Monday, March 28, 2011

Murray Street Album Review

Without a doubt, Murray Street is a wonder of an album. Simply, it does not sound like any other Sonic Youth album, and that is a good thing. It isn't necessarily "loud" or "quiet" it is a gentle mix between the two. At times, the album wonders into places that have never been heard before, but at other times, it takes us back to familiar places.

Murray Street really focuses on the the Beginning and Endings of each song; the music in the middle, has the typical Sonic Youth "sound". This proves true on the longest songs on "Karen Revisited" and "Sympathy for the Strawberry". Old fans will really appreciate the songs on the album that feature the noise breaks and long openings.

Lyrics are another thing that keeps this album sounding so good. They keep listening to the song and it also gives another dimension to the album. I know that a lot of people don't pay attention to lyrics, on abums, but one should when listening to Murray Street. Unlike other Sonic Youth albums, lyrics help the songs move  along.

In the end, Murray Street probably is the best of the newer Sonic Youth albums up until The Eternal (but that can be debatable though). A 45 minute album with 7 songs on it might sound intimating, but Murray Street packs more into 7 songs than any 7 song album that I've heard.

(By the way, check out my Murray Street poster)

Track-by-track Analysis
1. The Empty Page
I like this song a lot, although I really don't listen to it that much. It doesn't negate the fact that this song is a really good opening to this album. In my opinion, this is  best opening to any Sonic Youth album. The song can be described as "rich" and just very "full sounding" .

2. Disconnection Notice
This is one of my favorites from Murray Street. It has a great opening, the song structure is very fluid and it ties the whole song together. Disconnection Notice really doesn't sound like a 6 minute song. In my book, if a song doesn't sound like the time given, it is a good song. If you really look at it, Disconnection Notice is a is a shift in Sonic Youth's songwriting. If you listen to this song, and compare it with a earlier Sonic Youth song, you can hear the difference.  Anyway, I like how this song merges right into the next song.

3. Rain On Tin
I also enjoy Rain On Tin a lot. This time, it is the opening instrumental that just drives the song along, at an almost "relaxing" pace. Rain On Tin is like Disconnection Notice when it comes down to the time factor. Rain on Tin is just one of those songs that you can just listen to and always find something new that is hidden somewhere in the song.

4. Karen Revisited
This opening, just like the other songs so far, flow through the song, and just makes everything "good", but at the same time, it also makes you pay attention to the lyrics; the good thing is that Karen has petty good lyrics. I'm not usually a fan of Lee songs, but this is a major exception. He might be the only one who could have made this song sound "right". The "noise" shift near the middle of the song, really switches things up and makes you keep listening. I'm not usually a fan of songs longer than 10 minutes, but Karen Revisited takes the 11 minute song and makes it epic.

5. Radical Adults Lick Godhead Style
Another stand out track for me. The lyrics are almost like beat poetry for me, and it always keeps me listening to the lyrics. My favorite part is the noise breakdown that closes out the song.

6. Plastic Sun
I enjoy Plastic Sun a lot too. It is the shortest song on the album, and I'm guessing that it is a "break" before Sympathy for the Strawberry.

7. Sympathy for the Strawberry
Sympathy might take the award for the best opening on Murray Street. It just keeps going until the lyrics starts, and I find that pretty awesome. If Karen Revisited took the 11 minute song and made it epic, then Sympathy for the Strawberry made the 9 minute song epic also. Believe me or not, I'm not too crazy about these lyrics, but I'll listen to the whole song. When I really listen to it, I can her faint echos from "Washing Machine", but that might be me. No matter what, Sympathy for the Strawberry rounds off this album quite well.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Funtastic Friday Five!

Happy Friday everyone! I hope that it was a good one for you! Anyway, I'm back (on time) to present the my 5+ videos for the week! I even got this done early too! I'm on vacation for a week, so keep checking back often so you can read my latest music related posts! I don't know if I'm going to write album reviews, my thoughts on bands and and the current music world, or just do some mini reviews on the latest albums that I've just bought. Anyway, I'm sure that you all will enjoy it.

St Vincent - Actor out of Work. This is a rehearsal video. I've been listening to a lot of St. Vincent recently. I think I'm going to buy one of their albums over vacation, so I can have something new to listen to.

GBH - Go Home. I'd thought that I would change things up a bit. (Don't kill me if I say that I don't own this album)

Pixies - Bone Machine (Live 2004). I've also been playing this song a lot. Who wouldn't? It is so enjoyable!

Cocteau Twins - Wax and Wane. I'm trying to find more live footage of the Cocteau Twins to share. This footage is pretty grainy and old, but it is brilliant. It really showcases the early Cocteau Twins. If you look really closely, you can see a Killing Joke Poster. Did they open for them?

Free Kitten - What is Fair live 1994. I'm going to sound crazy, but this might be the first all female super-group (Kim Gordon, Yoshimi P, Julie Cafritz, Mark Ibold. Fine, you have to subtract Mark Ibold on the early albums) not Wild Flag (Go ahead and  kill me). If I feel like it, I'll prove my point in a later blog post. Anyway, this is a really good track. Listen to the lyrics, they will enlighten you.

I'm having Wild Flag mania although they haven't officially released anything yet. But if you have the time crawl Youtube and watch some of their live videos. It is everything that a S-K Fan (or non fan) would enjoy. Heck, if my Mom enjoys Wild Flag, then you sure will.

Wild Flag - "Arabesque" live 11/18/10. They are awesome and funny at the same time! How rad!

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Fruitful Return of The Friday Five!

Happy Friday everyone! I've had a hectic last couple of weeks but I promised myself that I would get this Friday Five out on time. So here it is, The Fruitful return with extra videos! I even added some new artists this week, so enjoy!

Sugarcubes - Hit. Hey look, Its Bjork! I love this video.

Minutemen - Do You Want New Wave? Or Do You Want The Truth?

Black Randy and the Metrosquad - I slept in an arcade. How can you not like this band?

Sonic Youth - Rain on Tin. I'm slightly obsessed with this song. Its so mellow, and it just goes into this awesome noise break guitar goodness. It is just prefect. (I'm really liking Kim's SG bass right now)

Shonen Knife - Brown Mushrooms. This is such a fun music video. All of Shonen Knife's videos are fun, but I really enjoy this one.

Alright, I had to throw in the Wild Flag Video. Come on! KEXP Filmed it at South By Southwest! Its (almost) band new! This is probably the best live footage I seen this year. I'm pretty stoked about Wild Flag right now (I have been for the past while really).
(might just be me, but does this sound like Sonic Youth mixed with something else to you?)

Friday, March 4, 2011

Finally, Friday Five on Friday!

I wanted to post a Friday Five on Friday, even though I got home at 9:00 and I still have a full day of debating left to do tomorrow. I'm not going to lie, but this Friday Five might be kind of weak. (I'll make up for it though).

Huggy Bear Pansy Twist

Sonic Youth French Tickler 1998: Live In Tokyo. This a petty good crowd, they really appreacate sonic youth (inside jokes over). Kim's vocals are mixed kind of low on this song, but you can still hear them.

PJ Harvey - The Last Living Rose. This is from a series of short films that goes along with "Let England Shake" I'll post some every week.

Wild Flag - Glass Tamborine. This is streaming on NPR, but it is better to watch the live bootleg version.

Pre Sleater-Kinney Goodness
Heavens to Betsy - Direction

Excuse 17 (Unknown song) at CBGB's. Who needs a name when the footage is so clear!