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Wildly influential four-piece Sonic Youth have self-released their version of a tribute to the 20th century: two discs of noisy interpretations of modern, experimental classical scores. The group has chosen composers whose works leave a great amount of innovation open to the performer. This chance-embracing approach--typified and in some senses originated by John Cage--is one of the crucial turning points of "new" music. What's great about this CD is that it demonstrates the freewheeling, decidedly unserious spirit behind this music, essentially combining the legacies of punk rock and out-sound. In addition to three late works by the chance-loving Cage, there are pieces by current Merce Cunningham collaborator Takehisa Kosugi, minimalist giant Steve Reich, "deep-listening" drone lover Pauline Oliveros, and Fluxus founder George Maciunas. Longtime collaborator Wharton Tiers, the young everything-ist Jim O'Rourke, and even some of the composers themselves join in on these exercises. The result is messy, fun, and anarchic, with occasional revelations (notably James Tenney's "Having Never Written a Note for Percussion"). It's not a disc to play all the time, but it is a challenging, enthused record that ideally will point listeners toward some of the most vital music of the last half of the last decade of the second millennium. --Mike McGonigal
Sonic Youth with William Winant, Jim O'Rourke, Takehisa Kosugi, Christian Wolff, Coco Haley Gordon Moore, Christian Marclay andWharton Tiers.
Just wanted to let people know that after attempting to order this divine album, I was sent an album entitled "The Jazz Harp". Read morePublished 7 months ago by Thomas S.
The best thing with this product is undoubtly the names to whom it is contributed. One should really sincerely appreciate the good taste of SY to lift up and include such grand... Read morePublished on April 14, 2006 by J. Gustavson
It's hard to believe, but it's true.
The 4th CD in the SYR experimental series (titled Goodbye 20th Century, appropriatly) of Sonic Youth Records, is a fantastic double... Read more
Well this is one Sonic Youth's more experimental releases ( if you hadn't gathered by now ) and it's fair to say that this is a challenging listen. Read morePublished on June 11, 2004 by filterite
i used to love sy. during the washing machine tour they played the academy friday night, saturday afternoon for matinee and saturday night. i was at all three shows. Read morePublished on March 10, 2003 by Daniel J. Hagerman
A very bizarre, unconvential, punkish, release from Sonic Youth which is both one of their most trippy but in a different way from previous releases... Read morePublished on April 19, 2002 by S. R Robertson
This is a brilliant tribute to some of the most important musicians of the last century, made in a way that only a successful pop outfit could manage. Read morePublished on March 9, 2002 by Robert Davidson
why should you own this album is the question to be asked here. If you come to SY from the grunge years(goo and especially dirty) then forget it. Read morePublished on March 2, 2002 by Kev