar Wilde's observation that we're all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at stars.

Its latest album, last month's "The Eternal," is an appropriate title for a group that shows no sign of dimming. Some of the credit must go to a change of scenery. After nearly 20 years on Geffen Records, Sonic Youth is back on an indie label, with Matador Records.

"We really felt over the last three years like we were just part of a big corporate entity," guitarist Lee Ranaldo said. "I don't think we felt much affinity with the music they were making or the people there. It was time for a change."

That restlessness has characterized Sonic Youth since its emergence from New York's music underground. The group's trademark dissonance, distortion and offbeat guitar tunings resulted in a stream of critically acclaimed records before its first bona fide masterpiece with 1988's double LP, "Daydream Nation." Two years later, the band signed with Geffen, paving the way for other alt-rockers to make the leap to mainstream labels.

URGENT ROCK
But Sonic Youth hardly went commercial. Its initial Geffen releases " 1990's "Goo," 1992's "Dirty" and 1994's "Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star" " marked some of that decade's most exciting and urgent rock.

Ranaldo said the band benefited from the absence of a major hit.

"It's like where a band has a record and sells four million copies and the next one only sells two million and people are disappointed. It's kind of laughable, but it's the way that world works," he said. "The fact that we've never been involved with that just allowed us to go about our business and be who we were without those extra pressures. We've always acknowledged we were making somewhat difficult music and we've been very fine with it."

In a just world, however, "The Eternal" would be blaring from stereos across the nation. From the brash opener of "Sacred Trickster" to the sprawling psychedelia of the closing "Massage the History," the record is arguably Sonic Youth's best in 15 years.

The group performs with Awesome Color on Thursday at the Cain's Ballroom in Tulsa.

The new album's resemblance to earlier efforts is not by coincidence. Two years ago, the band did a series of shows in which it played "Daydream Nation" in its entirety, an experience that reacquainted the band members with their younger incarnations.

"We were all surprised at the energy level on that record, and I think that had an influence on the songwriting on this record," Ranaldo said. "We were just impressed by the kind of songwriting we were doing then. It had this certain structural development we were working on a lot in that period, and I just think we have subliminally incorporated some of that stuff."

Sonic Youth with Awesome Color perform at 8 p.m. Thursday at Cain's Ballroom, 423 N. Main in Tulsa. "Phil Bacharach

 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 
 

 

 
 
 
Close
Close
Close