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Another Portland Blog

Friday, July 23, 2004

 

Sonic Youth (Crystal Ballroom 7/15/04)




A week late and dollar short, here's a quick rundown on the show.

- While waiting to get in, there was a guy standing behind me that looked a lot like Isaac Brock. The doors opened late and he killed time by walking across the street to smoke a cigarette near a homeless man that looked like Ho Chi Minh in cowboy gear. It would have made a nice picture but there was no way I could covertly take one. I really need a spy camera.

- The first opening act sounded like a really depressed Mazzy Star after chugging a bottle of Nyquil. They played one song. It lasted 30 minutes.

- Le Tigre was originally scheduled to open but, unbeknownst to me and a dreadlock'ed girl nearby, they cancelled a month ago. Who did the organizers find to replace them? A no-name band consisting of a guitarist, a screeching singer and a guy working a turntable while wiggling cookie sheets (!!!). OK, they weren't cookie sheets. They were actually long tin strips attached to a silver coat rack. They banged on their instruments forever and occasionally the singer burped out a 30-second werewolf howl. The audience screamed back and threw cups. At one point, the cookie sheet guy pounded on the turn table with his fists. They played one song. It lasted 45 minutes.

- Sonic Youth has been around since the early '80s and most music snobs would argue that they're at least four records past their prime. Who cares what they think? The band's latest, Sonic Nurse, is one of their best and the song about Mariah Carey, regardless of the dated reference, is mighty fine.

- A one point, Thurston Moore asked the audience to strip and even threw beads. No one stripped and they all kept the beads. That ain't right.

- During a 10-minute feedback jam, Moore sex danced with his guitar. Later, he and the other guitarist performed a weird mating ritual with their "instruments" while Kim Gordon spun around in circles. Behind them sat a line of speaker/movie screens covered in images of nurse holding a syringe and what looked like alien fishing rods. Hooray for indie/post-punk/experimental/noise rock!

- The song played during the second encore? Teen Age Riot.

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