Sonic Youth latest to be inducted into Hollywood’s Rockwalk:
- Critically acclaimed godfathers of alternative rock, Sonic Youth, have tirelessly charted new music terrain for nearly a quarter century. The underground American rock icons abandoned any pretense of traditional rock ‘n’ roll convention by redefining what noise meant within rock music, and by redefining what rock guitar could do. Inspired by hardcore punk, post punk and no wave, the highly atypical band created a new sonic landscape by utilizing dissonance, feedback and alternate tunings, while managing to compose memorable, and at times, even catchy songs, out of the most unorthodox palette. Sonic Youth’s influence has been tremendous. Evol, Sister and Daydream Nation became touchstones for a generation of indie rockers who attempted to replicate or reinterpret their unique sound and style. The group ceaselessly supported underground music while becoming a popular cult band, with each consecutive album charting in the Top 100.
Sonic Youth headlined Lollapalooza, became fixtures on college radio, were heavily praised by mainstream publications such as Rolling Stone, and established a precedent for alternative bands moving to major labels in the 90’s while preserving indie credibility. Without Sonic Youth, there would be no Nirvana. Without Sonic Youth there would be no credible alternative music scene. The highly prolific group continued to release powerful albums such as Goo, featuring a Chuck D cameo; Dirty, produced by Butch Vig and becoming an alternative hit in 1992 generating modern rock hits “100 %,” “Youth Against Fascism,” and “Sugar Kane”; A Thousand Leaves; Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star, also produced by Vig, and becoming their highest-charting album ever, and Washing Machine on major label Geffen, while restlessly experimenting and releasing even more avant garde albums on their own SYR label.
Their importance to music cannot be measure in sales, but rather within their influence and dedication. Sonic Youth’s work continues to be groundbreaking.
WHAT: Sonic Youth will be inducted into Hollywood’s RockWalk, the only sidewalk gallery dedicated to honoring those artists who have made a significant impact and lasting contribution to the growth and evolution of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
WHERE: HOLLYWOOD’S ROCKWALK 7425 Sunset Blvd. in Hollywood, CA
WHEN: Monday, August 18, 2003 @ 7 p.m. This event is FREE and OPEN to the public.
COMMENTS: Sonic Youth headlines the “Don’t Stop The Rock” film & music festival on Sunday, August 17 at The El Rey Theatre. For more information, please visit www.sonicyouth.com.
What they said – that was a pretty damn good bio and summation of Sonic Youth, although I would not go so far as to say, “Without Sonic Youth, there would be no Nirvana. Without Sonic Youth there would be no credible alternative music scene.” There would still have been Nirvana, who had little or nothing to do with Sonic Youth’s New York art-noise sound and scene, and there certainly would still be a “credible alternative music scene,” since that scene derives from a hundred different directions and influences.
In addition, Sonic Youth’s classic Dirty has recently been given the Deluxe Edition treatment, with B-sides and rehearsal recordings in addition to the original album. It’s one of their best, though not up to the pop-noise breakthrough of Goo, or the timeless epic art-thrash of Daydream Nation. Sonic Youth is the closest thing we have now to the beautiful trainwreck of sonic experimentation and classic melody that was the Velvet Underground.
If you’re in L.A., check out the induction tonight and say “hi” to the Youth for me. If they’re still “youth” then so am I, as Thurston Moore is a couple weeks older than I am, and Kim and Lee are older still. Rock on.