Sunday, July 05, 2009

Sonic Youth, 7/3/2009

Sonic Youth bassist Kim Gordon has gotten a lot more freedom through the years as the band has added members like multi-instrumentalist Jim O’Rourke and now former Pavement bassist Mark Ibold. She’s had so much freedom that, after she puts down the bass at concerts, she has perfected a flailing dance that I call—without creativity, I admit—“The Kim Gordon Dance.” At their performance Friday at the United Palace, I caught it with my camera as best I could from where I was sitting.

Ladies and Gentleman, the Kim Gordon Dance:The Kim Gordon Dance

Honestly, the set was one of the best times I’ve seen them. They mostly played songs from their new album The Eternal, but the oldies the group pulled out were great: “Tom Violence,” “Catholic Block,” “Pacific Coast Highway,” “Brother James” and, my favorite of the evening, “Death Valley ’69” (full set list below). This song made me especially happy because earlier in the day, my girlfriend, Lisa, and I had gone to MoMA and seen the “Looking at Music: Side 2” exhibit. There’s a video post there showing Richard Kern’s video for the song in it, so it was exciting to hear it twice in one day; the exhibit is totally worthwhile, by the way, with great no-wave and first-wave punk photos and artifacts, like a old Teenage Jesus 7-inches and a Patti Smith “self-portrait.” At the show, the band members were jokey with one another. At one point, when Moore was fiddling with a guitar strap, Ranaldo said, “Strap it on!” Moore barked back, “I’d like to strap it on you.” Ranaldo rejoined, “Again?!” Maybe this explains why Gordon dances…

Thurston MooreKim Gordon, pre-danceLee RanaldoThurston MooreSonic YouthKim and ThurstonThurston Moore Sonic YouthLee RanaldoLee Ranaldo and Mark IboldThurston MooreSonic Youth from Row A, Loge

Set list:

Sacred Trickster
No Way
Calming the Snake
Poison Arrow
Tom Violence
Walkin Blue
Leaky Lifeboat
Catholic Block
Malibu Gas Station
Massage the History
World Looks Red
What We Know
Pacific Coast Highway
Brother James
Death Valley ’69