Saturday, July 03, 2004

Staying up late working on this Sonic Youth piece for City Pages, not because it's due next--there's other stuff in front of it, and I'll take care of that over the weekend--but because I suddenly had a couple stray angles intersect and create a bridge from my thinking "JesusfuckingChrist they really are the best rock band ever, statistically anyway" to actually having something meaningful and non-fanboy-sounding to say about it. Which is not easy! I'm not a flexidisc-chaser by any means but with a couple song-exceptions I believe I've liked every single "real" SY album since damn near the beginning, and where Murray Street seemed rock-meaning-pop and that's good, Sonic Nurse is just this . . . summation, really, of everything they do, without sounding like that's what they aimed for--more like they just plugged in and that's what emerged. They're so comfortable with each other, they have such easy rapport, and yet they still sound alive to each other's nuances rather than on autopilot--compare early Grateful Dead w/later, for instance. That's rare enough to be near-extinct; I can't think of a rock band that's managed to keep that going so long while continuing to write good-to-great material besides. Maybe O'Rourke being in there keeps it going like that. All I know is that this might not be their best album ever, but I also think there’s a reeeeeaaal good chance I’ll change my mind in a year or ten.