Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Sonic Youth - Hits Are For Squares

Sonic Youth, in my opinion, is the epitome of the so-called alternative rock. I’m not very fond of the term alternative rock since it’s very general, ambiguous at best. Because it can mean a lot of things - noise, grunge, shoegaze, indiepop, etc. Even powerpop bands are sometimes called alternative. But since the term’s already been accepted in most circles, I’ll be using it for familiarity’s sake and not be an ass about it.

Going back to Sonic Youth, they are primarily an art-noise band trained in the Glenn Branca’s school noise rock. They were even lumped with the No Wave movement together with the Contortions and Swans among many others. Their feedback-laden music became the cornerstone for a lot of alternative bands in the 90’s. Over the years, their music became more and more radio friendly without losing their college-radio credibility.

The first post is the album compilation called Screaming Fields of Sonic Love. After signing to DGC and releasing Goo and Dirty, Sonic Youth released this compilation from their years with SST and Enigma records. This is somewhat of an introduction of what Sonic Youth was all about. They picked up highlights from each album and crammed them into this one neat compilation. The album served its purpose well, although the edited versions of Teenage Riot and Candle were kind of a bummer if you ask me.

The second post was Hits Are For Squares. This is a controversial compilation since it was released/available in Starbucks stores. But the idea for this comp is truly amazing – celebrities and fellow musicians pick out their favorite Sonic Youth songs and compiled them into this rather unique comp.



"Bull in the Heather," selected by Catherine Keener
"Sugar Kane," selected by Beck
"100%," selected by Mike D
"Kool Thing," selected by Radiohead
"Disappearer," selected by Portia De Rossi
"Superstar," selected by Diablo Cody
"Stones," selected by Allison Anders
"Tuff Gnarl," selected by Dave Eggers and Mike Watt
"Teenage Riot," selected by Eddie Vedder
"Shadow of a Doubt," selected by Michelle Williams
"Rain on Tin," selected by Flea
"Tom Violence," selected by Gus Van Zant
"Mary-Christ," selected by David Cross
"World Looks Red," selected by Chloe Sevigny
"Expressway to Yr Skull," selected by Flaming Lips

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