Posts Tagged ‘Sonic Youth’

Dreaming of a girl like me

April 28, 2010

As you’ll recall, the other day I posted a clip from Hal Hartley’s “Simple Men” (1992) featuring Sonic Youth’s “Kool Thing.” Why not continue the trend? Here’s a clip from Olivier Assayas’s excellent “Irma Vep” (1996) featuring another song from Goo, “Tunic (Song for Karen).” Be advised that the clip contains some decidedly unsexy nudity (so, NSFW and all that). Apologies for the relatively poor video quality.

“You aren’t never going anywhere. I ain’t never going anywhere.”

I don’t wanna/I don’t think so

April 26, 2010

Earlier today, I mentioned this sequence from Hal Hartley’s “Simple Men” (1992); as the day progressed, it became increasingly apparent to me that I was morally obligated to share it with y’all in its glorious entirety:

And now compare it to:

“Hey Kool Thing… come here. Sit down beside me; there’s something I gotta ask you. I just wanna know, what’re you gonna do for me?”

Corrupting the youth

April 15, 2010

I just chanced upon this video over at the Fader, and it’s a good one: Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore creating some noise art (or covering a song from Ciccone Youth’s The Whitey Album?) with a bunch of tykes/future nihilists. Moore is about as close to a Socratic figure as we’ve got in today’s art world, and this clip is proof of that.

“Shadow of a Doubt” at the Cinematheque

April 8, 2010

This Friday night UW’s Cinematheque will screen a recently restored 35mm print of Alfred Hitchcock’s “Shadow of a Doubt” (1943), a film that many consider to be among Hitch’s greatest. The screening will begin at 8:05, following two more episodes of “The Adventures of Captain Marvel” (which I haven’t been keeping up with and thus can’t really comment on).

For a properly Hitchcockian cocktail of style and suspense, it’s tough to beat “Shadow of a Doubt”; the opportunity to see a fresh new print of it projected on the big screen is invaluable. (The movie also happens to be the namesake for Sonic Youth’s Hitchcock-inspired song of the same name from their fourth album, Evol. The music video, which I’ve included above, is a mandatory look-and-listen. One of my absolute favorite songs by them.)

Gosh they were young

March 9, 2010

Can’t help but share this with y’all. It’s great.

For Anthony Cefali

February 2, 2010

Here’s looking at you, kid.

Sonic Denis

September 19, 2009

Courtesy of Reverse Angle is this short essay, written by Damon Smith, on the music videos for two singles from Sonic Youth’s 2006 album Rather Ripped, “Incinerate” and “Jams Run Free,” both of which were directed by the amazing Claire Denis. It’s very rare to stumble upon analysis of music videos, so this is a real treat. Funny: Sonic Youth is, beyond a shadow of a doubt, my favorite band, and Denis is a director whose phenomenal work is just now entering my life, yet I had no clue that they’d ever collaborated. An extremely welcome discovery. I wonder whether Thurston Moore agrees with Smith’s claim that he possesses a “gorgeously effeminate mouth.” Obviously both videos are worth checking out. And here’s hoping that either of Denis’s two most recent films, last year’s 35 Shots of Rum and/or this year’s White Material, come to Madison sometime sooner than never (35 Shots of Rum just began a two-week run at NYC’s Film Forum, so if you’re in the Tri-State you really ought to consider going to see it).

Quotes of quotes of quotes of quotes, 8/26

August 26, 2009

Alright comrades, I realize that Quotes of quotes of… has been pretty theory-heavy these past few days; moreover, I recognize that a substantial portion of my readership (I’m [irrationally] presuming that such a thing exists) doesn’t have much of a taste for theory, which is an acquired taste to say the least. With that in mind, I’ll spare y’all the Martin Heidegger quote I had lined up for today and instead post some quotes which actually live up to the Quotes of quotes of… moniker (by this I simply mean that I’ve been posting regular quotes rather than quotes-of-quotes).

In the past I’ve cited Walter Benjamin and Jean-Luc Godard as being masters of quotation; today I present to you a real mistress of quotation, Sonic Youth (and Free Kitten) singer/guitarist Kim Gordon. Gordon’s lyrics have consistently employed quotation, appropriating and juxtaposing bits from cultural sources as disparate as Alfred Hitchcock and Madonna. The results of this technique are works of art that are both scattered and erudite. Sonic Youth’s discography could hypothetically serve as a strange yet insightful textbook on the recent history of art. OK, maybe I’m reaching here. Take it away, Kim:


The drama of my consciousness is that, having lost the world, I try to recover myself, but in this moment, I am lost. It’s always blood, fear, politics and money… I don’t know how to stop vomiting since I’ve been working in office.

(“The Ineffable Me” by Sonic Youth, from A Thousand Leaves; originally uttered by Paula Nelson [Anna Karina] in Godard’s Made in U.S.A. [1966])


Going back to these origins. The city is a natural scape. Order in the details. Confusion uproar in the whole. In nature, reality is selection, the tool of critical intervention. Fragmentation is the rule. Unity is not taught in school. You are an unnatural growth on a funny sunny street. The city has forgotten you, its symbols of the past, the meaning of its state, its order of decay. Stand now in a column and make the nature scene… There is no resistance to the signs along the way.

(“Making the Nature Scene” by Sonic Youth, from Confusion is Sex; originally written by 18th-century Italian artist/architectural theorist Giovanni Battista Piranesi)


Beauty lies in the eyes of another’s dreams. Beauty lies lost in another’s dream.

(“Beauty Lies in the Eye” by Sonic Youth, from Sister)

P.S. For your enjoyment: A kind of weird cover of Sonic Youth’s “Shadow of a Doubt” (from EVOL), courtesy of the FADER (are the caps really necessary?)