Sonic Youth are excited to be part of Arthur Magazine's Arthurfest in L.A. September 4. The lineup is almost too good to believe, check the Arthur site.
There is plenty of excitement before all that happens, with the band headed back to Europe twice in the next two months.
The complete list of upcoming Sonic Youth shows now looks like this:
Eveux, France Le Rock Dans Tous ses Etats
Oslo, Norway Oya Festival (+ Diskaholics Anonymous)
9/04 Los Angeles, Arthur Festival
Paris John Lennon tribute at Cite de la Musique
For more information and tickets, go to the Calendar page.
Well, 20 years and seven days ago, that Steve Shelley played his first show with Sonic Youth: June 12, 1985 at Folk City in NYC.
The show started with four drummers: Steve, Bob Bert, and King Coffey and Theresa Taylor of the Butthole Surfers. Eventually the others departed and SY was left as the quartet that would play for the next 15 years. The songs 'Green Light' and 'Expressway to yr Skull' also made their debut at this show.
Lee has made a short movie from material he shot while Sonic Youth visited Turkey a few weeks ago. Below is an accompanying journal entry:
I'm sitting in the lobby of the hotel on Taxmun Square--it's 1 am we're just back from a fish dinner dining on the Bosphorus Strait against the Black Sea--we're on the cusp where Europe turns into Asia, most of Turkey—Anatolia—is Asia but Istanbul is not--it lies across the Bosphorus. Carlos and Aaron are here too, we're having a little wireless internet group in the lobby before turning in, downloading mail and swapping pictures.
Carlos, Kim, Ton, and I spent the day walking from the hotel to the old town--about 1 hour past all sorts of crazy markets teeming with people and hawkers everywhere pulling at yr sleeves w the same lines--they must learn these lines in school, or at the movies---they all have the same ones. "I am your friend...", "Let me show you something..." etc I can't even remember now but every time I hear them----like today in a carpet shop, tiny little place, heard all the lines we heard in Morocco, but now I'm inured to it--it doesn't matter, it's all a game to play--they say 300, you figure how audaciously low you can go (and it never winds up enough) so you say 125 instead of 100 which is where you should have started. Hell it should go for 80! So he says first 280 and then shortly after he's begging you at 200 but you know the game so I hold fast--knowing I only need give a tiny inch at the very end to have this piece, and this guy. He's dying at 175 but I insist at 150. Me: "No, that's alright, I'm going to go outside and talk to my friends about it", him: "I am below cost, listen Mr, I make you my final best price and you will not say 'no'..." 160 it is (euros which I have lots of at the moment). Wrapped and bagged, easy, not even any tea to be served (they drink an apple tea here--I haven't tried it yet but it's everywhere).
Anyway we 4 walked down to the old city and over the bridge and into the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar before ending at the Aya Sophia (Hagia Sophia), which is across the street from the amazing Blue Mosque where we went yesterday. Bazaar and Spice Market are not ultra-crazy and maze-like, like in Fes, but rather contained----more like a larger version of those Mexican Artesianal Markets we visited in Oaxaca. Lots of typical stuff---Alladin lamps, carpets, lots of gold and silver jewelery--I guess the Bazaar is know for gold---slippers, instruments, spices, leather goods, football (soccer) shirts. Everyone knows the price they say is not going to be the final price and every customer knows that they could have got it for even less than they did if there were just a little more of a hard-nosed bastard (read: skilled) bargainer.
The people are all generally friendly and even the salesmen are a little less hard-core than Morocco. The Blue Mosque was probably my favorite site--thrillingly large and empty inside, with these huge wrought-iron chandelier-rigs hanging down from the immense ceiling--all these wires holding them up.
The Meuzzin's calling--which woke me loud and clear on the first morning here--430am--is also thrilling to me. Five times a day the city sings out with their calls to prayer. Here, even more than where we were in Morocco, the mosques are everywhere, and the calls come piling one on the next--until the air is filled with this droning sound---I can only guess at the words but it's even more mysterious because I don't know them--it's just the SOUND--5 x a day—which makes even non-believers stop for a moment, a punctuation for their day.
Carlos and I went this morning to traditional Turkish Hamam steam bath and massage--old muscled guy soaps you up and rubs you down, very forcefully, we were both screaming in pain as these guys laid into us, cracking our backs and shoulders, exfoliating the skin w rough pads, pouring cold water over our heads in the explosively hot room, water droplets falling from the domed ceiling cut with a couple dozen tiny round windows, light shafting in. First lie in heat 20 minutes or so, just dreaming and listening to the reverb, Carlos and I the only ones there at 10am, then soaped up, rubbed down, cold water, massage, exfoliate, retire to dressing room for apple tea and relax, more massage, skin feels scraped clean and fresh. The morning seemed brighter when we emerged. They say the place has been there since 1481.
Tomorrow we fly to Brittany; this place will disappear as quickly as it came.
Sonic Youth are putting the finishing touches on their Deluxe Edition re-issue of 1990's "Goo". The 2xCD edition will be released by Universal/Geffen while the 4xLP vinyl edition will be released by SY's own Goofin' imprint via SLR. The Deluxe Edition of "Goo" will include the original LP remastered along with remixed/remastered 8-track demos, B-sides, rehearsal tracks, studio out-takes and more. A deluxe full-color LP size booklet will be included in the vinyl box set with essays by Byron Coley and Mark Kates.
While in Melbourne last June, Lee, Thurston, Steve, and Jim recorded direct to disc at Corduroy studios for what is being released as a limited-edition double vinyl album. Eight hundered copies of the four-track instrumental record are being pressed by Saucerlike records. One hundred of those will be available through sonciyouth.com. Keep your eyes on this space for more scoop.
The SYR catalog and the Sonic Youth Store will soon be available via Kung Fu Nation along with some new and unique SY items at Kungfunation.com.
Sonic Youth's sound engineer Aaron Mullan wrote an article for Vice magazine online about his worst moments at the sound board.