Sonic Youth: still relevant after all these years?

I was contemplating the sound of today’s music recently. I was also listening to Sonic Youth. Check out these two Letterman appearances and tell me if you think they are still relevant (if you say “no” chances are you’re 15 years old or less).

At 32 years old I keep up with the current bands as best as I can. The fact is, though, I also have to continually go back to when music was exciting and it wasn’t such a stretch to do something new. If you don’t know Sonic Youth, Pixies, Pavement, Nirvana…or worse yet, you don’t know The Cure, Joy Division, REM …go listen and learn. Old school alternative/punk still rocks!


8 responses to “Sonic Youth: still relevant after all these years?

  1. I cannot comment on relevance, but I have to like it. And I don’t like this. I wasn’t a fan of Sonic Youth then, and it doesn’t sound like I will be now. Does that make me

  2. Bobby…Bobby! No, you don’t have to like Sonic Youth. Why? Because I know you’re a huge Cure fan…that’s good enough for me.

    My point was this: Music is cyclical. What we’re hearing today is music influenced by the music that guys like us – Gen Xers grew up with.
    Interpol, Editors, I Love you But, etc = The Cure, Joy Division, Bauhaus, etc.
    Silversun Pickups = Smashing Pumpkins
    Every guitar driven band that gives it’s female bassist at turn at the mike = Sonic Youth and Pixies.
    Every verse chorus verse type band = Nirvana.

    Make sense? Viva Le Cure!

    – The Figurehead

  3. It cut off my comment. But I get it. You and I had that discussion not too long ago.
    I just don’t want to sound like an old man that says he doesn’t listen to new music, because in his eyes, new music is what he liked back then recycled. All of that whilst wearing socks with flip-flops. I don’t want to be that guy.

  4. I understand. I’m not saying that new music isn’t worth listening to at all. On the contrary, there is some GREAT stuff out there right now. We’re in the midst of another great period in music – like the one we grew up in. I’ll feed you new stuff to check out. You liked Silversun Pickups and Decemberists, right?

  5. Figurehead, I think you’re going a little too far on this. Just because a band has a female bassist and she gets to sing periodically DOES NOT mean that they were directly influenced by Sonic Youth or Pixies. I’d go so far as to say that’s sexist! Sheryl Crow? Not influenced by either. Granted, she does ALL the singing, but it’s not fair. Moreover, it takes away from all of the bands that were influenced by them but DON’T have a female anywhere but in the tourbus bed (which is where they belong, if you ask me!).

    Ok, flame away-

  6. I hear ya Tyler. The “so and so was influenced by so and so” theory can go back as far you want to take it. It’s nothing new to be sure. But with regard to what used to be called “alternative” music it’s pretty cut and dry. As I told Jim Bob, I don’t think today’s bands are any better or worse than yesterdays; but they were, definately influenced HEAVILY by the bands that Gen Xers grew up with. There’s just no denying that.
    Rock became Punk; Punk became Alternative; from that point things starting going in different directions and labeled – emo, shoegaze, etc.


  8. Yeah, I liked Silversun and The Decemberists. I am listening to the Pinback album I just got as I type this. I like it, too. I am going to use the other half of my free downloads on emusic to grab I Love You but…
    So keep with the feeding. So far, so good.

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