Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by tune_link » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:00 am

BoringPostcards wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:26 pm
tune_link wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:34 am
BoringPostcards wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:08 am


Agreed. At first listen, it is very different from all their previous work. It also has a ton of experimental sections and noisy parts.
Hoarfrost and Karen Koltrane are amazing songs. Hits of Sunshine is a great tune as well.
It suffers the same fate as NYC Ghosts n Flowers and Experimental Jetset Trash and No Star, in that it came out in a transitional phase for the band, where they explored a lot of new territory.
Bad Moon Rising is somewhat of another example of this, however it's not underrated like the others.
I like every album up until The Eternal. I think it was too obvious they were out of steam and had too much interpersonal troubles.
I love Rather Ripped. There are some solid songs on there. Turquoise Boy, Jams Run Free, Pink Steam, and Incinerate are all good songs.
Nurse was better, and there are moments on Rather Ripped, where you hear them start to recycle a lot of motifs, especially Thurston's songs.
I was always a fan of Lee and Kim's output over Thurston's, although he sings on a good number of their more well known songs.
A lot of Thurston lead songs were penned by Kim, and some of Kim's were originally Thurston's, such as Doctor's Orders.
Back in the day, I burned off three discs. Each had songs exclusive to each member.
The Lee disc was the best overall album, although there are many long noisy sections to deal with. The Kim album was 50% chaos and 50% pure beauty. Thurston's is the most accessible.
Lee's songs stand out, because most were ready made by him from start to finish, whereas the bulk of their other work resulted from jam sessions and experimenting with splicing tape.
Yeah, allllll of this. As a SY lifer fan, I will say that The Eternal and NYC Ghosts are my least favorite albums. I think NYC Ghosts has more to do with me not liking beat poetry and them putting a few tracks of it on there. The Eternal has at least one absolute Ranaldo banger on it - "What We Know." I've also always loved Lee and Kim and it irks me a little when people talk about the band as if Thurston is the main singer or something.
I'm a big big fan of Experimental Jet Set though and feel that it has gotten a real raw deal over the years. Some of me wonders if that's just the product of it coming between Dirty and Washing Machine, off the back of their commercial zenith (being on MTV all the time) and people expecting them to go full Nirvana at that point and just be a pop/rock band of that ilk. I have friends that draw the line in many different places - "I don't like anything after Dirty" or "Murray Street was their last great gasp" kind of stuff. I can definitely see that point about recycled motifs in Thurston's songwriting after the Murray Street era. A friend put it best once saying that Murray Street was the last time SY was an experimental band and that they were still a good band, but that after that they were just another rock band. I feel like we see that even with regard to them discussing influences on the last few albums where they pivot to talking about Fleetwood Mac and Blondie in many interviews (Tusk and Parallel Lines respectively) as reference points for their material.
Jim O'Rourke reinvigorated them, and they started to stale after he went back to his solo career.
Would def agree with this. I love a lot of O'Rourke's solo stuff too. I keep hearing good things about some newer stuff Kim and Thurston have done solo but haven't taken the time to really dive into any of it. Probably should.....

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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by BoringPostcards » Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:14 am

tune_link wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 6:00 am
BoringPostcards wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 12:26 pm
tune_link wrote:
Thu Nov 12, 2020 8:34 am


Yeah, allllll of this. As a SY lifer fan, I will say that The Eternal and NYC Ghosts are my least favorite albums. I think NYC Ghosts has more to do with me not liking beat poetry and them putting a few tracks of it on there. The Eternal has at least one absolute Ranaldo banger on it - "What We Know." I've also always loved Lee and Kim and it irks me a little when people talk about the band as if Thurston is the main singer or something.
I'm a big big fan of Experimental Jet Set though and feel that it has gotten a real raw deal over the years. Some of me wonders if that's just the product of it coming between Dirty and Washing Machine, off the back of their commercial zenith (being on MTV all the time) and people expecting them to go full Nirvana at that point and just be a pop/rock band of that ilk. I have friends that draw the line in many different places - "I don't like anything after Dirty" or "Murray Street was their last great gasp" kind of stuff. I can definitely see that point about recycled motifs in Thurston's songwriting after the Murray Street era. A friend put it best once saying that Murray Street was the last time SY was an experimental band and that they were still a good band, but that after that they were just another rock band. I feel like we see that even with regard to them discussing influences on the last few albums where they pivot to talking about Fleetwood Mac and Blondie in many interviews (Tusk and Parallel Lines respectively) as reference points for their material.
Jim O'Rourke reinvigorated them, and they started to stale after he went back to his solo career.
Would def agree with this. I love a lot of O'Rourke's solo stuff too. I keep hearing good things about some newer stuff Kim and Thurston have done solo but haven't taken the time to really dive into any of it. Probably should.....
Kim's solo stuff nowadays is not bad, although it is super dark and obscure stuff. Thurston has done some pretty good stuff.
Lee has the best stuff, in my opinion. His 3 solo albums since the breakup are really good.
His voice is better than ever, and the riffs are great. He was playing with a good friend of his as Lee Ranaldo and the Dust, but his friend passed away some time after their second recording. I cannot remember the guy's name, but his style worked really well with Lee's.
Nels Cline also did some tracks with him.
"Can you please pass me a jug of winter light?" - Lee Ranaldo 2000
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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by budda12ax7 » Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:00 pm

The Dust stuff is really good.....

Thurston's stuff...just sounds the same....it's good, but same.

