There used to be few things cooler than expiremental guitar band Sonic Youth. Despite the unfortunate fact that years pass regardless of one’s coolness, Sonic Youth has remained vibrant and interesting. I don’t even mean that in a senior citizens way. Recent activities include: Sonic Youth Etc.: Sensational Fix, an multidisciplinary and collaborative art exhibition, and playing along with Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones to choreographer Merce Cunningham’s latest project at BAM.
So in addition to rocking out, they’re doing art. Or as their press release documents, exposing the band’s historical connection to the art world:
“By the early 1980s, an alternative scene emerged in downtown New York City in which music and visual art were tightly connected. Both the raw and rebellious attitude of punk and the atonal, violent guitar music with abstract lyrics of no-wave inspired artists like Robert Longo, Richard Prince, Lee Ranaldo and Kim Gordon to play in bands, while performances by these ‘art-rock’ bands were held in exhibition spaces and so-called ‘art lofts’…. The natural crossover between art and experimental music, as was apparent in those days, laid the foundations for the multidisciplinary activities of Sonic Youth. “
Sensational Fix is in Europe until 2010. (It won’t be coming to New York as far as I know.) However, there is a great looking catalog. The 720 pg. book is limited to 600 copies and includes two 7″ records, each one recorded by a different member of the band.