The most exciting band of the 1980s, period. Sonic Youth had no equivalent then, and they still don't -- no one on the underground can rival them for daring, brilliance and range. Their willingness to experiment and evolve brought them perilously near the mainstream in the early '90s, but recent efforts have once again delivered them into the covetous arms of art-rock's intelligentsia. Starting off on the heels of New York's no wave movement, Sonic Youth's pre-SST material marked a period of maturation defined by self-conscious DIY amateurism and the complete demolition of rock guitar convention. The approach broke ground, but kept a pretty low ceiling on what the band could achieve. The arrival of EVOL in 1986 signaled the end of Sonic Youth's anarchic primitivism and the dawning of their golden age. They were gradually transforming bouts of alternate tuning overkill into tightly crafted song. Daydream Nation (1988) remains their pinnacle achievement, a thematically coherent pastiche of Gen-X cynicism, sonic tube disasters and surreal guitar passages that chime like harps in a hailstorm. The work of Sonic Youth is all the more remarkable for being almost entirely self-produced and... See More
Sonic Youth Concert Films
Live at Soundstage
Runtime: 40 minQuintessential alternative rockers, Sonic Youth, celebrate free-form experimentalism while reinforcing their performance-art driven tradition in this Soundstage performance. The band, which settles just outside the realm of definition, delivers a part rock, part free-form noise, part avant-garde punk performance which features a new song "Sympathy for the Strawberry."
1991: The Year Punk Broke
Sonic Youth, Nirvana and The Ramones
Runtime: 1 hr 38 minA visual document of Sonic Youth's 1991 European festival tour, which saw the aristocracy of the American Underground making their first inroads into the mainstream. Sonic Youth's lead singer Thurston Moore offers sardonic swipes at his band's position as the Royal Family of Alternative Rock, whilst a pre-'Nevermind' Nirvana skulk in the background, along with fellow courtesans Babes in Toyland, Dinosaur Jr, Gumball and The Ramones.
Sonic Youth Top Tracks
Live at McCarren Park
Runtime: 47 minOftentimes at live shows, musicians of the indie-rock variety get so caught up in all the strut and swagger that goes along with rock music that they forget to be fun. Deerhunter are not that, as evidenced by their performance here at McCarren Park Pool. On the contrary, front man Bradford Cox is a pretty damn funny guy. And while he may look like a young Thurston Moore without the flowing hair, Deerhunter opt out of your typical art-rock arrogance and instead go for a sonically sound show complete with a driving rhythm section and extra catchy guitar riffs. There's even a nutty vocal spot from Cole Alexander of The Black Lips. Top it off with some psychedelic effects and a pretty rhythm guitarist in cheerleader garb, and you've got yourself a Deerhunter performance that's way too fun to miss out on.
Color Me Obsessed
Runtime: 2 hr 3 minFor some aging music fans and kids with a passion for musical history, The Replacements are rock and roll defined. This Minneapolis quartet took a teenage-punk attitude, threw it in a blender with classic and pop rock, and then poured it into a Middle American pint glass. Over the band's 12-year existence, its live sets were magical, a total mess, or both-depending on your mood and the members' respective blood alcohol levels. Gorman Bechard's remarkable history of the 'Mats takes us from their first show as the Impediments to their 1991 onstage breakup in Chicago, and everywhere in between. Bechard bravely eschews including the band's music, photos, and live footage, instead relying solely on the fans: their well-kept memories, hilarious anecdotes, and differing points of views about the foursome's wildly varied discography and infamous antics. Bechard has recruited an impressive roster of influential fans: musicians such as Husker Du, Babes in Toyland, The Decemberists, The Hold Steady, Archers of Loaf, Titus Andronicus, and Goo Goo Dolls; writers such as Jack Rabid, Legs McNeil, Robert Christgau, Jim DeRogatis, and Greg Kot; and actors such as George Wendt, Tom Arnold, and Dave Foley. Sprinkled in among that esteemed group are the more mainstream fans, who often give the most insightful and heartfelt perspectives of all. Follower or not, after taking in COLOR ME OBSESSED, you'll be ready to run home, gather some 'Mats albums, and design a perfect soundtrack of your own.
Stop Making Sense
Runtime: 1 hr 28 minStop Making Sense is director Jonathan Demme's remarkable concert film that captures the enormous energy and joyous highs of the Talking Heads live performance. Band members David Byrne, Tina Weymouth, Chris Frantz and Jerry Harrison are joined by Bernie Worrell, Alex Weir, Steve Scales, Lynn Mabry and Edna Holt in this groundbreaking concert film that is packed with the Talking Heads most memorable songs. Wall-to-wall music, beautiful cinematography and the legendary "Big Suit" make this "one of the greatest rock movies ever made" (Rolling Stone).
The Astoria London Live
Runtime: 1 hr 7 minIn this 1994 concert performance from English alternative rock superstars Radiohead, the band plays a seventeen-song set that includes such hits as "Creep", "Fake Plastic Trees", and "Pop is Dead" before a live audience at London's famed Astoria.
Bug Live at 9:30 Club: In the Hands of the Fans
Runtime: 1 hr 3 minThrough an online contest, six fans are selected to film Dinosaur Jr. performing ""Bug"" in its entirety at the 9:30 Club in Washington DC, June 2011. Experience the fans' joy as they witness a classic performance and meet their heroes face to face in an exclusive interview with the band. Under the awesome direction of Dave Markey (The Year Punk Broke), ""In the Hands of the Fans"" brings the fans closer to the band and the music closer to you. Includes bonus footage of Henry Rollins speaking candidly to Markey about the the band, and interviewing them on stage before the show.