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Old 08.13.2007, 05:01 PM   #1
atsonicpark
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So, I put on EXPERIMENTAL, JET SET, TRASH, AND NO STAR today for the first time in forever. And I thought it was pretty damn good! I've long hated this record (and I'll always hate Dirty -- nothing will sway me from that), but I've also always believed "Bull in the Heather" is quite likely the best Sonic Youth song. I still believe this is so.. just listen to the way the instruments coalesce.. taken individually, the parts don't really sound like anything, but the way they come together (and since the guitars are extreme-stereo-separated and it was recorded live so you can hear elements of both parts in each speaker), it just sounds amazing..

But surprisingly, the rest of the album holds up better than I thought. The "sassiness" of the tracks still overwhelms them, and the lyrics are still crap ("SILLY WABBIT TWIX ARE FER KIDZ" what the fuck .. "TAKE ONE TWO CUMS DOCTOR'S ORDER I'D LIKE A CHEESEBURGER TO ORDER" Okay, Kim, we know you're going through menopause, but do you really need a fucking greasy-ass hamburger), but the .. "sassy" .. guitar lines are actually pretty cool. "Screaming Skull" rules!! Love the ear-piercing fake-harmonics in the spaces between the riffs and so on. "Waist" is really cool, as well, and some of the slower numbers (especially "Sweet Shine" and "Tokyo Eye") have some really wonderful tones and textures. The album shows Sonic Youth maturing, and it's weird.

Still, it's hard to listen to, knowing that this is the same band who created Daydream Nation before this and Washing Machine directly after this. A band who can craft this amazing epic tracks creating sassy sub-grunge noise rock.. it just seems weird... the lack of Lee songs also stings, and this is also probably the only album where the Kim songs are always better than the Thurston songs. So, it's a weird album. Still, it's way better than Dirty, Nurse, and Rather Ripped, so that's good, and it may even be better than Goo if I'm being generous. Just 14 truely fucked up pop songs. I can't help but feel that the band recorded this and didn't really care what came out of the sessions (starting the album off with an acoustic song seems somewhat daring but also kinda silly since the song isn't even very good).. it just seems kinda effortless.. I mean, just look at the shitty cover art for proof... but yeah. Worth another listen... better than I remembered.

I also listened to Psychic Hearts again recently and that album sucks.
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Old 08.13.2007, 05:21 PM   #2
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I've always liked Experimental, Jet set, Thrash, and No star even though it's one of their most experimental albums especially after hearing DDN.

Psychic Hearts was awesome why do you hate it?
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Old 08.13.2007, 05:33 PM   #3
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no matter how many times i try to listen to it, that album is still the bane of my existence.
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Old 08.13.2007, 05:48 PM   #5
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too "sassy".
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Old 08.13.2007, 05:55 PM   #6
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nope too many other albums higher on the priority list, actually the last sy album i bought was...ddn deluxe actually and before that rather ripped and that's a good year in between.

man, when archive release a cd/dvd combo of kousokuya and the new high on fire and mono albums are up for pre-ordering, then my 80% complete sy collection can wait a little.
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Old 08.13.2007, 06:35 PM   #7
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Strange that you would start this thread, because I've recently made the exact same discovery! As proof, here are the myspace blogs I wrote about it (among other things--I was pretty stoned (obviously), so most of it's pretty random). But this album is awesome!! (As an aside, I went on to discover "Bad Moon Rising" stoned, which then became my favorite album. But EJSTANS held the title for a good two days!)

>>>This is what happens when Matt works the overnight shift, and I have no one to talk to.

* OMG, here's a memory: me and Jon driving up to Mark Cena's party, listening to Veruca Salt's "Resolver" (directly after Wilson Phillips' self-titled debut), then all of a sudden there's this roaring sound, like the aural part of TV snow turned up to "eleven" X [and (omg, I just (ahh!) changed a parenthasis to a bracket (and I just about did the same to this one (till I said "No! I'm not gonna take it anymore!!" (And god, "Bone" is fucking with me! * Oops, shit. Let me reread and regroup.
* [after 2 false starts] So (great job of regrouping, huh?)
* Aha! (starting at "X") [and why did Kim's yelping never strike me as this odd before? (in the best possible way!)]
* ...And so ever since then I've been living in fear of another spontaneous, ear-shattering eruption. Wait, what? But anyway, it chose to happen during "Screaming Skull."
* I really think this might be my favorite album. Wouldn't that be weird!
* I turned into Gollum during the last scream of "Sweet Shine."
* Oh lord, "Rock of Love" is still on. And it's still on... And what is he wearing??... And it's still on. And I am really ashamed of myself right now.

