Howdy folks! Here's some shit I wrote when people still used Netscape and posted on newsgroups...goodbye, 20th century...

Alright... even I thought the previous "intro" was overkill, so with the redesign of the site I thought I'd use my summarization skills to their finest effect and rewrite it in a convenient "frequently asked questions" format that will hopefully suppress my long-windedness to a respectable degree. Working fine so far, eh?

WHAT ARE THE RECOMMENDED BROWSER SETTINGS FOR THIS PAGE?

I'm fairly inept regarding web design, so I aim to keep my sites simple and presentable to all -- of course, I can only control how it looks on my end, and older versions of the page looked downright hideous at times. Hopefully this version will be compatible with most browsers. I designed it using Netscape and Internet Explorer 4.0 with an 800x600 resolution, not exactly the standard. I'd recommend a medium sized font (the page was designed for Verdana, Arial, and Times New Roman) and Courier New as your fixed width font. Keep your browser maximized and things should be fine. Let me know if you have any serious problems with the layout. I've since made the leap to FireFox, widescreen monitors, etc and everything still looks more or less "proper" to me...

HOW DO I NAVIGATE THIS SITE?

Very simply. The links in the bottom frame are all self-explanatory. The "statistics" features are explained on their own pages. If you prefer to browse without the frame (the site is designed for that mode too), click "remove frame".

On each year page is a chronological list in MONTH/DAY/YEAR format of all shows known to be played that year. Most shows have their own pages, the only exception are those shows for which I have no information other than the date/location. Each show page has a set list in the left column if available, and NOTES, OTHER PERFORMERS, and DOCUMENTATION sections in the right area. "Documentation" covers whether the show was known to be recorded, as well as photographs of gig posters, ticket scans, etc. Most of these can be clicked to open larger in a new window.

WHY DON'T YOU UPDATE THE SOLO GIGS ANYMORE?

It's just far too exhausting to keep track of all that in addition to what has always been the heart of the site, the Sonic Youth material. That, plus all of the 2001+ solo events remain documented on the SONICYOUTH.com gig calendar. You'll also notice that the existing solo gigs on this site still feature the old design -- that won't change.

CAN YOU PLEASE PROVIDE A BRIEF HISTORY OF THIS SITE'S EXISTENCE ON THE WORLD WIDE WEB?

Why, certainly!

I began the site in the middle of 1997, originally a mere text file w/ date/city/venue information for about 100 shows, maybe a bit more. Soon John Loughney, tape trader extraordinaire, offered me a list he'd written up which I incorporated into the page, and the site began to slowly grow. Several months later, I decided the page should be in html, so I could link to set lists. After drawing most of the set list info from John's extensive tape list, I eventually decided to give the page a third makeover, and made the set lists html-ized. Finally, the page which had existed since late '97 til late '99, featured set lists in html, some photos, solo shows, and other information.

In early 2000 I split the gig dates into their separate years, added notes/opening band information, and as many gig posters/photos/vidcaps as I could find for any given show. Solo shows were covered more carefully, and I fixed a lot of errors within the set lists themselves. I added specific day, date, city, venue information for all shows (something I painfully regret), and created Tour Statistics pages for every tour and a yearly analysis of Sonic Youth's live performances. I rummaged thru Lee's tour journals, books on the band, and the Internet in general for any new information not on the site. The page then had over 770 shows in its database.

In late 2001 the page was once again reworked -- the layout remained basically the same, but the content was completely updated, adding an unprecedented amount of new information ranging from new set lists, photographs to simply retallying all of the tour/song statistics so they're accurate and up to date. As of December 23rd, 2001, there were 944 shows listed. This update coincided with the launch of a new Sonic Youth resource -- the Song Database (and a couple months later, the Gear Guide).

Around this time I was offered the opportunity to have my resources hosted at the official homestead: sonicyouth.com. The transition occurred in April 2002. With the option of unlimited webspace, I could finally shape the site up into something far more detailed (and finally launch the Discography I'd been working on for ages but had no room to host). I was still less than satisfied with the general aesthetics of the site, but the thought of altering over 1000 html pages never quite appealed to me. But, it had to be done, and so it was --- January 2003 marked the first serious design overhaul in 3 years, and one that I sincerely hope was worth the effort. I'm ecstatic about the new layout, and I think it makes the site more appealing than ever. I hope y'all agree.

IS THERE ANYTHING YOU DON'T INCLUDE?

Radio/tv interviews and recording sessions are excluded. Radio sessions (ie: Peel or BBC) are included on the pages but don't affect the performance tallies and aren't considered "shows". Please see the Tour Statistics page for more information on these things.

HOW ACCURATE IS ALL THIS INFO? HOW CAN I HELP?

15 years ago, not very. Now, I think I've weeded out the bulk of the misinformation, but there's always room for error. Most of the set lists on this site come from recordings of the shows or the band's own records. I fully encourage people to contact me regarding any inaccuracies or missing information. On occasion, set lists may be mislabelled, incomplete, or attributed to the wrong date. Dates could be incorrect, missing, or have the wrong venues. This is why I need your help to add anything you can to this page. No matter how insignificant you think it may be, ANY information is appreciated. If you have a recording of a show labeled "No known sources", let me know. If you have any set lists or know of any shows not listed on this site, let me know. If you see any errors in the information presented on this site, let me know. Any gig posters or photos or set list scans etc etc would be very cool too (but please ask first before sending any extreme attachments). And of course, any silly trivia about a show or opening bands or reviews or WHATEVER.. if you think it'd be useful, by all means send it my way. Especially interesting would be any tour diaries/journals published in various magazines through-out the years..................

SO WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU, DUDE?

My name is Chris Lawrence. Sonic Youth have been a huge influence on my life since I was 11 and as a naturally inquisitive music fan, resources like these keep me intrigued. These sites are just a hobby for me, but one I take seriously -- hence the rather dramatic paragraph above. Oh, and before you ask: I can not serve as a communication pipeline to Sonic Youth or anybody in their circle, so please... don't ask. :)

UH HEY CAN I USE YOUR WORK FOR MY OWN SITE?

Chris Lawrence 1997-2012. That said, I obviously have no problem with people referencing the site in discussions on newsgroups and bulletin boards, but if you do feel the need to excessively borrow content from this page, please write me first and let me know your intentions. On the other hand, if I've inadvertently ripped off somebody else's materials for this site, I'd appreciate being informed of that, too!

ARE YOU DONE?

Yup. Enjoy!

Return to the Sonic Youth Concert Chronology.