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Sonic Youth

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ENTERTAINMENT
July 19, 1992 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
First, a disclaimer: No matter how many critics rhapsodize about Sonic Youth, no matter how much talk there is about this band and the future of rock and roll, words will never quite get it. True, Sonic Youth has inspired some pithy criticism. (The press kit contains a few love-letter reviews that probably embarrass even the band.) But regardless of how astutely one dissects the various elements - the haywire bed of accumulated guitar dissonance, the attitudinal rhythm section, the yowling vocals, the squiggling lead lines that shoot from the core of the music like sparks from a firecracker - there's a raw, powerful quality to Sonic Youth that eludes analysis.
NEWS
August 13, 1990 | By Tom Moon, Inquirer Popular-Music Critic
After the New York quartet Sonic Youth finished its first encore, "My Friend Goo," Saturday at the Trocadero, guitarist Thurston Moore asked no one in particular: "Did that sound like the wrong tuning?" The group discussed this on stage, then polled the crowd. Soon Moore announced that bassist Kim Gordon had performed the song using an incorrect tuning. This, they maintained somewhat earnestly, threw the band's delicate harmonic balance out of whack. Unless you had memorized the song's bass part, chances are this technical gaffe would have passed you by. The grinding-gears tension of the song remained intact - if anything enhanced by the new, booming bottom notes.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 8, 1998 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Sound is never quite "pure" with Sonic Youth. The New York quartet wrings improbable clatter from rock's standard two-guitars-bass-and-drums lineup. Its dense attack treats power chords as only a starting point. By clustering tones into knotty textures, it transforms ordinary dissonance into a tactile experience: Its songs evoke the teeth-rattling squeal of metal against metal, the feeling of a bike skidding out of control on gravel, the thrumming pulse of rain on a roof. Friday night at the Electric Factory, the band gave its repertoire of extra-musical sounds a good going-over.
NEWS
June 16, 2006 | By Keith Harris FOR THE INQUIRER
Sonic Youth can rock out when they have to. On "Incinerate," the veteran New York noisemakers' opening song at a sold-out Starlight Ballroom Wednesday night, twin guitars yapped at the heels of drummer Steve Shelley's steady, thrusting backbeat. Sonic Youth can also freak out when they want to. Amid "Pattern Recognition," Thurston Moore swatted a ceiling fan with the head of his guitar as Lee Ranaldo pointed his guitar amp-ward to coax and sculpt distorted feedback. But what Sonic Youth does best is sound like Sonic Youth.
ENTERTAINMENT
June 23, 1986 | By Robert Gordon, Special to The Inquirer
Sonic Youth is redefining the songs and instruments of rock music. At the Kennel Club on Saturday night, the quartet performed a set of songs that emphasized its new album E.V.O.L. (love spelled backward). The band's music was a melange of rhythm and noise that built in intensity, drawing its force from the cumulative effect of the swelling sound. Sonic Youth's songs are not merely words placed over music, but rather sounds that evolve from a sparse, tense beginning to a restrained middle to an unleashing of fury and emotion at the end. Using the standard instrumentation of a rock band - two guitars, a bass guitar and drums - Sonic Youth utilized nonconventional techniques.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 31, 1998 | By Jonathan Valania, FOR THE INQUIRER
It's 1998 and Sonic Youth is staring down the millennium and the end of another decade of arty noisemaking. During the band's vaunted 17-year career, underground music has gone overground and under again, to the subterranean climes that are Sonic Youth's natural habitat, where interesting ideas thrive amid obscurity and neglect. Nestled in their rehearsal space and recording studio high above New York's financial district, the four band members submit to another round of strobe-flashed photo shoots and the verbal probes of journalists to promote their new CD, A Thousand Leaves (Geffen)
ENTERTAINMENT
May 9, 1994 | By Tom Moon, INQUIRER MUSIC CRITIC
Sonic Youth, the downtown band that once wore its musical illiteracy like a badge of honor, is not afraid of progress any more. Signs of change are everywhere in the lower Manhattan fifth-floor loft shared by Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon, the husband-and-wife guitar-and-bass team that is the band's heart. The fax machine rings more frequently than the phone. Books are piled knee-deep on the floor, and two rooms' worth of furniture are crunched into one. Architectural drawings clutter the dining room table; a carpenter is building a nursery/office for Gordon, who's expecting the couple's first child in June.