 
Currently listening :
Experimental Jet Set, Trash & No Star
By Sonic Youth
Release date: 10 May, 1994 http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=m...1&a=B000003TB0
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Monday, July 23, 2007
 
I love meat, salt, and EJSTANS

* "Now that's my idea of dessert!" (Oh, shit, I had this semi-clever thought direction (ahhhhhhh!) (and ps: this judge is a bitch!) about how to express my joy at seeing a contestant [on "America's Next Top Chef"] propose what basically amounted to a piece of duck on a stick ("Lollipop duck"), and something else that was coated in all sorts of delicious, but not very dessert-sounding, seasonings, as being a "dessert." But then I realized they had moved on to a different category.)
* Oh dear, I was afraid that would happen. Oh wait, I got it back (after the nasty t.v. tried to take it away!)
* "'Sweet Shine' is a total stoner jam!" (Then the crazy-ass ocd tangents) (and relating this to--oh, that's redundant.)
* Sheer beauty, random screams & pretty chord changes
* Ample time to turn it off, but if you forget to, you get one hell of a jolt.
* This is, as I have always contended, one of the best SY songs ever, and tonight it proved it to me like I had no idea why in the first place.
* The "Boom... Owww!" in 'Screaming Skull.' Why did I never notice it, and how fantastic!
* There was something else really important, but I'm done.
* "...So I'm gonna smoke that..." (It was about salmon, but she sounded fiendishly eager).

 
Currently listening :
Experimental Jet Set, Trash & No Star
By Sonic Youth
Release date: 10 May, 1994 http://www.assoc-amazon.com/e/ir?t=m...1&a=B000003TB0
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Old 08.13.2007, 06:51 PM   #8
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I bought EJSTNS a few months ago because of Bull in the Heather. At first I wasn't impressed, and I shelved it for a while, but I thought I'd give it another go, and Sweet Shine became one of my fav SY songs, and I found other songs like Screaming Skull and Starfield Road to be great songs, now I love the album.
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Old 08.14.2007, 11:59 AM   #9
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'Screaming Skull' gets in my brain and stays there.
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Old 08.14.2007, 12:08 PM   #10
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I've always dug "Experimental Jet Set". As a matter of fact it was pretty much the album that got me into SY as a wee lad. First SY cassette I actually bought was "Dirty" but it wasn't until "Bull In The Heather" hit the radio that I really got hooked (and I still feel it may be their most perfect pop song). Not long after that I started diving into both albums and the rest as they say is history.... Back to the subject at hand, I've actually been reassessing both "Experimental Jet Set" and "Psychic Hearts" lately. Coming out around the same time I've always felt those two albums have quite a bit in common in terms of sound and overall feel. At least certain tracks do anyway. Just listen to "Self Obsessed and Sexee" back to back with "Ono Soul" and I think you'll see what I mean. One thing I always dug about "Experimental Jet Set" is the production. "Dirty" was probably too polished thanks to Andy Wallace's mixing (and his infamous use of triggered drum samples) but "Experimental Jet Set" has a nice organic sound to it that definitely foreshadowed "Washing Machine" and "A Thousand Leaves". A lot of the song structures on those two albums are obviously different, but I think the manner in which they were recorded and the resultant sound have their roots in the "Experimental Jet Set" sessions. So in a sense that album was the beginning of what was arguably SY's greatest era of all.
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Old 08.14.2007, 01:21 PM   #11
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I love these kinds of threads: reassessing something I wasn't that i'm not sure about in the first place. We should do this for all their albums.

I've put the CD on right now, made a cup of coffee. Cigarettes at the ready. Now lets see:

Winner's Blues: More like an extended intro than a full-blooded track. Don't know if this is SY's first fully 'acoustic' song but it would've maybe worked better at the end, rather than at the beginning of the album. 'Teenage Riot' it aint!

