Me doing one of those 'classic album' articles.
Slightly syncophantic, I admit. But the point is, blimey that makes me feel pretty old. When that album came out many guys who are now in bands would have been about two years old. Me? I was around ten years old. Then again, Sonic Youth must be seriously pushing fifty now, so they at least make me feel young. I suppose it's the kind of thing punk rock set out to destroy, but nonetheless I'll be going to the Roundhouse to see them do the album track-by-track. Yes, I know this All Tomorrow's Parties Don't Look Back thing is pure nostalgia - Whitehouse member William Bennett certainly thinks so on this blog comment - but fuck it, I'm gonna go anyway. Maybe Whitehouse will play at Don't Look Back too? Would be interesting to hear charming classics such as "I'm Coming Up Your Ass" and "Just Like a Cunt" at Koko...but seriously, it's amazing to think that they've been going almost as long as SY, which would make them one of the first originators of the 'noise' genre along with The New Blockaders, Merzbow, etc. Incredible as it seems given the inherent uncommercial nature of the genre, noise music has now been going as long as goth (which I reckon started around '82 or so - any objections?). Of course, some smartarse could point out that something like 'Metal Machine Music' preceded noise bands by a couple of years, and before that you can cite modern experimental composers, but Lou Reed obviously wasn't a noise artist as such. Noise music must be one of the few genres where you geniunely don't need to play your instrument (even less so than punk), something that was brought home to me at a Wolf Eyes gig recently where the support act Putrifier ran around the venue with a strange guitar/drill hybrid attached to his chest. To bring this argument full circular,
SY themselves have dabbed in the genre of course - Sonic Death being a sort of neo-noise record of sorts.