Friday, June 20, 2008

Friday Flashback: Sonic Youth

Sonic Youth are arguably the original indie rock band in terms of what we talk about when we talk about indie rock, and Daydream Nation is arguably the greatest indie rock album of all time. Twenty years later and it still sounds brand new. Kids that were just toddlers when the LP was released continue to study it, digest it, absorb every sonic explosion and sudden drift of noise that two decades ago redefined the parameters of rock. After seven years and five albums of honing their avant-garde post-punk sound, Sonic Youth matched the art and talent present in the free-form noise experimentation of their predecessors and major influence, The Velvet Underground, with Daydream Nation.

Likely the most accessible track, "Teen Age Riot" opens the album in rare rock-anthemic form, a call to arms for disillusioned and disenfranchised underground youth everywhere. What follows in Daydream Nation is nothing short of the invention of a new genre, the modern-day hipster's bible, and very little since its release has come anywhere close to being as ground-breaking.

You can watch the video with its tinny sound and abbreviated format in what looks like a production budget of approximately $47 (granted, it does feature appearances from the likes of Patti Smith, Iggy Pop and The Beach Boys), or check the mp3 here:

You're it
No, you're it
Hey, you're really it
You're it
No I mean it, you're it

Say it
Don't spray it
Spirit desire (face me)
Spirit desire (don't displace me)
Spirit desire
We will fall

Miss me
Don't dismiss me

Spirit desire

Spirit desire [x3]
We will fall
Spirit desire
We will fall
Spirit desire [x3]
We will fall
Spirit desire
We will fall

Everybody's talking 'bout the stormy weather
And whats a man do to but work out whether its true?
Looking for a man with a focus and a temper
Who can open up a map and see between one and two

Time to get it
Before you let it
Get to you

Here he comes now
Stick to your guns
And let him through

Everybody's coming from the winter vacation
Taking in the sun in an exaltation to you
You come running in on platform shoes
With Marshall stacks
To at least just give us a clue
Ah, here it comes
I know it's someone I knew

Teenage riot in a public station
Gonna fight and tear it up in a hyper-nation for you

Now I see it
I think I'll leave it out of the way
Now I come near you
And it's not clear why you fade away

Looking for a ride to your secret location
Where the kids are setting up a free-speed nation, for you
Got a foghorn and a drum and a hammer that's rockin'
And a cord and a pedal and a lock, that'll do me for now

It better work out
I hope it works out my way
'cause its getting kind of quiet in my city's head
Takes a teenage riot to get me out of bed right now

You better look it
We're gonna shake it
Up to him

He acts the hero
We paint a zero
On his hand

We know its down
We know its bound too loose
Everybody's sound is 'round it
Everybody wants to be proud to choose
So who's to take the blame for the stormy weather
You're never gonna stop all the teenage leather and booze

It's time to go 'round
A one man showdown
Teach us how to fail

We're off the streets now
And back on the road
On the riot trail
Official website of Sonic Youth.


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