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Old 11.14.2011, 04:31 AM   #1
raging_nelly
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In light of the fact that tonight's show in Brazil could be the band's last EVER, I went all mushy and wrote up my thoughts on the whole thing to my blog.

It quotes a couple of you guy's posts from the original thread when this whole thing blew up. I hope you don't mind if I've represented you wrongly. And if you do.. suck it. Enjoy!

http://dischordmusic.blogspot.com/20...cos-south.html

---

Tonight (Nov. 14th 2011) sees a pivotal moment in the life of influential experimental rockers Sonic Youth’s long-term fan base for many reasons. For one, it marks the end of their first ever South American tour. A tour which has seen them take in countries such as Peru, impoverished from the lack of Sonic Youth since the band’s inception almost thirty years ago.

Another reason - perhaps the more worrying of the two listed so far - is that tonight’s gig at Brazil’s SWU Music & Arts Festival, could be the band’s last ever.

After the shattering announcement of Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon’s separation from marriage came tumbling into the music press back in mid-October, the future of the band has looked uncertain beyond this handful of South American dates.

Internet gossip boards have been alight with spurious debate as to whether the band will, or even can, survive what must be a tumultuous time for two of the core members of the now five-piece band (Pavement’s Mark Ibold joined the quartet on secondary bass duties back in 2008).

“I certainly hope the band finds it in them to stay together. Though if they quit, I wouldn’t be totally surprised” said online master messeger ‘Count Mecha’.

“I always thought their relationship situation was about as good as anyone could ever be fortunate enough to find themselves in. 27 years, insane. All those great tunes. This shit is a bummer” were the sentiments of one Sonic Gossiper, ‘ann ashtray’, while another – ‘foreverakiss’ – simply added “all bullshit aside… This is so fucking sad.”

All across the board grievances and best wishes were pouring in for the band and the now separate couple. The majority willed the group to continue, giving back story to their own infatuation with the band’s long and varied back catalogue as testimony to why they should continue, but many simply did not agree that the band could survive, even if they wanted to, as the same band we once knew and loved.

I for one had ‘split’ etched into my mind from the moment I read that initial news. Here was a band that had been pulling out all the stops for nigh on thirty years now. Despite their endless enthusiasm and amiable youthfulness in the face of fifty, most people would need a rest by now, and so it would seem sensible to use this stop gap as a perfect opportunity to do this. Add into the mix the slew of solo records from Thurston (including his latest offering; the soft folk driven excellence of Demolished Thoughts – a million miles away from most Sonic Youth material), Ranaldo’s upcoming one-man attempt and the endless stream of bands Steve Shelley seems to be in at the moment, and the thought of a break becomes clearer by the minute.

After 27 years of seemingly solid relationship status, for something to have caused a split it must have been more than a little squabble. In keeping with Thurston and Kim’s perfect shunning of the public eye on their personal lives and with respect to privacy, I shall not be rumour-milling on what it could be. All I’m saying is that it seemed fairly likely to make matters between the two parties too stressful to continue.

But then, video surfaced on the same Sonic Gossip message board as mentioned before, of the band’s Argentinean performance at the country’s Personal Fest. It was good to see the band so tight and on form, still putting everything into the performance. From an audience perspective, this was still the Sonic Youth of old, all crunching chords, guitar wailing and stage flailing. It would’ve been easy for the band to fall into a ‘eurgh, get these dates out of the way, and then we’re off!’ kind of mentality, but it didn’t seem like that at all.

Here was a band clearly enjoying themselves in front of a rabid new audience, perhaps – if there was any doubt in their minds as to whether they’d continue – reminding them why they loved playing in Sonic Youth so much, and eschewing any decisions that may or may not have been made up to that point.

Pictures from a subsequent gig from the same tour in Peru reinforced this further. Guitar abusing noise cacophonies not seen since before the Daydream Nation tour were capture to camera, and while some may have seen this as a cynical attempt to break all their gear in a final salute to the music, I took it as a return to the care-free, boundary pushing band of old.

If Sonic Youth break up, it will mean the end to a band that has informed so much more than just my music life since the age of about 15. If it wasn’t for Sonic Youth, I wouldn’t be listening to the music I listen to, wearing the clothes I wear, speaking the way I speak, watching the films or TV I watch, or writing the way I write. Heck, I don’t think I’d be writing at all if it wasn’t for the band turning me on fully to my love of music back in the day.

