05 September 2008

McCarren Pool

I finally made it to McCarren Pool to see a show. My timing was impeccable, because Sonic Youth was playing the last ever show at the Williamsburg pool, as it's reverting to a public pool. This pleases me to no end. There are a lot of beautiful people clogging up that neighborhood, and they're pale as hell. I, for one, want to watch them burn. I will dress in black scuba gear and line my pockets with Baby Ruth bars, and go Caddyshack on their ass.

I hate outdoor shows. The bands I champion sound better with sound waves bouncing off ceilings and fat fanboys in backpacks. But I'd never seen Sonic Youth live before, and there was a hefty ticket price, so I figured the chaff would wait this one out.

First observation: Thurston Moore has sold his soul to the devil. He's older than Dave Murrow, but nary a wrinkle or gray hair. And really, how else can you explain a difficult band like Sonic Youth thriving under a shareheld record-exec canopy?

Thurston: I want to be famous and young forever.
Devil: Alright.
Thurston: And I want our bass player. Mercy, Mrs. Jesus! There's a teenage riot in my pants.
Devil: Oooooo. Gross.
Thurston: I look like Beck.
Devil: Fair point.

Thurston takes over a crowd. He's a great stage presence, an amazing songwriter, and a sick guitarist, as is Lee Renaldo. The two of them cut a rug.

But Sonic Youth falls into that Bob Dylan/Bruce Springsteen category for me. I want to love them and their music more than I actually do. On record, Sonic Youth is extremely viable -- the songs that Thurston and Lee write are all noteworthy. Live, they fall flat. Don't get me wrong. I love playing the bass, and if I looked as nice in a skirt as Kim Gordon, I'd probably draft Thurston & Lee. Fortunately, I don't.


Blogger Dave Cavalier said...

Totally agree on wanting to love SY more than I actually love them. They have some compelling sounds and some absolutely great songs, but a lot of their records are just "eh." As an example, the band doesn't need any more songs where Kim talk sings over a crazy background, but there's at least one on almost every record.

Baby Ruth bar fun fact - It was named after President Grover Cleveland's daughter Ruth (b 1891). Also, Grover's actual first name was Stephen and he went by the name Steve when he was younger. President Steve. I love that.

4:01 PM  
Blogger Dfactor said...

Sonic Youth sign to Matador.

Dave Murrow *is* old. But still cute.

1:50 PM  
Blogger Jackson said...

I saw Thurston play at All Tomorrow's Parties last weekend. The drummer from Sonic Youth was with him, but the two other dudes (bass and guitar), who aquitted themselves well, were sidemen. He played 'Psychic Hearts'. I liked him, as you said, he's very watchable. Alas, like you, I want to like them more than I do. I respect what they do, but only a fraction of it actually draws me in, mostly Kim Gordon's stuff.

7:59 PM  

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