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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by BoringPostcards » Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:37 pm

budda12ax7 wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:00 pm
The Dust stuff is really good.....

Thurston's stuff...just sounds the same....it's good, but same.
Agreed on both points. I like Thurston, but he sort of stopped evolving in the late 90s.
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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by shoule79 » Mon Nov 16, 2020 8:26 pm

I think it’s the last album of theirs I bought. I swore no more SY after Experimental Jet Set, but got into this one after someone recommended it.

My favourite outputs still EVOL to Daydream Nation, with Dirty thrown in there for some rawk.

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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by tune_link » Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:49 am

BoringPostcards wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:37 pm
budda12ax7 wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:00 pm
The Dust stuff is really good.....

Thurston's stuff...just sounds the same....it's good, but same.
Agreed on both points. I like Thurston, but he sort of stopped evolving in the late 90s.
The weirdest part of this is that thing about if you go by Spotify stats, etc. that “Incinerate” - Thurston song from Rather Ripped is now their most popular song. I say weird because after Sonic Nurse, when this track dropped as one of the first Rather Ripped singles I just remember thinking it was the most generic, typical sounding SY song I’d ever heard. I know that album has its defenders. All the songs I like from it are Lee’s personally. I’m guessing maybe, like that Pavement b-side being a popular thing on Spotify for how generic it is this is another example. But def for me, I think A Thousand Leaves is the last record where I still reallly like the Thurston songs.

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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by BoringPostcards » Sat Nov 21, 2020 11:26 am

tune_link wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 10:49 am
BoringPostcards wrote:
Sat Nov 14, 2020 5:37 pm
budda12ax7 wrote:
Fri Nov 13, 2020 7:00 pm
The Dust stuff is really good.....

Thurston's stuff...just sounds the same....it's good, but same.
Agreed on both points. I like Thurston, but he sort of stopped evolving in the late 90s.
The weirdest part of this is that thing about if you go by Spotify stats, etc. that “Incinerate” - Thurston song from Rather Ripped is now their most popular song. I say weird because after Sonic Nurse, when this track dropped as one of the first Rather Ripped singles I just remember thinking it was the most generic, typical sounding SY song I’d ever heard. I know that album has its defenders. All the songs I like from it are Lee’s personally. I’m guessing maybe, like that Pavement b-side being a popular thing on Spotify for how generic it is this is another example. But def for me, I think A Thousand Leaves is the last record where I still reallly like the Thurston songs.
I think the main reason why Incinerate is their most popular song on streaming and YouTube is due to it being in Guitar Hero games.
Also likely due to the production level. It sounds more polished than their earlier most popular tracks, such as Silver Rocket, Teenage Riot, and Kool Thing.

Agreed on A Thousand Leaves being the last great Thurston era, with the exceptions of a few tracks from the later albums, such as Pink Steam, New Hampshire, Peace Attack, and Beautiful Plateau, which is an instrumental around one of Thurston's riffs.
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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by soggy mittens » Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:56 pm

A Thousand Leaves is the beginning of the end for me, I like that album a lot but all the Kim songs are too wacky for me and I have to skip them. Beyond that I don't mind The Empty Page and Disconnection Notice but I rarely go there. Washing Machine is their last full album I listen to regularly.
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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by Harmoncj » Sat Nov 21, 2020 5:45 pm

fun trivia fact. according to kim's book... they were seriously going to rename the band washing machine, but the manager talked them out of it.
tune_link wrote:
Mon Sep 28, 2020 11:13 am
I love this record. I've heard a lot of people comment that Murray Street is the last SY record that they like. For me it's Sonic Nurse but I think both Rather Ripped and The Eternal have songs that are good even if I don't like those albums very much.
I agree... in retrospect, knowing what we know, I wonder if the tensions were high or something bc rather ripped never felt good to me, still dont like it, while I always thought sonic nurse was greatand I still think it holds up.

I also agree about the 3 eras assessment, I think of it exactly like that in the discography

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Re: Happy 25th SY's Washing Machine

Post by Whiny Minotaur » Sun Nov 22, 2020 11:07 pm

I agree with the assessment that Washing Machine is the last SY album that I enjoy from start to finish.

I do have to say that I feel like I'm taking crazy pills when people say that it feels like the beginning of the latter period of Sonic Youth. To me, it's way too dissonant of an album to feel comfortable next to other albums written after it, and is also very different from the three that preceded it as well. It has a lot of coiled tension and darkness to it which reminds me a lot more of their earlier stuff, pre-Sister, but with a lot of beautiful melodies.

Speaking of which, I never liked Goo and Dirty which I guess is sacrilege. They're the only albums in their discography which feel dated and very much a period of their time baring a few tracks which are good enough to transcend the trappings of the early 90s rock sound (Dirty Boots, Mote, Mildred Pierce and maybe 100% and Drunken Butterfly?). But then again, I never liked the whole Grunge genre, so I guess that sound is just not for me.
soggy mittens wrote:
Sat Nov 21, 2020 3:56 pm
A Thousand Leaves is the beginning of the end for me, I like that album a lot but all the Kim songs are too wacky for me and I have to skip them.
I also am not a fan of Kim's work post Washing Machine in general, but I think her recent solo album shows that the Sonic Youth sound wasn't really meshing with what she was going for all that well anymore. I feel that A Thousand Leaves is when it really showed that the members were all beginning to grow in different directions, and a large part of their work from that period on seems to be based on compromises. I still quite like A Thousand Leaves ~ The Eternal, but hooo boy, there's some completely forgettable work from those albums on.
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