So, here’s hoping of an announcement, sometime in the near future (possibly at tonight’s show), that Sonic Youth will be continuing, despite their differences, into the New Year at least.

Sonic Life.

Alex Nelson.
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Old 11.14.2011, 05:02 AM   #2
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Nicely written Alex, I hope they can go on.... and like you I hold Sonic Youth (and John Peel) fully responsable for the music I listen to and how I am today.
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Old 11.17.2011, 06:22 PM   #3
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what do you mean south american debuts?
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Old 11.17.2011, 07:21 PM   #4
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I hope that all this nightmare-sonic-youth-slipt-up be a only 'catch video' like one these on tv shows. Someone have to jump off in front of cameras and say: yeah yeah, I catch all you fuckin bastards.



Sonic Youth for me is not just a band that I listen yesterday.. it's much more that this, it's another world inside this fuckin world. Sonic Youth means many or just one word that I don't know... but I can only feel.

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Old 11.17.2011, 08:06 PM   #5
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i'm sorry.

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Old 11.20.2011, 06:48 AM   #6
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At this point I'm most curious about what they will go on to do as individual artists rather than what they can do as a band...what they can do I've already seen and heard. The band has seemed most interested in their side projects for a while. I'd like to see them strengthen their indidvual talents without (what has become...) the restrains of of each other. No doubt, things will be interesting. Little doubt that they'll "never play together as a band again"...even though I doubt it will be much (if ever again). Lee's been onto some great things/ideas over the past few years, and in many ways I think it's time for him to flourish as an individual writing songs on his own, or improvising with others (very little of what Lee has been involved in through the years outside of the Youth has sucked, while for me, most of what Thurston has done just sounds like he's missing Lee in order to make his "ok" songs sound amazing).

There no doubt will be future releases/etc. In the same way, no doubt no one will ever see them as individuals without associating them with "Sonic Youth". Will be weird seeing T-Bird solo in February. I don't have high hopes for the show even though I think it will be fun. Would kill to see Lee without the Youth, though. I've said it a million times and still mean it when I say his importance in that band has always been underappreciated.

Lee is free (and now with much more time to be as such).

Yeah, I'm excited.

Fuck Kim and Thurston's relationship and all this "OMG WE"VE LOST HOPE" rubbish. Sure, something went wrong...but it would be even worse for them to continue working together on an artistic level if they aren't happy together on a personal one. Maybe they haven't been free, maybe now they can be.

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Old 11.20.2011, 07:55 AM   #7
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Yup. Well put. I fully agree.

I remember a Lee interview from some 10, 11, 12, 13 or so years back, when he mentioned that he wants to do a solo record with "real" songs, more rock, more arranged, less improvised. Now is the time. I'm looking forward to the Matador release....

Did anyone have a close look at the 5+ minutes of pre-show backstage footage from the SWU festival ? I just doubt they were in a foul mood personally, in fact, to me it seems the band was simply worn out and tired from criss-crossing the continent, not enough sleep, a lot of traveling, facing a huge festival crowd and dealing with a live TV broadcast.... plus, the bad weather probably didn't help much either.... they still did a pretty good set, actually. I doubt it was their last....
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Old 11.20.2011, 10:09 AM   #8
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Like Sonic Youth fan this thing: ''OMG KIM AND THURSTON'' or "NOW I DON'T BELIVE MORE IN LOVE'' it's a fuckin ridiculus. Bored me. If you look on Tumblr a lot of stupid people (that never listen Sonic Youth before) doing fool posts. Fuck al these people. I read a report talking about marriage and using the name Thurston&Kim. Oh well fuck this shit. So if all this stuff bored me and some persons here, imagine Thurston and Kim. Respect them. Fool post reinforce the media instigation.

And about Sonic Youth: Yes, like a fan it's obvious that I wish see them (Lee, Thusrton, Kim, Steve) together. And yes, this kind of talk end Sonic Youth it's a fuckin sad. [Which does not make me have the right to talk about the intimate relationship of Kim and Thurston, and much less to say: the love is gone. ]

Individual Sonics projects: Yes, it's very nice see Lee making his record. Totally different. [This doesn't mean I don't care with Sonic Youth.]
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Old 11.20.2011, 12:08 PM   #9
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Yeah, news is old now. Shock is over. People need to get over them and then get over themselves and move on. Music isn't dead now that kim and t.'s relationship is. haha
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Old 11.20.2011, 05:11 PM   #10
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however, i've seen them play here twice before.
so i'm wondering why they meant by debut.
also, i want all the dirty gossip.
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