Tuesday, October 5, 2010


I may have mentioned in an earlier post that I read Kurt St. Thomas' book (with Troy Smith) "Nirvana, The Chosen Rejects". Repeatedly mentioned in that book was Sonic Youth, New York punk band born of the local underground music scene. "In August (1990), Nirvana got the opportunity to open a few West Coast gigs for their longtime idols, Sonic Youth." Following the release of their smash album, Nevermind, in 1991, Nirvana's bass player Krist said "We wanted to be as good as Sonic Youth. We totally respect those people and what they've done. We thought we'd sell a couple hundred thousand records at most, and that would be fine. Next thing you know, we go to Top Ten. I wish I couild have a time machine and go back to two months ago. I'd tell people to get lost."

After hearing the respect given to the band by Nirvana, and learning that Sonic Youth were scheduled to play the Ogden Theater on October 4th, I commited to seeing them when I purchased a pair of tickets. I wanted to hear the music that commanded such respect from a great band.

Monday night and I drop by the Dutchboy's house where we load into a single vehicle and have dinner on Colfax a few blocks from the theater. We go in and I make for the rest room where the recording device and microphones come out, along with the small amout of tequila I brought in. Time to set up the rig in anticipation for the show.

The warm up act, Caldera Lakes, consisted of a parir of women kneeling on a carpert playing gongs, bells, bowls and small cymbols all to the accompaniment of distorted electronic sounds, with one woman singing along. Too much for me. I could'nt wait for the main act.

Wikipedia describes Sonic Youth as such:

Sonic Youth is an Americanm rock band from New York City, formed in 1981. The current lineup consists of Thurston Moore (vocals and guitar), Kim Gordon (vocals, bass, guitar), Lee Ranaldo (vocals and guitar), Steve Shelly (drums), Mark Ibold (bass, guitar).

In their early career, Sonic Youth was associated with the No Wave art and music scene in New York City. Part of the first wave of American Noise rock groups, the band carried out their interpretation of the hardcore punk ethos throughout the evolving American undergorind that focused more on the DIY ethic of the genre rather than its specific sound. As a result, the band are often considered as pivotal in the rise of the alternative rock and indie rock movements. The band has experienced success and critical acclaim throughout the last three decades, continuing into the new millennium, including signing to major label DGC in 1990, and headlining the 1995 Lollapalooza festival.

Sonic Youth have expressed a wide variety of influences, ranging from the influential protopunk musician Patti Smith to composer John Cage. The band has been praised for having "redefined what rock guitar could do", using a wide variety of unorthodox guitar tuninings, and preparing guitars with objects likedrumsticks and screwdrivers to alter the instruments' timber.

Great show, keeping me engaged for the whole time they commanded the stage. You listen to the music and judge for yourself.

Download the bootleg recording here:

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