NEWS
December 14, 2012 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
THUGS IN PHILLY steal everything from cash to copper. Wednesday night, they stole a famous guitar allegedly worth $20,000. Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore reported on the band's Facebook page Thursday that someone had pinched his 1960 Fender Jazzmaster around midnight from the Best Western hotel on 22nd Street near Hamilton. "It's Thurston's iconic Sonic Youth black Jazzmaster with all the stickers on its body," according to the Facebook post. "A police report has been filed.
NEWS
August 12, 2002 | By Nathaniel Friedman SPECIAL TO THE INQUIRER
Too old to be innovative, too young to qualify as a dinosaur, Sonic Youth is now an institution. What drew a capacity crowd to the band's Saturday night show at the Trocadero was neither buzz nor nostalgia (whereas, in the case of spastic post-punk revivalists Erase Errata, who opened, it was both). Instead, it was the chance to check in on a legend in the making. While the band has grown less edgy over the years, it also has shed much of the grit and uncertainty that might have been a deterrent for more mainstream audiences.
LIVING
September 11, 1995 | This story contains information from the Associated Press, Reuters, and Inquirer staff writer Dan DeLuca
New York avant-grunge groundbreakers Sonic Youth, who headlined Lollapalooza in Camden in July, are to return to Philadelphia on Oct. 18, touring behind their new album Washing Machine. The venue? According to a spokesman for the David Geffen Co., the band's label, the Thurston Moore-Kim Gordon-fronted foursome will play the Electric Factory Warehouse. That's apparently the name of the 2,000-capacity space that Electric Factory Concerts, which isn't commenting, will be opening in the south-of-Spring Garden, east-of-Broad area in the coming weeks.
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ARTICLES BY DATE
ENTERTAINMENT
October 25, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
On the cover of Thurston Moore's new album The Best Day , a lovely woman wearing a bathing cap is up to her elbows in a large lake's waters. She adoringly stares into a camera's lens and cradles her dog, who also happens to be facing the photographer: You immediately sense tenderness, devotion. The subject is Moore's mom and pooch, the shooter Moore's dad, and the idea of using that family photo for the onetime (maybe still, no one knows) Sonic Youth guitarist/singer comes down to how love is conveyed on this, his version of one's best day. "They were young, in love, and newly married, the sun was shining, they had everything ahead of them," Moore says from his new home in England.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 4, 2014 | By A.D. Amorosi, For The Inquirer
If Sonic Youth, the still-reigning overlords of avant-garde rock, have indeed split for good, and will never again perform as a unit, it's tragic. The one bright side might be the progress of Lee Ranaldo, one of the Youth's guitarists, writers, and singers. Ranaldo has developed into a composer of luscious melodies and pensive, insightful lyrics, along with becoming a vocalist in full command of range and emotion. The proof is 2013's Last Night on Earth , his first album with his new band the Dust, featuring Youth drummer Steve Shelley, guitarist Alan Licht, and bassist Tim L√ľntzel.
NEWS
February 25, 2013
Various Artists Son of Rogues Gallery: Pirate Ballads, Sea Songs & Chanteys (Anti- ***1/2) It goes without saying that the double disc Son of Rogues Gallery , a 36-song compendium featuring Keith Richards and Tom Waits, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Courtney Love, Johnny Depp, Macy Gray, Dr. John, and many others, is a rambling, shambling affair. The sequel to 2006's Rogues Galley , the current seafaring collection once again has Philadelphia-raised longtime Saturday Night Live musical director and professional eclecticist Hal Willner acting as the musical captain of the ship.
