Thursday, May 8, 2008

33 1/3 No. 39: Matthew Stearns - Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation

From Here To Obscurity, 2/26/08:

I've been reading a lot of 33 1/3 books recently. Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation is one of my favorite albums, going back to my teenage years. This book combines interviews with members of SY with a read on the lyrics and music. As a guitarist, I sort of wish Stearns had gone further by describing the wacky tunings and crazy guitar punishment Thurston Moore and Lee Renaldo dish out. I liked how he tied SY back to the No Wave "movement" of the late 70s and then to Rhys Chatham's and Glenn Branca's subsequent noise-minimalism compositions. Ultimately, though, I love Daydream Nation for its mystery and unknowable nature, and I don't think that Stearns - or anyone, really - could tease out all the elements of strangeness on the album. Good effort, though, definitely, and a fun read for Sonic Youth fans. And it inspired me to listen to Daydream Nation quite a lot over the last few weeks, so yay for that.

Style of book: interviews, lyrical analysis, song descriptions

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