Let's start where the going got great.On "Daydream Nation", the hymnal guitar trebles of Lee Ranaldo and Thurston Moore, joined with the abstract furor of Steve Shelley's drumming and Kim Gordon's parenthetical bass pokes, finally reverberate with the muscle and heart of body music."Teen Age Riot" has a sinuous groove a New Order fan wouldn't turn away from."Silver Rocket" pounds.Art swirl is there,too, a "Sprawl" modeled on sf notions of cyberspace, as if the guitar licks that curl around every song were artificial intelligences.In contrast, Sonic Youth offers the antihumanist humanism of subcult;Ranaldo the hollow-eyed sound scientist,psychedelic casualty,and traveler;Gordon the pro-porn feminist, pop art theorist, and riot mom;Moore the youth/punk advocate, "Total Trash" maven, and rocker.(Add Shelley's cultivated anonymity and you've got the title of SY's 1994 Experimental Jet Set, Trash and No Star album.)Excepting the Mekons, who also needed three leaders, no one offered such a powerfully urbane symbolic coalition against Reagan's daydream nation.Sonic Youth also fulfilled New York punk's ambittion;the fussion of gallery art and popular song.


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