Bull in the Heather: Undeniably catchy with great drumming from Steve and some of Kim's best vocals since the Halloween EP. And you can dance to it too.

Starfield Road: The first obviously 'Sonic Youth'-type track on the album. Again, great percussion but Thurston's vocals are horrible. Guitars have an almost space-rock feel to them.

Skink: I've never liked Kim's little-girl-lost approach to vocals. However, the way she says 'You' at the end of the 'I love you' line is as good as any Stooges era Iggy yelp.

Screamingskull: Great riff - albeit with that horrible solo bit in the middle that goes nowhere, great vocals, horrible lyrics. On the whole another one to dance around the bedroom to.

Self Obsessed and Sexxee: God, I really hate Thurston's vocal style on this album. The feedback comes in towards the end, trying to salvage some excitement but overall this sounds like a sketch of a song that never ultimately needed to be recorded in the first place. Great drumming from Steve though.

Bone: It does have that interesting drum/guitar thing, but when it shifts 'A Day in the Life'-style into Kim doing her usual 'please dont hurt me' vocals, I remember why I began to lose interest in this band around the time of the release of this album.

Androgenous Mind: This is one of those eternal can't decide songs for me.

Quest for the Cup: The worst beginning, when Kim sounds all pseudo-New Wave, this switches to something that's sort of OK in a scratchy-riff kind of way.

Waist: Horrible Thurston vocals. Guitars sound sort of great when cranked up on the stereo, but the solo is absolutely hideous. Nice yelp at the end though.

Doctor's Orders: A track that has the words 'mid period lethargy' written all over it.

Tokyo Eye: Can someone please tell Thurston that his vocals have never been his strong point. Some nice percussion samples, but the 'freak out' guitar moment is nothing special.

In the Mind of the Bourgeois Reader: What could be a half decent track is again spoiled by Thurston's vocals.

Sweet Shine: Kim's vocals here aren't that different to her other performances on the album, but the melody is strong enough to turn this into something quite nice. Some great yelps again.

Listening to it it now, I'd say that on the whole this is a semi-forgettable album, peppered with a couple of excellent songs (BitH, Screamingskull), great drumming and some great yelps.
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Old 08.14.2007, 01:23 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atsonicpark
Okay, Kim, we know you're going through menopause, but do you really need a fucking greasy-ass hamburger),

How could she be going through her menopause when she was pregnant at this point? that makes no sense, u can't get pregnant when going through menopause
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Old 08.14.2007, 02:22 PM   #13
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Straying off topic slightly, I agree with what you're saying about about Experimental Jet Set but I REALLY don't understand this:

Quote:
Originally Posted by atsonicpark
I'll always hate Dirty -- nothing will sway me from that)
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Old 08.14.2007, 02:43 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tasteinmen
How could she be going through her menopause when she was pregnant at this point? that makes no sense, u can't get pregnant when going through menopause

OH SORRY THANKS FOR THE CLEARING OF THAT ISSUE
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Old 08.14.2007, 06:18 PM   #15
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NYG+F is my EJSTANS
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Old 08.14.2007, 10:33 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by atsonicpark
OH SORRY THANKS FOR THE CLEARING OF THAT ISSUE

always glad to help
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Old 08.14.2007, 11:01 PM   #17
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Androgynous mind was always my favorite.
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Old 08.15.2007, 02:32 AM   #18
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I've tried to get into this album a few times and aside from a few standout tracks it's never really grown on me. Bull in the Heather, Androgynous Mind, and Sceaming Skull I like a lot, but I've just never been a fan of this record over all.
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Old 08.15.2007, 11:50 AM   #19
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I've always hated EJSTNS and Dirty. Not just because they don't live up to SY's other albums but I find them awful albums in their own right.
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Old 08.15.2007, 09:12 PM   #20
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it's weird, as much as i love mark prindle's page, (and he actually seems pretty right-on most of the time) he rates this above sister, nyc, a thousand leaves, and a few other albums ...

he also gave rather ripped the same score as this ..

but then he gave confusion is sex a 10/10 and dirty a 3/10. which would seem to suggest that he knows what he's talking about... so, i've always been really interested in why he digs this album so much..

it has an undeniably good sound to it, it's just.. again.. i can't believe this is the same band who wrote cross the breeze!
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