NEWS
December 14, 2012 | BY DANA DiFILIPPO, Daily News Staff Writer difilid@phillynews.com, 215-854-5934
THUGS IN PHILLY steal everything from cash to copper. Wednesday night, they stole a famous guitar allegedly worth $20,000. Sonic Youth guitarist Thurston Moore reported on the band's Facebook page Thursday that someone had pinched his 1960 Fender Jazzmaster around midnight from the Best Western hotel on 22nd Street near Hamilton. "It's Thurston's iconic Sonic Youth black Jazzmaster with all the stickers on its body," according to the Facebook post. "A police report has been filed.
NEWS
November 19, 2012 | By Jakob Dorof, For The Inquirer
It's fitting that Toronto power trio METZ got their big break by leveling crowds at the annual CMJ Music Marathon conference last month in New York. These historians of hardcore do things the old-fashioned way, evidently unbelieving in just about everything that's happened to music since the advent of the Internet. Most of their discography is 7-inch singles. If they use a computer to record their music, you couldn't tell. Signed to Sub Pop, they most resemble the clamorous rock godheads that once anchored that label's seminal roster and singles club of the late '80s and early '90s: Sonic Youth at their most punk, Mudhoney at their primal grungiest, Nirvana circa anything but Nevermind . METZ's Friday-night appearance at the tiny Kung Fu Necktie dive in Fishtown corroborated their anachronistic appeal.
NEWS
September 10, 2012 | By Steve Klinge, For The Inquirer
Sometimes, when a performer hasn't soundchecked properly or is careless, the audience gets subjected to a moment of screeching feedback that's startling, wince-inducing, and occasionally painful. In the mid-'80s, Glasgow's Jesus & Mary Chain made an aesthetic of those moments, combining them with Beach Boys melodies, Velvet Underground drones, and disdainful detachment, and at Union Transfer Saturday night, those screeches, between songs or within them, were ubiquitous. And marvelous.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 27, 2011
Music Thurston Moore. The feedback and noise that are Sonic Youth's hallmarks are nowhere to be found on Demolished Thoughts, Thurston Moore's newest solo album. Produced by Beck, it's a quietly intense collection of acoustic songs, sometimes dreamy, sometimes ominous, but always engrossing. These are thoughtful and precise tunes, orchestrated with violin and harp and Moore's unusual tunings and chord changes. One can imagine "Circulation" amped into a Sonic Youth rocker, but that's an exception: These Thoughts, many of which are love songs, are more ruminative than raucous.
ENTERTAINMENT
August 26, 2011
Red Baraat In the world of Red Baraat, the nine-piece Brooklyn band, "D & B" stands not for "Drum 'n' Bass" or "Dave & Buster's," but "Dhol and Brass. " "Dhol" would be the double-sided barrel drum beaten by leader Sunny Jain; "brass" refers to the full horn section that provides the New Orleans-style marching band element in the wholly unique, boisterous blend of Indian bhangra beats and horn-happy dance-party funk. "Chaal Baby," the title track to the band's 2010 debut album, can be heard in the promo ads for the new season of the TV show It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia.
ENTERTAINMENT
April 22, 2011 | By Dan DeLuca, Inquirer Music Critic
The British indie rock band Yuck were one of the breakout acts at the South by Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas, last month. But lead singer Daniel Blumberg, the 21-year-old Londoner who stood to the far left of the capacious outdoor venue Stubb's during SXSW and sheepishly noted that the NPR Music showcase was the biggest gig of his group's young life, would prefer that the group not be known as a "buzz band. " "It is nice, when people talk about the band," says the guitarist, songwriter, and visual artist, who will be releasing a set of solo piano songs under the rubric Oupa in June.
ENTERTAINMENT
March 25, 2011 | staff
What's not to love about Hey Rosetta!, the polished alt-pop rockers from St. John's, Newfoundland? They boast a yearning, ultra-sincere lead singer who sounds like a mash-up of Chris Martin, Paul Simon and Brandon Flowers. And they crank earnest anthems loud and gracefully, with warming violin and cello players you can actually hear in the mix (take a hint, Arcade Fire). Oh, and Hey Rosetta! makes equally vivid videos. (Check out the charming, ballet-themed "Yer Spring" at YouTube.) Hailed as one of the "must see" attractions of the recent Austin, Texas, SXSW music soiree - and now they're here in our own back yard.
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