Tag Archives: Sonic Youth

“The Tears of Music and Love”

maggie
Deerhoof
Offend Maggie, 2008

Deerhoof is just an insanely consistent band. At this point, despite their experimental tendencies, they’re a known quantity. They’re ready, willing and able to bend their sound any number of ways from album to album, but the core elements — crunchy/catchy guitars, Greg Saunier’s drumming, Satomi Matsuzaki’s high-energy, childlike vocals — remain unchanged. Every album is good and a little different, but there’s so much music to choose from that it’s easy to take them for granted. It was the same way with Sonic Youth: we’re not truly gonna miss these guys until they call it a day. Offend Maggie shares the raw, live sound of the band’s earlier work with the more accessible songwriting of Friend Opportunity. Taken in small doses like this one, I’m hard-pressed to name a better or more original rock band.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/01%20The%20Tears%20Of%20Music%20And%20Love.mp3]

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“Unmade Bed”

nurse
Sonic Youth
Sonic Nurse, 2004

Never was a huge Sonic Youth fan, at least not in the way many are. I was too young to hear the band in their critical prime, and when I finally decided to care, records like Daydream Nation and Goo felt dated to me. Perhaps enough time had elapsed for the group’s influence to be fully absorbed by guitar culture (and me). But I hold a soft spot in my heart for the Jim O’Rourke era, 1999-2005, when SY opened up its sound to incorporate cleaner, leaner, classic rock tropes. “Unmade Bed” would be a relatively tame showing for this band in any era, but that restraint works in the song’s favor; these are guitars that know exactly when to stand and when to stay seated. Daydream is in the Library of Congress, but Sonic Nurse is the album I’ll always remember.

[audio https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/14312140/02%20Unmade%20Bed.mp3]

iTunes/Amazon

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