Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Song of the day

"Tunic (Song For Karen)", by Sonic Youth. It may be that Sonic Youth's first couple of albums of the Geffen era are not the sell-outs they were pilloried for at the time. Either they have gotten better with age, or they now have a wider context in which to sit (viz., a Second Golden Age around the time of "Murray Street", demonstrating that it wasn't all going to go downhill after "Daydream Nation", after all).

I have always associated the Sonic Youth of the early nineties with Hal Hartley films. "Tunic", to my callow and insensitive ears, was broad, coarse comedy. It is not comedy. And it is more like a Wes Anderson film: a tale of heartbreak and tragedy dressed up in the raiments of slapstick. The lyrics are quite possibly the most direct in the SY canon; and I can't think of a better showcase for Kim Gordon's voice.