MMW: Sonic Youth

February 16, 2014

Sonic Youth, one of the few no-wave bands to break into anything even resembling mainstream culture, has done a lot more than simply cover “Superstar” by the Carpenters. Starting in 1981 with noisy guitars and chanted vocals, over the years they have incorporated elements of hardcore, drone, free-jazz, and more traditional rock, though they’ve retained the same sense of independence and strangeness throughout. Bass player, Kim Gordon, and guitarist, Thurston Moore, got married in 1984 which was super cute. Sonic Youth uses alternate tunings, bringing 20+ guitars to each show, to play such killer songs as “Xpressway to Yr Skull”, “Pipeline/Kill Time”, “New Hampshire”. Despite their idiosyncratic methods, Sonic Youth managed to stay on Geffen Records for around 18 years before leaving for Matador in 2008. After breaking up in 2011, due to issues in the marriage between Thurston and Kim, the members of Sonic Youth still have some pretty cool bands that you should check out: Lee Ranaldo & the Dust, Body/Head, Chelsea Light Moving (now just called Thurston Moore), and Spectre Folk.

MMW: Lunatic Calm

With influences from big beat and industrial electronic sounds, this UK band leaves you with a diverse sound. Formed in 1996, they created two studio albums, but their legend lives on in their remixes for bands from the late 90s such as Bush and Curve. I personally found them through the Matrix trilogy soundtracks and was further interested after finding their songs played on Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Angel television shows. Their music is so energetic, and I often like to listen to them when working out because it gives me a natural pump of adrenaline. “Leave You Far Behind” and “Roll the Dice” are their most noteworthy songs.

MMW: The Dictators

The Dictators were a heavy band. They combined heavy metal, garage rock, and junk food culture in the early 1970′s creating a template for punk, especially the Ramones. Their songs were offensive and loud with titles such as “Master Race Rock” and “Teengenerate” sung by, “secret weapon”, Handsome Dick Manitoba, though Adny Shernoff sung most of the early songs. The Dictators were one of the first bands, besides the aforementioned Ramones, to be the smart-guys-playing-dumb, and, like the Ramones, were mostly all Jewish. In 2001 the Dictators declared, “I wish Sgt. Pepper never taught the band to play” when they reunited for “D.F.F.D.”. Remember – “Fuck ‘em if they can’t take a joke.”

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