Sonic Youth – Rather Ripped

rather ripped

I picked up the latest Sonic youth recently but hadn’t gotten around to listening to it until this evening. Because of my tunequest rule of “no repeats,” I won’t be able hear it again until the next year or I complete the project, whichever comes first. It’s safe to say that when I pass either of those milestones, I’ll be itching to hear it again, along with the handful of other new releases/acquisitions for the year.

If I had to come up with one word to describe Rather Ripped, it would have to be "effortless." At this point in their carreers, Sonic Youth can waltz into their studio and produce this stuff in their sleep.

sleep-waltzing, i like it

The one thing that struck me on this first and only play-through was how much cleaner, unified and melodious, as well as harmonious, the band sounds. There’s nary a trace of their trademark fuzz, noise and distortion. I like that too.

sonic youth doth mine ears please

a thousand leaves

After dancing with the mainstream on dirty and (to a lesser extent) washing machine, sonic youth delivered more musically-complex album with a thousand leaves, which contains two of the great songs in the group’s repetoire: ‘sunday’ and ‘hits of sunshine’ (one of their most quintessential jams).

in my mind, this album marks the mellowing of the band, but it’s a mellowing that comes from the confidence that they know what they’re doing. yep, they still love their noise, but listening to ‘wild flower soul’ and ‘hits of sunshine,’ i really start to see the transition towards "radical adults."

after being together for nearly 20 years, a thousand leaves begins a golden era of sonic noise.

Jim O’rourke, Cinematic Orchestra and DJ Krush: Downtempo day

First off today, Jim O'rourke's i'm happy, and i'm singing, and a 1, 2, 3 , 4, which consists of precisely three songs of significant length, one for each of the phrases in the album title. O'rourke is a musical genius and I'm convinced that if he had lived 100 years ago he would have been a master composer.

This album is a bit of departure for him. Principally known for his work in the rock mode (and his sometimes membership in Sonic Youth), this record seems to channel nobukazu takemura and is far more experimental in nature. Droning and glitch-filled, but not harsh. Very mellow and relaxing. It's further evidence that everything he touches turns to musical gold.

Rounding out today: some nice beats and trumpet work from dj krush and the sweeping soulfulness of the cinematic orchestra.