07 August 2007

The cover is a manipulated Raymond Pettibon illustration based on a paparazzi photo of Maureen Hindley and her first husband David Smith, witnesses in the case of serial killers Ian Brady and Myra Hindley, driving to the trial in 1966. The classic handwritten Pettibon text reads: "I stole my sister's boyfriend. It was all whirlwind, heat, and flash. Within a week we killed my parents and hit the road."

Getting into Sonic Youth was like a real rite of passage & coming of age for me and I'm not even exactly sure what that means but it sounds about right. It was the first time I felt sublime simply listening to something; as if I'd been let in on some secret world and I'd been given a key to some elite circle.

I was heavily into all the SST and Hermosa Beach punk by then (Black Flag, The Minutemen, Circle Jerks, Angry Samoans, yadda yadda yadda) and then I found "Goo". And the drummer was playing his drums with maracas instead of drum sticks and the bass sounded like a fucked up foghorn and the feedback was being played, manipulated like an instrument itself. It was like unlocking the door to some verboten world; it was mind blowing and perfect.

Sonic Youth somehow seamlessly married the weird worlds I was into. It was like the rage and ham-fisted aggression of punk but with the wit of Dylan, the holier-than-thou hip and cool of The Stones, and the innovation of Captain Beefheart - all in one. Oh, and I fucking loved Kim Gordon. She was my #2. Siouxsie of course was my #1.

Sonic Youth was like the first band for smart punks; punks who read or appreciated shit like studio trickery and experimental tunings and whatnot. They were like a new drug to me. I think after a while I, like a lot of people, became bored with the one-trick aggression of punk and I needed a fresh fix of something new. I was still chasing that first high from "Damaged" and "Back From Samoa". I still wanted that unpredictable thunder and dangerous power but I was looking for something with a bit more depth to discover and layers to appreciate and Sonic Youth stood and delivered perfectly.

They were a rough collage, like a Jackson Pollock painting, a beautiful mess like situated chaos. My mind bloomed listening to "Goo". It was the first time I'd felt restless listening to music. I was torn betwixt listening to them do what they do and pressing eject and doing it myself. It was amazing.

Sonic Youth were my gateway drug to that whole world of experimentalism. Later I'd go back and buy their older records and I loved them but I wasn't ready for them when I found "Goo". Since it was the first album released on Geffen it was arguably a bit more digestible and at the time, that was just what I needed. Soon enough I'd be getting into Diamanda Galas but I need to ramp up to it first. And I think thats why "Goo" will always be such an important, crucial and timeless record to me.

Oh and so Rolling Stone just asked Thurston a few questions. I thought it was cool when they asked him "Who’s the coolest famous person you ever met?" he said Kim Gordon. Awwwwww.
P.S. - Favourite song from Goo: Lee Ranaldo's murky"Mote". Yours?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i got into sonic youth via their album sister, favorite songs then were schizophrenia and the creepy pacific coast highway.

- ciara